Although you’re not strictly required to provide wedding favors, guests do appreciate it–and it’s really fun to pick them out! If you would like to offer wedding favors, read on for our top ideas for meaningful, creative, and fun ones. There are favors available for all budgets, so you can offer something small even if you don’t have much to spend. Here are our favorite options.
Customized Scratch-off Cards
Add an element of surprise and excitement with customized scratch-off cards. Create a game or reveal a special message beneath the scratch-off surface. Game examples might be a lottery ticket for which the winner receives a bigger prize, or allow for a few winners and smaller prizes. For example, each card can have a hidden message or symbol that determines the outcome. Some cards might reveal the words “Congratulations! You’ve won a personalized photo frame,” while others could say “Better luck next time!” You could also hold a raffle in which a few winners enter their winning scratch-off cards for a chance to win a grand prize.
Alongside tangible gifts, include surprise elements in the scratch-off cards. For instance, some cards offer a chance to win a dance with you, the newlyweds, or a special toast or roast of the winning guest, to be improvised by you on the spot.
Alternatively, reveal a message with a scavenger hunt clue and send your guests racing around the venue looking for more clues and the ultimate prize at the end of the game.
There are plenty of ways to get creative with this one, and you can easily keep costs down if you so choose.
Personalized Engraved Items
Personalized engraved items are a classic and elegant choice for wedding favors. Things like keychains, bottle openers, and wine stoppers can be engraved with your names and wedding date, your favorite inspirational quote, or an inside joke shared with those present at your wedding. These customized favors add a personal touch and will serve as a reminder of your friendship every time your guests use them.
DIY Succulent or Plant Kits
Love plants and gardening? Bring some greenery into your guests’ lives with DIY succulent or plant kits. Provide small pots, soil, and pre-selected succulents or plant cuttings. Include instructions on how to care for the plants, allowing your guests to nurture and watch them grow. Protip: Get your loved ones started growing your favorite vegetable, then get in on the harvest.
Mini Champagne or Alcohol Bottles
Toast to your special day with mini bottles! If you’re inclined, you can also customize these with labels or tags that show your names and wedding date or something else personal. This is a classic choice for wedding favors, and for good reason; who doesn’t love free alcohol?
Edible Treats with a Twist
Instead of traditional candies or chocolates, opt for edible favors with a homemade twist. Make cookies shaped like wedding rings or mini jars filled with homemade jam. While any tasty food or drink makes a good wedding favor, making something yourself is more special.
Mini Polaroid Cameras
Give guests mini Polaroid cameras as favors at the beginning of the celebration, and encourage them to take candid snapshots throughout the event. Provide a small album or a designated display area where guests can attach some of their photos and leave messages.
Customized Tote Bags, T-Shirts, or Coasters
Give your guests something practical and stylish with customized tote bags, t-shirts, or coasters. Instead of simply printing your names and wedding date on them, get creative by printing a fun design that represents your relationship, a funny quote, or some self-made art. Better yet, if any of your close friends are artists or designers, ask them to design something, and let them incorporate their social media hashtag or website into the design. If your budget is low, go with coasters over tote bags or t-shirts.
DIY Hot Cocoa Kits
Create hot chocolate kits by packaging single servings of hot cocoa mix, marshmallows, and toppings like crushed candy canes or chocolate shavings. Enclose instructions written in your best attempt at fancy or elegant handwriting (just once, then photocopy them) for creating the perfect cup of hot cocoa. To make this gift really special, invest in some good quality raw cacao instead of something like Nesquick.
Scented Candles or Incense
Send your guests home with something that smells way better than their armpits after hours of dancing. Give them sandalwood incense for a hippie vibe or jasmine-scented candles for something homey and cozy. You can also personalize the labels if you’d like to. Money-saving hack: if you don’t want to pay extra to order personalized candles/incense, get generic ones and then slap on self-made labels.
Mini Fairy Gardens
These miniature gardens can include tiny plants, pebbles, and fairy figurines. You can make them by buying small terrariums and filling them with these items. If fairies aren’t your thing, fill them with gnomes, action figures from your favorite fantasy universe, or pretty moss and plants.
Local Specialty Foods or Drinks
Share a taste of your wedding location with your guests by offering local specialty foods or drinks as favors. You might use a jar of regional honey, a bottle of locally brewed craft beer, or a box of handmade chocolates from a nearby chocolatier. These kinds of items make great favors whether guests are from the area and already sold on these specialties, or visiting from out of town and trying them for the first time.
Customized Coffee or Tea Blends
Create custom coffee or tea blends and package them in nice bags or tins. You might include your favorite Costa Rican dark roast, some of those delicious organic coffee beans you tried in northern Thailand, or a selection of nice white, black, and green teas from the far east.
