Creative Wedding Favor Ideas That Your Guests Will Enjoy

by Bridestory Aug 09, 2016 | 09:00 in Wedding Ideas  


Photography: Britta Marie Photography

The humble wedding favor is one of the many things that are indispensable to any wedding celebration. Giving out favors and gifts to wedding guests comes so naturally to most couples around the world, but have you ever wondered how it first started? The tradition was actually began long ago by European aristocrats, mainly from France and Italy. It was believed that the bride and groom are associated with good luck, which means that everything they touch would be charmed. By giving out wedding gifts, they are passing the blessing to others.

They would send their guests home with a small gift called a bonbonnière or as Italians call it, bomboniere. A bonbonnière is a box made out of porcelain, metal, or crystal, embellished with precious stones and filled with sugary treats, which were considered as valuable commodity at the time. One particular type of treats that couples often used are called Jordan almonds. The bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the sugar are said to symbolize the ups and downs of marriage.

To this day, wedding favors are still given out in the form little gifts as a token of appreciation. Modern-day brides have in fact become more and more creative in crafting their wedding favors that the options seem to be endless. To help you narrow down your favor options, below are some foolproof ideas that many couples have chosen over the years.

Photography: Branco Prata - Byron Loves Fawn

Edible treats
There are a few advantages of giving out edible wedding favors. First, you can get creative with them and personalize them according to your preferences. Next, you can be sure that your guests will actually want them. And lastly, well, they are adorable and will look great in your wedding album.

When presenting your guests with edible favors, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First, the packaging needs to be handy and compact, so that it doesn't trouble you or your guests. Next, think of the storage space as well as the storage time between the production and your wedding day. You can't order 1,000 boxes of homemade cookies for your wedding only three months prior. Surely, they won't be in the freshest condition when the day comes. On the other hand, you don't want to fill your fridge with thousands of cookies, do you? And finally, think of your overall theme and decide which one of those delightful favors matches your personality and wedding perfectly. For example, we love the idea of giving out a jar of honey or a fragrant box of coffee beans for a rustic wedding or pretty cupcakes and cookies for one with a romantic tea-party theme.

If you want to present your own delectable gifts for your guests to gobble and love, check out Belle et Petite, Cait&Becs, Guilt Desserts, or Mainichi to find your perfect selection.

Photography: Justin DeMutiis - Julie Paisley

Gifts you can plant
Other than edible favors, couples are now giving out favors that are alive and breathing, plants. A little pot of succulent, a gardening kit, or even seed papers for your guest to grow their very own tiny garden are perfect for any kind of wedding. This kind of wedding favor will be especially suitable for an outdoor celebration, especially an eco-friendly wedding held close to nature.

Photography: Justin DeMutiis - Lauren Kinsey

Wearable items
Up next are wedding favors that your guests can wear. Wearable favors are great, as they ensure that the favors won't go to waste after the wedding. Favors like sunglasses, pashminas, flip-flops, or handkerchiefs are some examples, but we're sure you can think of other great things too. It would be even greater if you can make sure that your favors will be useful during your wedding celebration. For instance, sunglasses or flip-flops for a beach wedding and a pashmina for a breezy fall wedding.

Photography: Emily Scannell - Tracey Ayton

Giving stationery as your wedding favor is an easy and economical choice. As stationery items are usually mass produced, the cost per item will become very affordable. To keep the items from looking boring or lacking in personality, personalize the notes, bookmarks, envelopes, journals, or any favors of your choice with your initials or a custom-made design. You can also prepare some stickers beforehand if you've invited children to come to your wedding.

Photography: Andrea Patricia Photography - Rebecca Hansen Weddings

Kitchen trinkets
Shot glasses, coasters, salt and pepper shakers, mason jars, mugs, tea diffusers, bottle openers, water bottles, stamped spoons, the options are endless. They can be thematic; think tea diffusers for a wedding inspired by the English countryside or jam-filled mason jars on a rustic fall wedding. They're also very useful, so it is without a doubt that your guests will love receiving them as much as you love giving them.

Favors by: Elantier / Photography: Veronica Halim

Scented favors
Try giving scented favors for your guests to use on themselves or for their home. Fragrant soaps, bath salts and bath oils, perfume all make wonderful gifts for your guests to pamper with after a tiring day. If you prefer to give something for the home, essences, scented candles, and potpourri are options that you should consider.

To make your scented gifts even more memorable, you can also personalize the scent, creating your very own personal scent as a couple. Think of it as the aroma your guests will remember your wedding day by, which means that when they smell it, they will reminisce all the happy moments they had during your once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Aside from the things we've mentioned above, there are still lots of other favor alternatives that you can choose from. All you have to do is be creative and put yourself in your guests' shoes. Give them things that will make them feel appreciated. If you were a wedding guest, would you be happy to receive the favor that you had in mind? If you're not that excited about it yourself, chances are your guests will feel the same way.

Photography: Jessica Loren

Wedding welcome bags
Other than all the wedding favors that we've talked about above, there is another great idea that especially suits a destination wedding. A welcome bag is basically a hamper that you give to your guests as a welcome gift and a token of your gratitude for attending your wedding. They are versatile, beautiful, and most of all, they keep your guests happy. Typically given to guests arriving at destination wedding venues, these hampers will be a delightful gesture that your guest will definitely remember.

Creating a welcome bag for your guests is actually not that hard to do. Take a look at the slideshow below to know how to create the perfect wedding welcome bag.

  • Photography: Melissa Jill - Ruth Eileen

    Step #1: Pick a container

    First things first, choose your container. Find something easy and versatile like a paper bag, basket, or tote bag. To give it a personal touch, embellish it with your monogram or initials. Keep it simple and tasteful, though, so your guests can still use it even long after the wedding.

