Do Them a Favour!

Written by    Last updated: April 25, 2011

Traditional, modern, glamorous, or fun, wedding favours are a great way of showing your appreciation with a lovely souvenir for your guests.

Wedding stationary

From Confetti Shop, clockwise from top left: Favour Basket | Sunflower Seed Favours | Purple Rose Tin Candle | Ivory Foam Rose Flower

Wedding favours are basically grown-up versions of goody bags – a little token that guests can take away with them. They’re usually integrated into your colour theme and placed at each guest’s table setting as a token of thanks. They can be personalised to the event, long-lasting and elegant, or a simple, edible treat.

What are wedding favours?

Traditional wedding favours are sugared almonds, also known as ‘Jordan almonds’ or ‘confetti almonds’. Five are given to represent health, happiness, fertility, long life, and wealth. Almonds (dragees) come in a range of colours, perfect for matching specific colour themes, and are usually presented in a small net bag – a presentation known as a bomboniere. As couples get more involved in the details of their big day, choosing less conventional favours is a great way of personalising things. Gourmet jelly beans, chocolate dragees and luxury chocolates are finding their way onto reception tables.

Breaking the ice

Favours can be a fantastic way for guests to get to know each other, and there are lots of ideas that can contribute to the celebratory mood. Sparklers wrapped with organza ribbon are a great idea, particularly for an outdoor summer party. Bubbles are also fun – just remember to get non-staining, non-toxic bubbles. Our wedding table trivia boxes are filled with humourous questions with multiple choice answers that will test your guests’ knowledge and get them talking.

Out of the ordinary

Couples are getting creative with their gift giving. Scented oils, candles, potted orchids, lottery tickets and seed packets containing the bride and groom’s favourite flower have all made appearances on fashionable favours lists.

Alternatively, objects that have special meaning to the couple can double up as place names. Cleaned, polished river rocks can be engraved with the guest’s name, creating a lovely paperweight. Pots of heather honey make great favours at a Scottish fete. Home-baked biscuits dusted with coloured sugar can be wrapped in transparent bags for a yummy party take-away.

Make your own favours

If you feel that ready-made favours are a little impersonal, filling favour boxes and small organza bags with your own treats is a great way to add a personal touch.

Some boxes come assembled but many are flat packed, so you can build and decorate them to your own specifications. You can fill them with an assortment of bulk sweets, or surprise guests and fill them with something out of the ordinary like a flower bulb, a piece of fun jewellery or a small toy. Use metallic markers to write guests names on each box and your favours can double as place markings.

Top favour tips

• Decorate plain boxes with a ribbon or trims so that they co-ordinate with your colour scheme.

• Provide different favours for children such as colourful sweets or colouring books and crayons.

• Male and female guests can have different wedding favours. Your male guests might appreciate top hat-shaped favour boxes filled with chocolates, while female guests will love a frosted votive candle.

• Give each guest an alcohol miniature – perhaps a spirit port for the male guests and Baileys or tequila for the women. They can enjoy them during the wedding or take them home as keepsakes.

• If you decide to give alcohol miniatures, present them in a personalised gift tube or stylish clear gift bag.

• Instead of an edible favour, give guests a selection of party treats such as mini sparklers, balloons and party poppers.

• Encourage lively conversation with table centrepieces of table trivia. Guests will enjoy them during the reception and can take them home afterwards.

• Personalise gifts with your names. Attach personalised tags or labels to your favours.

• Use different coloured tulles to add a little extra interest when creating your own bomboniere.

Favour idea brainstorm

• indoor sparklers

• fortune cookies

• miniature picture frames containing place cards

• luxury corkscrews

• engraved silver key chains

• hand painted glassware (could be used at the reception)

• cuddly stuffed animals

• paper fans (great in the summer)

• tree saplings

• donations to your favourite charity (explain with a note on each table)

• votive candles

• little blank journals

• tulip bulbs

• lottery tickets

• sunscreen (great at a barbecue or beach party)

• polished hip flasks

• tree ornaments.

Favours for kids

• mini musical teddy bears

• beach balls

• kites

• frisbees

• crayons

• comic books

• kazoos

Find more great advice on our Wedding Planning pages!

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