Updated: Jan 24
Favours should you have them for your wedding or not? Read more about what favours are, are they a waste of money and the pros and cons to having and not having them on your wedding day. When it comes to wedding favours, there are two groups: one group who love the tradition, and the second group who hate it. Some brides enjoy in creating the perfect take-home favours of cookies or designing monogrammed flasks, while others loathe the idea of spending money on such small, disposable items. Both groups make good arguments: favours are a fun tradition, yet they are an optional expense. There is no etiquette requirement that guests are given favours, so the choice is entirely up to you.
What is the purpose of wedding favours?
Wedding favours are small gifts given as a gesture of appreciation or gratitude to guests from the bride and groom during a wedding ceremony or a wedding reception. They can be also traditionally found placed on the tables at the wedding breakfast next to the guest’s name label.
The history of favours....
Having favours is a tradition going back to the sixteenth century and is along time tradition that you still see in todays weddings. The very first wedding favours were known as 'bonbonnieres' and were gifts given to guests as they are today. The meaning behind a wedding favour is that it is a symbol of good luck.
The traditional wedding favour were sugared coated almonds in organza bags. The sugar coating highlights the wish that the couple's married life will be sweeter rather than bitter. In Italy, they would provide five sugar coated almonds typically handed out to the guests representing health, wealth, cheerfulness, fertility, and long life. To remind their guests that life is both bitter and sweet.
Though favours have changed over the years from sugar almonds to other edible favours, to personalised small gifts e.g., bottle openers. Though you do not have to have favours and could put the money you would spend on favours towards something else you would like for your day. Favours are not a necessity to have for your big day.
But if you decide to do favours the popular ones are edible favours. With favours you can have fun with and put them in to the theme of the wedding. My partner and I had a travel themed wedding, as my partner travels for work and we both like our holidays and travelling all around the world together, so for our favours we used suitcase styles boxes and my partner loves ‘love hearts’ so we placed two small packets of love hearts inside to the suitcases.
A bonus with favours you can also use them as a way of name places on the table, which can save you money instead of creating favours and name places separately.
With the suitcase favours we used the luggage labels that come with them for the name places so killed two birds with one stone, and we put money into something extra we wanted for the day.
Are wedding favours a waste of money?
Sometimes personalized party favours can be left behind at the reception by guests as the day goes on and more drinking is added. If you wish to do favours, I personally suggest going down the edible favours as they are a little treat for your guests to have while they are waiting for the delicious meal to come out specially if you are doing the speeches before food.
Pros and cons to wedding favours
To help you make that decision, check out the following pros and cons of wedding favours:
Pros It is a fun way to thank your guests for attending. Your guests will likely drive or fly a considerable distance to be there on your big day, and they will also give you (at least one) thoughtfully selected gift as well as purchase new outfits or find babysitters. Of course you will send them thank-you notes, but favours are a quicker, more fun way to express your appreciation for the effort they made to help you celebrate.
You can share your favourite treats and trinkets. If you are always telling your friends about the amazing cookies at your local bakery, or you and your new spouse have a special playlist of treasured songs, here is your chance to introduce them to your guests. The wedding is a reflection of you two as a couple and the favours are the last impression they will get, so this is an opportunity to share your favourites.
It is tradition. For centuries, couples have gifted small candies, almonds, and gifts to their guests. There is no shame in wanting to participate in such a big tradition. And sure, favours may have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but at the end of the day, many guests will (secretly) hope for that special parting gift.
It is an opportunity to give back. Candy and picture frames not your thing? Print out cards letting guests know that instead of traditional favours, you have made a donation to a deserving charity. It will be a welcome reminder that weddings are about more than just gifts.
You can provide practical items guests will appreciate throughout the weekend. Welcome bags are becoming more and more popular, with couples stuffing tote bags with essentials like water bottles, ibuprofen, sunscreen, sunglasses, scarves, and snacks and providing one bag to each guest upon arrival (of course, this trend is most common for destination weddings). Guests will be charmed at your thoughtfulness, and you can be confident that the favours will actually help guests have an even better time at your celebration.
It's yet another expense. If you are trying to trim your budget, favours are the easiest element to cut. It is a small luxury that can add up quickly, so before trimming the guest list or finding less expensive vendors, eliminate extras like wedding favours.
Guests may not keep them. Unless your favours are food, there is a good chance those monogrammed wine glasses, candles, or magnets are going in a drawer, never to be seen again. No need to stress over gifts that guests won't use.
Or, they might not even see them! If you opt to place the favours on a table for guests to grab on the way out, in the midst of all the partying, they might not even realize they are available. Placing one at each place setting or having servers hand them out as guests are leaving provides a little more assurance that they will be received. Still, there is a strong possibility that they will be forgotten, since guests move around often throughout the night. Again, there is no need to worry about favours if you are not entirely sure they will end up in guests' hands.
Favours take time to plan. Well-intentioned couples often decide to DIY their favours; for example, they will plan to stuff bags with personalized M&Ms or spend an evening burning 200 copies of their own mixed CD. But when the wedding planning stress begins to build, projects that sounded like fun at first can start to feel more like homework. Even if you are outsourcing your favours, it is still another item on your to-do list. Simplify your life and skip it.
I personally luv favours and is a lovely way to say thank you to your guests for sharing this special day with you. I also luv creating favours and find it fun coming up with unique and individual different favours to go with variety of styled/themed weddings.
If you would like to discuss more about favours and need some advice or help in creating favours please click the link below and contact me. Look forward in hearing from you and creating those special touch favours.