The Edition: No. 114

Jul 23, 2019

One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man. ~Marlo Thomas

Scared. Sunday night is the new Monday morning and workers are miserable.

Discounted. LOFT is having an amazing sale. This vibrant striped top and $20 pinstriped, work trouser caught my eye.  I bought this to.die.for one-piece swimsuit in lavender.

Tabbed. The Bride and MOH discuss the financial and emotional costs of the wedding.

Jeweled. Loved these chain hoop earrings and simple earcuffs from Revolve.

Slowed. Should you tell your boss about your slacker co-worker?

Scored. The blog’s biggest seller in July? This $89 wrap dress, also in petite.

Skipped. What ‘good’ Dads get away with. (Oldie, but goodie.)

Decorated. My favorite place for affordable home decor is Pier1’s clearance section.  Their accent pieces can really spruce up your bookshelves.

Tracked. Why you shouldn’t put your work e-mail on your personal phone.

Darkened. Trying this brightening Ole Henriksen eye cream pre-wedding. Will report back.

Grouped. Getting serious about adult friendships.

Married ladies: Did you have gift bags or favors at your wedding?  If so, what were they?

Everyone: If you’ve ever received a wedding favor you really loved, what was it?

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  1. evie says:

    Had destination wedding. Instead of wedding favours, gave out a gift bag per room containing local consumable products: a bottle of pineapple wine and a box of local fruit/nut flavoured tea

  2. Linda says:

    Years ago, we went to an outdoor wedding, where the parking lot was not lit. The favors were flashlights that said “light up your life with” the couple, and included a magnetic clip so you could put the flashlight on your fridge. The flashlight is long since dead, but we still have the clip and think about the couple whenever we see it. It was perfect,

  3. Nina says:

    My favorite wedding favors have always been food! (And my least favorite have been home-decor — that matched the wedding’s theme — or things personalized with the couple’s initials). One unique idea: the bride had a buffet table of varied desserts and, instead of serving the actual cake, sent home slices in a box. So fun!

  4. Emily says:

    I tried that Ole Henriksenn Eye Cream and it completely dried out the entire area around my eyes. It took three weeks of using Cocoa butter on my eyes before my skin returned to normal. It has great reviews online, so I’m probably just an anomaly, but proceed with caution.

    On the wedding favor front, we got coasters from one couple that we loved. It didn’t have their name or wedding date on it, just cute photos of places that meant something to their relationship (they were huge travelers) and we use them frequently.

    Also, it’s less practical, but I had a hill staffer friend who gave out campaign style buttons and bumper stickers with the bride and grooms last names as though they were running mates. It was cute!

  5. V says:

    Only good favor I ever got: small white plastic bottle opener with bride and groom’s names on it and the date in ink that matched our bridesmaid’s dresses. Still using my collection of them, 25 years later.

    Blergh: candied almonds

  6. Alleira says:

    We got married in Vermont, which is where Lake Champlain Chocolates is based. We really liked their chocolate, so we ordered the chocolate as the favor. I liked it because most people enjoy chocolate and we weren’t giving something that most people would just toss immediately upon going home.

  7. Em says:

    We did welcome bags and favors at the wedding. The welcome bags had advil, water bottles, and the agenda for the wedding.

    For favors at the wedding were custom corks and purse hook coins. We scattered them on the dining tables so people would see them. So many friends of mine have had people miss the favor table if it is off to the side somewhere.

    I’ll admit that my parents picked the purse hook coin things as the second favor. I thought it was silly. Then I got one… and I use it all the time at bars and such around the city.

  8. duchessbelle says:

    For those who had to fly and stay over, we did tote bags with a coffee mug from the inn and the other usual things (Advil, map of area, etc). Then at the wedding the place cards doubled as favors and were mini bottles of olive oil (ordered 5 gallons from the best deli in the Bronx and then diy-ed the bottles and name tags).

  9. Eliza says:

    We made a donation to charity as our favor. My experience is that favors usually either get left behind or put in the trash, so we wanted to do something that was more meaningful. We just put a little note at the bottom of the menu card thanking them and letting them know about the donation in their honor.