  • Photography: Melissa Jill - Ruth Eileen

    Step #2: Greet them with a thank-you note

    Greet your guests with a little thank you note inside the bag. You can briefly explain the contents of the bag and what to do with them along with some sweet words for your guests who have travelled far for your wedding. To make things easier, you can type all the notes and then personally address and sign each one instead of handwriting them one by one.

  • Photography: Melissa Jill - Ruth Eileen

    Step #3: Add some beverages

    It’s a simple yet sweet gesture to include bottled water in the welcome bag, as it’s a basic necessity that is easily overlooked. If you like, you can also put in some isotonic drinks for a tropical wedding or alcoholic drinks like wine, champagne, or beer. Imagine how excited your guests will be to pop some champagne after a long trip. Bliss!

  • Photography: Melissa Jill - Ruth Eileen

    Step #4: Add some quick bites

    After the drinks, come the munchies. Put in some snacks in the bag for your guests to nibble on, such as chips, cheese, cookies, chocolate, or candy. Do make sure that the snacks are fresh and in good condition when your guests arrive. You can also indulge your guests with special local treats, such as packed peanuts for a wedding in Bali.

  • Photography: Melissa Jill - Ruth Eileen

    Step #5: Include your wedding itinerary

    Print out a wedding itinerary so your guests will know where they should be and when. It would be even better if you could provide a mini guide that includes details of their dress code, transportation options, and ways to reach the designated venue.

  • Photography: Virgil Bunao - Corbin Gurkin

    Step #6: Prepare a short city guide

    If you're having a destination wedding, your guests will most likely stay at least a few nights before or after the wedding. That's why, you should provide them with a mini tourist kit. Include a city map marked with interesting places to visit or dine in. Also provide a public transportation guide which will come very, very handy.

  • Photography: Melissa Jill - Ruth Eileen

    Step #7: Don’t forget weather-related essentials and a hangover recovery kit

    Being the thoughtful couple that you are, you would want to equip your guests with some weather-proof essentials and perhaps a hangover recovery kit. For the weather-essential kit, you can provide some sunscreen or an umbrella, depending on the local weather. For the hangover recovery kit, pack some aspirin in a cute container. Another creative idea: a do-not-disturb hanger!

  • Photography: Melissa Jill - Ruth Eileen

    Step #8: Pack and deliver!

    Now all that’s left to do is pack all the goods and they’re good to go. Be sure to plan the delivery really carefully. If the welcome bag doesn’t reach your guest in time, then it would be a waste of a well-made gift. Send the welcome bags to your wedding destination and get your family and friends to help out with the distribution. It would be even better if you could place the bags in the hotel rooms to welcome your guests after they check in. If that is not possible, ask the concierge to pass them on when your guests check in.

Styling a welcome bag
There are many ways to style a wedding welcome bag. We highly recommend styling your welcome bag according to your wedding theme. For instance, you can use rattan baskets with some greenery for a rustic wedding or use tote bags with simple, geometric prints for a modern wedding. For an even more personal touch, incorporate your wedding colors or theme.

Photography: Branco Prata

How to save money on wedding favors
Wedding favors might be small, but they can take up a big chunk out of your wedding budget before you know it. If the amount you need to spend on wedding favors seems overwhelming, take a look at the tips below on how you can save on wedding favor spending.

Shop in bulk or online
Wholesale deals offer cheaper prices for large quantities, trimming your cost per item. This rule usually applies for candy, soaps, fans, and other mass-produced wedding favors. You can also try shopping online and comparing the prices with local vendors to get the best deals. Don't forget to also calculate shipping costs and taxes when you're shopping online, as they can add up and might tip the budget scale.

Make your own favors
One thing to try is to make the wedding favors yourself, especially if you've splurged on other wedding elements like your wedding dress or decorations. It's time to put on your DIY cap and get your creative juices flowing. There's no need to over-think; simple homemade jam, cookies or scented candles will leave a lasting impression on your guests. Keep in mind to make the favors ahead of time so you won't rush on the last minute. This idea will better suit intimate weddings with few guests. If you're planning a grand celebration with thousands of guests, don't force yourself. Remember, you have many other things that you should focus on.

Photography: Carlie Statsky

Make your favors multitask
Wedding favor options are endless, which is exactly why you can have them double duty as other wedding elements. Succulent plants can double as escort cards with name and table numbers. You can also group vases of tiny flowers as centerpieces and ask your guests can take one home at the end of the night. Another idea is to place individual servings of your wedding cake in boxes as wedding favors to take home.

Think outside the box
Last but not least, don't get stuck with the idea of what a favor should be. Look for unique, low-budget alternatives. For instance, you can present your guests with a CD filled with your favorite songs as a couple, or provide a photo booth space for them to snap and print photos as a keepsakes to remember the day by. Another clever replacement is to donate for charitable causes in the name of your guests. This kind of "wedding favor" is eco-friendly, thoughtful, and more sustainable in the long run.

Cut the list
If all else fails, cut the guest list. Since the number of wedding favors you have to pay is directly linked to the size of your guest list, then the last thing you can do is trim the list itself. This will also help you save on catering and decoration, since you won't have to pay as much food and rent as many chairs.


  • Photography: Branco Prata | Carlie Statsky | Britta Marie Photography | Adam Barnes | Avery House | Brandon Kidd | Corbin Gurkin | Jen Fariello | Judy Pak | Kat Harris | Jessica Loren | KT Merry | Kurt Boomer | Laura Murray | Melissa Jill | Virgil Bunao | via Pinterest | Ruth Eileen | Byron Loves Fawn | Andrea Patricia Photography | Rebecca Hansen Weddings | Julie Paisley | Justin Demutiis |

    Veronica Halim Calligraphy

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