Unique Bookmarks or Keychains
For bookworms or those who appreciate practical favors, consider unique bookmarks or keychains. Look for options that match your wedding theme or incorporate elements that reflect your personalities or interests. For example, if you’re really into middle eastern culture and your guests know that about you, give them keychains of the Hamza or bookmarks with a Hebrew or Arabic prayer or saying on it. As a bonus, bookmarks and keychains are low-budget gifts. That said, if you go for a bookmark, do make sure it’s sturdy and somewhat ornamental.
Lavender Sachets or Bath Bombs
Gift your guests some luxury with lavender sachets or bath bombs. Lavender is known for its calming properties, and these favors will provide guests with a soothing and aromatic experience–something they’ll especially need if they have traveled far to get to your wedding. Package these in nice organza bags or customized boxes for added elegance.
Gourmet Popcorn Tins
Mini tins sectioned off and filled with caramel, cheese, and chocolate-covered popcorn make for excellent wedding favors. Use these flavor suggestions or mix and match with tastes you think your guests will enjoy. You may be able to buy these in bulk, keeping prices low. If you want to go the extra mile with this gift, make plain or mildly salted popcorn at home and then prepare homemade gourmet popcorn seasonings in various flavors like spicy jalapeno, sweet caramel, or tangy BBQ. These seasonings can come in the form of sauces to drizzle onto the popcorn or spice powder mixes you create from combinations of various flavors. Package them in individual sachets for guests to enjoy at home.
Fun Photo Booth Props
Planning to rent a photo booth for use at your wedding? Use silly photo booth props as favors. Provide an assortment of quirky hats, glasses, mustaches, outfits, and signs for your guests to use in the photo booth. Just make sure you buy enough props that each guest can take one item home with them should they like to.
Herb-Infused Olive Oil
This is another great DIY gift that you can make at home without a huge amount of effort. Obtain a large amount of olive oil and some smaller containers. A few weeks or months before your wedding day, infuse the oil with something tasty, like rosemary, garlic, or basil. Let it sit somewhere cool and dark for 2-4 weeks, and shake it every few days to speed the infusion process.
Alternatively, if you don’t have time for that process, heat batches of olive oil in a saucepan on low heat and add the herbs of your choice. Allow their flavors to infuse in this way for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The resulting flavor-packed olive oil makes a classy and delectable wedding favor.
Donation to a Charitable Cause
Instead of investing in material items, consider making a donation to a cause close to your heart on behalf of your guests. Let guests know that for each one of them present, you have donated a particular amount of funds, and share with them why this particular cause is meaningful to the two of you. Make sure they know that they are making a positive impact through their attendance. If you go this route, offer small cards with this information on them.
Mini Personalized Notebooks
Provide guests with mini personalized notebooks that they can use as journals, sketchbooks, or to jot down important notes. Customize the covers with your artwork, a quote, or a special message.
Gift your guests scratch-off maps that allow them to scratch off the places they’ve visited. These maps come in many sizes and can cover the whole world, the USA, or even just a state, region, or a city and its landmarks. They offer a fun way for guests to keep track of their travels and spark conversations with those who visit their home.
Personalized Recipe Books
Compile a collection of your favorite recipes or family recipes into a recipe book for each guest. Include photos, anecdotes, and a heartfelt message to each individual guest to make it extra special.
Customized Photo Frames
Offer photo frames with your names and wedding date, or choose a different way to personalize them, such as decorating them with themed designs that match your wedding aesthetic. Your guests can display their favorite picture from the wedding or another special moment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Wedding Favors
Q: How much should I budget for wedding favors?
A: The budget for wedding favors can vary depending on the number of guests and the type of favors you choose. It’s recommended to allocate around 3-5% of your total wedding budget for favors. That said, it’s your wedding, so you make the rules.
Q: Are DIY wedding favors necessarily more cost-effective?
A: DIY wedding favors can be cost-effective in some cases, but they aren’t always. For example, growing small plants from seed is pretty cost-effective, but homemade bath and body products might be more expensive due to the need to obtain molds, packaging materials, and decent-quality ingredients. DIY doesn’t always imply cost-effectiveness, so if this is what you’re going for, plan wisely and don’t commit to a particular gift until you’ve investigated the true cost per guest.
Q: How far in advance should I order or prepare the wedding favors?
A: It’s best to order or prepare wedding favors at least 2-3 months in advance. This allows enough time for customization, production, and delivery, ensuring that everything is ready for your wedding day.
Q: Can I combine different types of wedding favors?
A: Yes, you can mix and match different types of wedding favors to cater to the preferences and interests of your guests. This adds variety and ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Q: How important is it to personalize the favors?
A: Although there are many suggestions in the list above for personalized items, personalization is entirely up to you and is not strictly necessary. What’s important is to give your guests something fun, interesting or useful that will let them know you’re grateful for their attendance.
Choose fun and memorable wedding favors to add even more joy and fun to your special day. Whether you opt for a scratch-off game, DIY kits, edible treats, or unique experiences, these favors will delight your guests. Take care to select favors that reflect your personality as a couple and convey your appreciation to your loved ones.
Have we got you excited about wedding favors yet? Check out The Knot Shop for fun, creative favors at every price point.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]