As busy wedding season approaches, I am constantly asked if favors are necessary to give wedding guests. With rising costs of weddings, especially the notoriously elaborate weddings of the tri-state area, and an increasing number of couples paying for the wedding themselves, many are asking if its a faux-pas to forgo favors.
Every one has their own opinion on this topic, as it is an age old tradition that goes back centuries; favors were started to thank the guest for coming and showing gratitude to them for making your day that much more special with their presence. Favors began as aristocrats from Europe doled out sugary treats at the end of weddings, as sugar was a luxury commodity, exuding their wealth and royal status. As centuries passed, the trends changed (as they do today!) and the favor of choice turned into the forever popular Jordan Almonds. As sugar became less expensive, the tradition of a wedding favor passed down to the most common of weddings and the rest is history. Flash several hundred years later to present day and favors can be anything - and I mean ANYTHING - the bride and groom wish. I have seen everything from measuring spoon sets, bottle openers, to hand sanitizer...
After shelling out thousands for all of the costs of a wedding, it is understandable that an extra few dollars a person for a coaster with your name on it may be better spent on adding a few more ranunculus' to your gorgeous bouquets - believe me, as a lover of good florals, I get it. However, eliminating favors all together can seem a little too far strayed from the traditional for a wedding, in my opinion. If you want to have a favor, give something useful that won't get dusty in the back of your third cousin's china cabinet. Etsy and Pinterest have an abundance of trendy favor ideas like personalized drink Koozies, singular macaroons in boxes, and glittered mini champagne bottles. My personal favorites are the fresh food favors - candy buffets where guests can make their own bags, coffee and doughnuts on the way out of the venue for the ride home, and nostalgic cotton candy, hot pretzels, and popcorn machines to leave with with a cute label on the front of the bag. Just when guests think the party is over, there's one more surprise in store for them!
Personally, if you're on the fence and low on funds, I would donate what you can to a charity of your choice. Craft a cute frame stating your donation - including a story why this charity is near and dear to your hearts - to be set near the place card table for guests to see as they arrive. Purchase some Jordan Almonds from nuts.com, place them in small craft boxes with printed Avery glossy labels for each seat to match your decor, and you'll be just as trendy as the royals.
Moral of the story, a favor is a thank you, a sweet gesture, and is not expected by anyone. Your guests are there to celebrate the best day of your life with you and will be thankful being in the presence of so much love and happiness!