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How to Pick Meaningful Wedding Favors

Our Editor-at-Large, Darcy Miller, walks you through this important choice.

Editor at Large
olive oil wedding favors
Photography by: Michele Beckwith

As your wedding date draws near, you've probably given some thought to big-day favors. There's actually no "wedding rule" saying that favors must be given, but I personally think they're nice, and when I entertain, I always like to send guests off with a little something. On that topic, here's a question I hear a lot: How can I make sure our wedding favors are meaningful? If you're doing favors, of course you want to offer one that means something to you—and to your guests—so it won't just be discarded. Ask yourself these questions.

 

RELATED: 24 Bridal Shower Favors That Cost $10 or Less

 

What location do you both love?

If you both grew up in Vermont, you could give little bottles of maple syrup. A couple engaged in Paris might give macarons. Think of where you met or where you're marrying, and seek out local treasures.

 

What is your shared passion?

Do you do the crossword on Sundays? Give custom puzzles with personalized pencils. Wine lovers could monogram mini bottles. Love Vegas? Why not slip scratch-o tickets into escort cards? Almost any graphic can be turned into a framed print—Minted is a great source.

 

What causes are close to your heart?

Consider sourcing responsible, sustainable products from vendors such as the Little Market and Ten Thousand Villages, which support communities around the world. Or make a donation to a charity or social enterprise in lieu of favors, and give guests a token to mark it, like a pink flower for a Breast Cancer Research Foundation donation. Or do both: OneHope offers mini bottles, and part of the profits feeds children in need.

 

What can serve double duty?

Favors can be combined with other details: Slide escort cards into luggage tags for a destination wedding. Book lovers can make place cards from calligraphed bookmarks. Or make take-home centerpieces of small plants or bud vases with single blooms.

 

What would be useful right away?

Go entirely out of the favor box and think about what is most practical. Maybe give in-palette wraps to women and pocket squares to men (it's like making everyone part of your wedding party!). Personalized phone chargers (fully charged, of course) adorned with a custom design or your wedding hashtag are handy. Or you can try thinking about end-of-evening or next-morning needs: a ride pass for a car service, donuts from a local shop, or a coffee gift card. All are just little ways to treat your guests.