    We made welcome bags for our out-of-town guests that the hotels handed out as guests checked in. We included local snacks, drinks, and an emergency kit (first-aid, advil, safety pins, etc.).

    • Alicia says:

      I came to say, I really enjoyed the favor from friends who did a donation to charities. It’s more meaningful (especially since some of the orgs were ones that I had a connection to) and I also didn’t have another item that I had to hoard, simply to remember their wedding.

    • Melanie says:

      We also donated to three organizations that were important to us as individuals and one that represented our shared interest. We noted at the end of our wedding program what the charities were and why they were important to us.

      I have to admit that one of the most thoughtful wedding gifts we received was a donation to the food bank in our community to serve dinner the night of our wedding. The gift giver tied the donation card to a wooden spoon with a simple note about feeding friends, family and community is the recipe for a good life. I still use the wooden spoon daily 20 years later.

    • Mercedes says:

      Yes – we did this too! We donated to the Miracle League, a nonprofit that organizes a baseball league for children with special needs. We had a framed sign by the seating cards stating that “in lieu of a favor, a donation has been made to…” and talking about the organization.

      • E says:

        We did these gift cards to a charity where the wedding guest could opt to go online and choose the specific recipient if they chose to. If not and the card went in the trash, the charity still had the $ donation.

  10. Kate Furman says:

    We had a basket of chocolates near the exit so people grabbed as many as they wanted on their way out. And a cute sign next to the basket with a thank you note on it.

    We also hired a photobooth at the wedding, and the photo strips doubled as favors.

    • NK says:

      Basically did the same thing, but had bowls of Lindt chocolate truffles on the table so that people who wanted could partake and it minimized wastage. Non edible favors generally get trashed immediately or in the next house purging.

    • Michelle says:

      That’s interesting, I never thought of the photobooth as favors! I was struggling to justify the cost of it.

  11. AttiredAttorney says:

    For a hotel gift bag, I always like getting bottled water and some snacks. A plus if they’re local or have some connection to the location of the wedding (ie Coke and Peanuts in Georgia). I don’t understand why some couples still put copies of commercial/massed produced maps and brochures in hard copy in these bags. If there are complex instructions to the wedding events, or the wedding is in a place with poor cell phone reception, a specific map or directions is nice, but I hate all the wasted paper.

    As a guest, I’m fine with no wedding favors. In fact I’d rather you invest the extra couple of bucks per guest on making the party really nice, rather than sending me home with something. If favors are truly a must, I like receiving edibles that are small/easy to carry or can be eaten on site. One wedding I went to, the bride and her grandmother had home canned special jam, but they were in regular sized jam jars. This meant that people had to check their bags if they were flying home, which few people wanted to do. In addition, almost everyone went out to other bars after the reception was over, and I saw plenty of jam jars left on the tables both at the after party and the reception as a result.

    • Nadine says:

      One of my favourite favours was a homemade jar of jam, but the jar was tiny and adorable, and the jam was absolutely phenomenal (and had been served earlier with scones and clotted cream directly after the ceremony). A close second was a tiny jar of M&Ms with the wedding info printed on them (in wedding colours).

      I think hotel gift bags are regional. I’ve never received one. Ever.

  12. M says:

    We did champagne flutes as our wedding favors (filled for the toast with a tag to encourage folks to take them home. We had very few leftover! We didn’t do welcome bags, but we did stock the bathrooms at the reception with potential necessities (advil, stainstick, makeup wipes, etc etc).

  13. Christina says:

    Native Pittsburgher here, and if you’ve ever been to a Pittsburgh wedding, you know about the cookie table. For our favor we had little fillable bags at each seat so people could take cookies with them. There are inevitably so many leftover, so it was a two birds – one stone kind of situation.

    Generally I enjoy edible favors, but I also think you can easily cut the whole category and have it go unmissed.

    • Alisha says:

      Fellow yinzer, we also did the cookie table and it was a big hit

    • Liz says:

      Big fan of the cookie table and its close relative, the candy table. I like that guests can customize by taking as much or as little as they want.

