Creative Wedding Favors on a Budget

Wedding favors are a small way to thank your guests for taking the time (and money) to celebrate your special day. But more than that, favors can be a creative and fun way to make your wedding unforgettable in the minds of your guests long after the “Just Married” car drives off.

Unfortunately, wedding favors can get expensive. “Our guest list was nearly 200 people,” says Charis Fischer, “so even spending ten dollars on each favor can get expensive fast.”

this beautiful photo is from Brides of Oklahoma

Here are a few suggestions for wedding favors that will impress the guest list without breaking the bank.

Start Cooking!

For their wedding, Adam Ralko and Charis Fischer baked cookies for their guests.  “I think the key is personalized favors,” says Fischer. Though the couple married in New Jersey, they made the cookies in the shape of fleurs-de-lis, which is the symbol for St. Louis, where they met.

If you’re not the Betty Crocker-type, try store-bought cookies stacked in vintage jars or wrapped in colored cellophane and ribbon. Check out your local vintage store or Etsy.com for some more one-of-a-kind ideas.

Think Charitably

For their fall 2010 wedding in St. Louis; Angela and Justin H donated to the Humane Society. “We put a dog bone on every place setting, so guests knew about the donation. It made sense for us to donate to a cause we support, and since most of our guests have dogs, they were able to take the treat home” said Smith.

Check out the I Do Foundation, where you can make charitable wedding favor donations to an array of charities, in your guests’ names. Other organizations, like Changing the Present, offer specialized gifts for hundreds of charities worldwide at price points as low as $5. Charitable donations can be made as one lump sum, or tailored to your individual guests’ favorite causes.

Personalize

Linda and Criss P had a small 2008 ceremony in his native Ecuador, so for their 2010 wedding celebration in her hometown of Cincinnati, their wedding favors were napkin rings and coasters handmade by Ecuadorian artisans, in a fair-trade project with Peace Corps volunteers the couple know.

Melissa and John K created unique favor baskets with guitar-shaped bubbles and packets of daisy seeds at their July 2006 wedding in Athens, Ohio. We wanted things that spoke to who we are. Daisies are my favorite flower, and I thought “plant the seeds of love,” would be cute. John’s mom found the bubbles online and everyone got a kick out of them since John is an avid musician, says Melissa.

Pick small items that reflect your personalities or shared interests. Consider personalized wine toppers, or monogrammed fans for outdoor weddings or customized boxes filled with your favorite popcorn, candy or nuts.

Think Big

Instead of individual gifts, consider giving one gift to the entire reception party.

At their 2008 wedding in Wadsworth, Ohio, Lindsay and Erik Valiante surprised their wedding party with a catered Taco Bell bar around 10pm. “It was the most popular part of our wedding,” says Valiante, “people still bring it up all the time!”

Consider giving one gift to the entire party, like limousine service back and forth to their hotels, a decorate-your-own cupcake bar or a table of assorted chocolates and small bags for guests to create their own wedding favors. Opt for brands like Choxie (at Target) or Hershey kisses over pricier brands to save money.

Do you have some creative wedding favor ideas? If so we’d love to hear about ‘em. Feel free to share them in the comments section below!

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