Play with color by swapping the lids on bright boxes. Affix printed labels, then tie contrasting elastic cording in bows and loop them around corners.
Add your mark with these favors inspired by the packaging of fine chocolatiers. You can cover prepackaged chocolates in personalized paper decorated with your initials, names, or wedding date. Any word-processing program can produce simple type, but a graphics program is needed for more complicated designs. Print on lightweight paper, and finish with slim ribbon.
Favor boxes can look playful or sophisticated with yarn. Many of these ideas use the same technique: Attach the end of yarn to the bottom of a box with a clear round mailing seal. Wind yarn around the box several times, cut off, and affix the other end to the bottom with a second seal. Precut all of your yarn before wrapping.
Tiny bows are the prettiest way to add polish to little favor boxes, but trying to cut evenly notched ends, which keep the ribbon from unraveling, can fray the nerves of the most patient bride. Our quick-fix tip: Center skinny ribbon over one saw-toothed notch of pinking shears, and snip. You'll clip a neat V in seconds, leaving you time to tend to more important details.
If you give charitable donations in guests' names, here's a beautiful way to let them know. Cut 7-by-4-inch pieces from patterned papers. Write or use your computer to print a message on the plain side of each sheet (if you're printing, do so before cutting the paper). Measure and mark papers at 1-inch intervals; fold where marked. Cut top panel into a point. For each, adjust folds to make a hexagon, overlapping top flap, and seal with a monogrammed sticker.
Dress up cellophane bags with decorative paper to showcase candy for favors or guest-room gifts. Cut paper as wide as the bag and as long as the bottom plus 1 inch for the front and the amount you want for the back; fold. Embellish with a personalized message or monogram. Slip liner into bag, and fill bag with candy. Center ribbon along top of bag; fold bag over ribbon twice. Tie ribbon.
Guests are sure to grin when they receive a pair of bright-red lobster lollipops, playful versions of a seaside icon, from Ju-C Suckers. We tied them together with a blue gingham ribbon and attached a custom-stamped hang tag. The good news: no plastic bibs or drawn butter required.
Here's a centerpiece idea that won't have you burning through your budget: In lieu of pricey floral arrangements, display sleek tapers in a variety of shapely glass candlesticks. Inexpensive ones are available at many home decor stores in lots of styles (most of ours are from CB2 and Areo). Mix them in varying heights and designs to create a table that truly shines.