    • Denise says:

      +1 for the cookie table! (native Pittsburgher here as well!)

    • Anne says:

      I had never hear about cookie tables before moving to Pittsburgh – it’s the best!

    • Melanie says:

      I love the cookie table! And I agree that putting out bags for people to take the leftovers kills two birds with one stone.

      As a wedding guest, I always enjoy the favors that are edible. 🙂 Small boxes of chocolates are great – especially if there’s a local connection. I also went to a wedding that gave out a two pack box of glazed Krispy Kremes as their favor – the husband was a Krispy Kreme nut and they even used that as the theme for the groom’s cake. I can tell you that those donuts were VERY popular after the post-wedding festivities!

    • MC says:

      +1 for the cookie table favor! We had so many people were taking 2!

    • Lindsey says:

      We did a cookie table as well! In Birmingham, Alabama. My mom’s best friend is from Pennsylvania which is where we got the idea. We did all family recipes with little framed notes about what each cookie was and who the recipe came from. And had little take out boxes with a monogrammed sticker (because The South). It got great reviews!

      For the out of town guests, we did welcome boxes with event details and local snacks and drinks.

  14. Laura says:

    The best bridesmaid gift I ever received was a monogrammed zippered tote bag. We got these the day before and they were so useful to keep all of our gear together and to know which bag belonged to who as they migrated from venue to reception to post party to hotel…

  15. AM says:

    We skipped welcome bags and favors at our wedding, and upgraded our wine selection, which we got compliments on and no one said a thing about favors!
    However, once we did get bags with water/gatorade, Advil, and chips or Doritos, and that was nice for being at hotel out of range from any food options. Most other favors have been left at the reception or at our hotel room, so I wouldn’t ball out on those if you’re looking to spend money elsewhere (or just save some $$).

  16. berryboo says:

    It’s OTT for most, but at an island destination wedding (thus smaller guest list) the bride and groom filled mini message-in-a-bottle bottles with a personalized note thanking each guest for travelling for the celebration. It made me tear up, as the note was very sweet and was specific to me. The little bottles fit the color scheme, were apt for the island setting and the tag around the neck acted as a name card.

  17. Alison says:

    We did not do gift bags nor favors, we upgraded our appetizers instead. No one complained to me about not getting a gift bag or favor, but I got a lot of complements about our appetizers.

  18. AVV says:

    The most useful wedding favors I’ve gotten are custom koozies with wedding info on them (e.g. a bride from Maryland and groom from Massachusetts had a crab and lobster). It’s always a pleasant memory whenever I crack open a beer and grab one.

    • Lindsey says:

      I have these from two different weddings, one over ten years ago. We use them way more than I would have thought. Also I recently wore out a personalized wedding favor deck of cards, so that was a useful one, I guess.

  19. AAR1 says:

    Got a very thoughtful hotel gift bag for a wedding I traveled to–I think much of the guest list was local, so I was one of few people at the hotel. The gift bag had some snacks from local shops/restaurants, as well as a bottle of water and advil. It was very thoughtful and nicely curated.

    Also a friend throwing her wedding on a budget provided matchboxes as the wedding favor and I loved it. I still have the matchbox and just refill it when empty because it can sit subtly by candles rather than an ugly store-bought package.

  20. kleigh says:

    Our escort cards were attached to copper horseshoes, which were also the favor – a lucky horseshoe to take home (pretty inexpensive, just got a box of racing plates and spray painted them copper). We also did welcome bags at the hotel, though. Inexpensive totes that we had printed with our monogram, and filled with local specialties, maps, guides about the region that we got for free from the visitor’s bureau, etc. We did kiddie bags with quiet toys for the very limited kiddos that were there, too (just our nieces and nephews). We got good feedback on the horseshoes and welcome bags. I honestly can’t remember a wedding favor that I received that really stood out.

  21. leigh says:

    My husband and I had a destination wedding in Vail, Colorado, and we did provide a welcome bag for everyone upon check-in at their hotel. This included local chocolates, chips, and baked goods, in addition to local beer, advil, water, a weekend agenda and a thank you note from us. At the wedding, we gifted everyone with engraved wine glasses.

