Quickie Question: To Favor or Not To Favor?

(Illustration via Exclusively Weddings, where you can buy the organza favor bags for $3.95 per 10)

Some people can’t imagine a wedding without them. Others consider them a pointless expense. Me? I gave favors. They were Jordan almonds tied up in squares of tulle. I did buy the tulle pre-cut, but I just bought a reel of ribbon and bulk candy. I only bought the tulle pre-cut because I’m not the world’s best at cutting a straight line and I found them pretty cheap.

And I’m going to come clean: I gave favors mostly because I love Jordan almonds, and this was a great excuse to buy a whole bunch. I knew that a fair number would be left behind, because Jordan almonds are one of those things that most people either love or loathe. So I figured those who loved them would enjoy getting a few, and those who loathed them would leave them behind, whereupon I could eat them.

But if I hadn’t found a good deal on both the almonds and those tulle squares… yeah, I wouldn’t have bothered.

My experience as an avid wedding-attender for more than forty years is that if the favor isn’t edible… an awful lot get left behind by guests who can’t imagine a use for them. Chocolates, cookies, spice blends, or little pots of homemade jam are often actually popular. Even if the guest doesn’t want them, they know someone who will be thrilled to get them. But what exactly does one do in years to come with a wineglass painted with someone else’s name and wedding date on it?

As a guest, if the favor isn’t edible (or otherwise easily consumable, like pretty soaps), I usually manage to artfully ‘forget’ to take it. I don’t need a toy prize for coming to your wedding, and I don’t need extra clutter. Casa Twistie is already more than cluttered enough, thank you very much.

As a wedding blogger, if a bride is looking for a place to cut the budget, favors are in my top five places to trim without causing any problem. Favors are optional. Favors cost money. I’ll merrily tell people not to bother at all with them.

All the same, I gave favors and have enjoyed quite a few over the years. Mostly, I admit, of the chocolate or Jordan almond variety, but I have liked them.

What about all of you? Did you give favors? Do you plan to give favors?

Oh, and if I were getting married now and had the budget to do this, I would absolutely give candy bars from this company. Just reading over the flavors is making me hungry!

11 Responses to “Quickie Question: To Favor or Not To Favor?”

  1. Linda says:

    If it means something to you and it won’t break your budget, go for it. Just don’t be upset if people leave them behind. We gave out bottle openers. We went to each table and handed them out to guests as a thank you for coming.

  2. Amber says:

    I like your view on favors, and I wholeheartedly agree! The Mr. and I will be making homemade truffles (something we love to do). We’re both excited and nervous to be tackling a 600 piece, 6 flavor order for the wedding, but 1/2 dozen seemed like the right amount per guest! 🙂

  3. Nina says:

    We’re thinking of giving books as favors-our wedding is themed around one. It would be one book per person, and a kid-appropriate book to each of the kids.

  4. I think it’s a common sense of “thanks” to your guests to give favors. I do prefer little pieces of cake or candy to silly trinkets. Most guests give large sums of money to attend a wedding. In New York it averages $300/couple. It is nice to give them something back. I do not like when people donate money on your behalf in lieu of a favor. I think this is tacky. It would be better to state that we are donating a percentage of monetary gifts given to the bride and groom. We make Wedding Cakes so I may be a bit bias to the sweets;)

  5. Kimks says:

    We did favors- we gave corks with a quarter placed in the top and our signatures and date on them. This is a take on an old tradition of putting a pound coin in the cork of a bottle of champagne or a 100 peseta coin in the cork of a bottle of wine-for the Britts, traditionally these corks are saved and are to be used when the money is needed for more champers. In Spain, it’s a gesture of wishing luck, fortune and wine, traditionally done with the first bottle of wine at a party. My husband and I started signing and collecting corks when we celebrated something while we were dating. Our Corks are now held in square vases around the house- it is a fun scrapbook. We tried it with dollar coins and couldn’t get them to balance. The favors were a fun representation of our backgrounds, our history as a couple, and cheap. They were placed at every place setting. I know most of the guests kept them- I have seen them in several of their homes.
    Our wedding was a small destination wedding, and we had picked up the tab for a fair amount of the guests travel and meal expenses, as well as welcome baskets- which are a whole other topic- I felt that a favor wasn’t needed. My Husband came up with the cork idea, I liked it and he ran with it.

  6. Toni says:

    I wasn’t planning on doing favors, but I ended up baking cookies the morning of the wedding, so I put them in cute bags and gave those out.

  7. Katie says:

    We didn’t bother with favours. Ultimately, it was one more thing to think about and pay for and it just wasn’t that important to us.

  8. Margaret says:

    We gave cookies at my son’s wedding! None were left.

  9. A simple gestures goes all the way especially if you want to thank those that came to celebrate this very special day. In return, a small favor can help your guest to remember this day. And the beauty, you do not have to spend a fortune on favors.

  10. Cone says:

    I was at a wedding where they gave out wrenches and tulip bulbs as favours. I thought it was a great idea.

  11. We’re giving away a picture postcard to all our guests and boxes filled with fruit cake with almond essence and sugary-marzipan topping!