Wedding favors. They can be amazing and something you’ll take home and cherish or they hit the garbage right after you walk in the door.
Recently I was scrolling through Instagram Reels and really cute wedding favor videos kept popping up.
Not your old-school piece of fruit cake with a ribbon around it.
Just search “wedding favors” on Instagram and you’ll see loads of cute ideas that event planners are using for their clients.
Because there are so many #WeddingFavors ideas, it can be hard to choose, so how do you choose something special that your guests will actually want?
What are the current and coveted wedding favors that guests will actually keep?
When you treat a wedding favor like a gift being given to loved ones, instead of an obligation on a long checklist, it becomes easier to select something people will actually appreciate, remember and keep.
As a wedding planner, helping your clients select wedding favors for guests is like selecting art. It has to be done with the couples’ tastes, personalities, hobbies, and wedding theme in mind.
Digging deep and getting to know the couple will help you choose a gift that feels personal, which will make a lasting impression on the guests.
Considering that most wedding planners offer the same services, it’s important to have something that makes you unique, and this could be the perfect opportunity.
Even Martha Stewart herself feels wedding favors matter. She says, “ For the ultimate ending to the perfect day, send them off with something to remember the festivities by.”
Although they are nice to have, they aren’t essential, so some budget-conscious clients might want to opt-out of giving wedding favors, but it’s important to remind them that they don’t have to be as expensive as many people think.
In fact, according to a 2019 survey, the average cost of favors in 2019 was only $400!
You can work within almost any budget because there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wedding favors for guests. That’s what makes them so versatile, and yet so hard to choose.
That’s why you’re getting the “Coles notes” version today…
Three categories that wedding favors fall into:
- Practical & Useful
- Personal (based on something the couple loves or collects), and
- Theme-based (especially if it is a destination wedding)
You can also think about how and when the wedding favors will be given.
Should they be given at the end of the night?
Do you want them to be at each plate setting?
Or should they be given at the beginning of the wedding?
The Founder & CEO of Table + Teaspoon, Liz Curtis, suggests giving out practical favors, like candy, at the start of the wedding to make guests more comfortable.
If you’re trying to make heads or tails of all the available options, use this as a checklist to help you narrow your search and choose the right wedding favors for your clients.
Top 10 wedding favors for guests
- Custom Cookies
Okay, so maybe the guests won’t keep this wedding favor for long, but hopefully, they’ll snap some pics and share them on social media (tagging away) before devouring this sweet treat.
Some popular ideas to consider are:
- Macaroons – ideal for a variety of colors
- Sugar cookies
- Cookie decorating kits
- S’mores kits
Fun ways to customize the cookies are:
- Writing the couples’ names and wedding date
- Stamping the couple’s image
- Funny words or phrases
- Theme-based shapes, like wedding bells
- Custom colors
The cookie itself doesn’t have to be the only thing that’s customized; the packaging can be tailored to the couple’s special day as well.
In fact, custom labels and packaging can apply to anything on this Top Ten Wedding favors for Guests list! It is the perfect opportunity to be hands-on and create a DIY portion of the favors with Canva, which is a beautiful and user-friendly option (an app your clients probably already have on their phones and computer!)
What better way to symbolize the start of a new couple’s journey than with a plant that guests need to grow, care for and nurture?
Some popular plant picks are:
- Tree seedlings
Want one less thing to think about? The plants can even double as placeholder cards. Brilliant!
- Sweet & Spicy Sauces
Not only are sweet and spicy sauces a nice, practical gift, but they also give the opportunity for lots of wedding-based puns. I won’t bore you by listing any here, but if you have a couple of good ones you want to share, use the comment section below. 🙂
Consider giving various flavors, from various flowers. Honey from wildflowers is an excellent choice. Of course, buying local is the best option, especially if there’s a sweet story.
Locally sourced maple syrup is a huge hit. Adding the couple’s favorite waffle or pancake recipe would be a lovely personal touch.
