Sandra (name changed for reasons that shall become apparent), wants to know my thoughts on wedding favors. She is in the midst of an on-going debate with friends and family about this and is ready to pull her hair out over it. We absolutely do not want that. It’s very difficult to achieve a dramatic up-do on your wedding day with a bald head. Ask any hair dresser.
One contingent in her clan thinks wedding favors are the height of tackiness and a waste of money. Another group considers them de rigueur and insists she absolutely must have at least one wedding favor for her guests, if not more! It’s reached the point where family members are split on both the bride and the groom’s side and bridesmaids have begun to jump into the fray. Sandra has no strong feelings about wedding favors one way or the other –she just wants the feuding to stop.
So without further ado, here is my advice regarding wedding favors.
1. Back off of this poor girl! This is a rather trivial point to be arguing over. I’ve yet to see favors make or break guests’ enjoyment of a wedding. Both sides are wrong here. Wedding favors are neither improper nor a requirement.
2. Hopefully your guests are not attending your wedding with the expectation of bringing home a haul of assorted goodies, or even a single favor. One would hope they are there to share in the celebration of your commitment to one another. So don’t feel obligated if such things are not in your budget.
3. That being said, wedding favors are a thoughtful gesture and provide an opportunity for some fun and creativity. It is entirely possible to choose something that highlights your colors and/or theme without spending a fortune. Choose something meaningful to you that will forever remind your friends and family of your wedding day.
4. Places specializing in wedding favors can help you select something that captures your personalities without blowing your budget. Have fun with this and don’t let it be one more chore on your to-do list. Selecting a wedding favor that delights and surprises your guests can be a way to lighten up the wedding planning.
Some examples I have seen recently include personalized:
- picture frames –also used as place cards or menu cards
- fans—used for Orders of Service at outdoor weddings in the summer and they are indispensable
- music CDs – compilation of songs meaningful to the bride and groom
- coffee mugs—The couple's first date was an open mic night at a coffee house. I can’t possible describe the mugs, but they were amazing!
- heart shaped measuring spoons—the groom was a chef
- wine glasses—the couple had them custom painted with each guest’s name (small wedding)
- personalized lip balm—apparently an inside joke that I didn’t know, but it definitely meant something to everyone else
- engraved silver plated bookmarks—couple met in college where he was an English major and she was getting her degree in library science.
The quality of the favors, how they are presented to the guests and if they capture your unique relationship determines their suitability more so than just the simple fact they are wedding favors.
My advice in Sandra’s situation is a bit like telling your kids one gets to cut the cake and the other chooses the first piece. Those insisting she have wedding favors can pay for them. While those who think they are tacky can help her pick something appropriate. I suspect that will stop the squabbling right in its tracks.