With so many flavors and varieties, consider giving guests the option of which one they choose at the wedding favor table, or perhaps a 3-pack?
I think we have all been gifted mugs and know that there are a few important things that go into choosing “your favorite mug.”
First, it’s ideal when they don’t burn you if you put them in the microwave. Better yet, it’s nice when they don’t spark and start a fire — that means no metal, even if it makes the writing prettier. Form follows function.
Secondly, it’s what’s on the outside that counts. The key to a successful mug is the theme or type:
And last, but not least, something larger than 11 oz. is preferable. My personal favorite is 15-20 oz. mug!
- Custom Cupcakes or Cake Pops
Almost everyone loves getting treats, especially from a yummy, local bakery. Not only are cupcakes and cake pops trendy, delicious, and highly customizable, but they give the perfect opportunity to offer variety.
Why just give one kind when you can give a three-pack of mini cupcakes or cake pops — chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry?
You can even select them based on the season.
Studies have proven that olfactory memories are stronger than other sense memories, so a candle that smells like wedding cake would make a pretty memorable wedding favor, don’t you think?
If it’s a destination wedding, the candle’s scent can work within that theme, like pineapple, coconut, or lavender.
This wedding favor also allows for a lot of creativity in how it’s presented, whether it’s in a custom tin or in a unique shape.
Offering both red and white wine is sure to please even the toughest critic. Buying from a local winery, and adding a custom label is what makes this wedding favor a favorite.
But what do you do for your guests who don’t drink?
Offer a non-alcoholic wine option.
There are lots of excellent choices out there. This is where it’s important to talk to your clients and see if they can identify how many non-alcoholic bottles you should order based on their guest list.
Since almost everyone cooks or bakes — or has someone in their household who does.
A few wonderful options to consider are:
- A spice blend for dips, soups, popcorn, meat, etc.
- A secret spice blend for the couples famous pumpkin pie (or some variation of this concept) with a recipe attached
- Pink Himalayan salt
Spices make for a nice and practical wedding favor.
This is a wedding favor you might want to consider giving out at the start of the wedding to give everyone a little sugar rush to get them through the day.
Some popular picks:
- Chocolate (like Hershey Kisses)
- Jelly beans
- Gummy bears
- Hot Lips
- Conversation Hearts
(Photo credit Fun365.com)
- Warm Beverages
Hot beverages seem to have the universal ability to bring comfort and joy to people, so it’s safe to say that this would be an excellent choice as a wedding favor for guests.
What are the top three picks?
- A special blend of Tea
- Coffee Beans
- Hot chocolate kit
Pro tip: Not everyone has a coffee grinder, so have one at the wedding favor table, with extra bags, for those who need to grind the beans.
After all, it’s all in the details!
For more wedding favors suggestions, here are 49 best wedding favors for couples from The Knot.
Bonus: Virtual Wedding favors for Guests
When hosting a virtual wedding, think of all the money a couple saves on things like:
….so they can afford to splurge on wedding favors!
Sending thoughtful wedding favors can make the virtual wedding seem a lot more personal and memorable, helping connect the guests to one another.
Anything that makes them feel involved is important.
Ideally, having them all participate in the same thing, at the same time, with the same item(s) can make a big difference. Like having a toast with the same champagne flutes, for example.
Some fun ideas of virtual wedding favors for guests are:
- A warm beverage & treat kit
- A postcard & photo booth prop kit
- A sparkling beverage kit
- A mocktail kit
As you know, being a wedding planner is a big responsibility, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Being part of one of the most important days of someone’s life is an honor, so every detail matters, and selecting the perfect wedding favors for guests will leave a lasting impression.
In fact, I still remember receiving a beautiful espresso set as a wedding favor when I was just 10 years old (I won’t tell you how long ago that was)!
Do you have a wedding favor that sticks out in your mind? If so, let me know in the comment section below.