  22. Stefanie S. says:

    We did gift bags for out of town guests available for pickup at their hotel. We included snacks and treats from local shops, maps of the area, a little “hangover” kit with ibuprofen, emergen-C, water, etc. They were big hits!

  23. LTH says:

    Favors were chocolate in the shape of our home states, two small pieces on each plate. Done and done.

  24. Naomi says:

    We brought out ice cream sandwiches at the end of the night as our favor. They were a huge hit. People ate them as they were heading home, and lots brought extras home to their kids. And we kept the extras, which made for a pretty phenomenal breakfast before our honeymoon!

  25. Kayla says:

    Do people expect favors and welcome bags? I am getting married the end of September and we aren’t planning on having favors or welcome bags. I have been to weddings both ways and honestly couldn’t say that it made it impact on my experience either way. Thoughts?

    • J says:

      I do think people expect hotel gift bags, to be honest. I don’t think it’s a big deal and I don’t think it would negatively affect the guest experience, but I do think it’s something that some people would notice. Could be regional, but I’ve been to weddings in the northeast, south, and west and don’t think I’ve ever not gotten one when staying in the hotel. I don’t think favors are expected and I think they’re only worth it if there is an idea that makes sense.

    • J says:

      I don’t think so. I think I’ve only gotten one hotel gift bag from the numerous weddings I’ve been to. I only remember food-related favors. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. You’ll be fine.

    • Abbie Cziok says:

      FWIW, I’ve never received a hotel gift bag.

    • Katie says:

      I’ve received them and always thought it was nice, but unnecessary and probably an added stressor on the bride and groom. We didn’t do hotel gift bags or favors at our wedding and many people told us it was the best wedding they’d been to, so I don’t think it matters!

    • MsmAryMary says:

      I’ve travelled to several weddings and only received a welcome bag once. I thought it was great, but by no means expected. The only wedding favors I remember are little jars of jam from my high school BFF’s wedding, and that’s only because the bridesmaids were frantically pressed into tying ribbons around all the jam jars after the rehearsal dinner.

    • Kelly says:

      I did the welcome bags (aka snack bags) for my sister’s wedding only to find out that not everyone got theirs. So that was a bummer. But hearing one of the attendees found “new life” after eating one of the included Rice Krispie bars almost made it worth it.

  26. Jules says:

    This worked since we had a small wedding. For our ‘gift,’ we made blue Trucker hats with a funny custom design. We didn’t know how it would go over, but it was a huge hit! It was a sunny day, so everyone wore it without being asked and made for fun photos. And our friends mostly all kept it as a treasured memento and will send us photos of them wearing it, still 7 years later 🙂

    We also provided cheap sunglasses on the day of since it was outdoors. Those went over well too.

    Weddings I have attended usually stick to chocolates/sweets. I’ve gotten beer coozies also. I’m sort of meh on the sweets.

    But the biggest ‘favor’ was that we put up our guests in a beach house in Hawaii 🙂

  27. Anne says:

    The best favors I’ve received were a sand-appropriate beach bag from friends who had a destination wedding at a beach (we received the bag filled with stuff when we arrived for the weekend), and flip flops at a different wedding of a friend who wanted everyone to dance. It totally worked and by the end of the evening most women were in flip flops ANd on the dance floor. I believe they were old navy flip flops. To be clear, I don’t have either the bag or the flip flops now, but they were useful at the time!

  28. Suzanne says:

    We did no favors and nobody missed them!

  29. RR says:

    I do think welcome bags are nice for the people checking into your reserved rooms at a hotel, obviously if they traveled. Doesn’t need to be fancy, couple bottles of water and maybe something sweet.

    For favors, we made a donation equal to our budget to a local charity instead of favors. Annoyed the living crap out of my MIL

  30. sbe says:

    My friend got married in Vermont (which was a destination wedding for all the guests). They had really cute reusable totes printed with their names, the date, and the location. The bags were filled with water, snacks, a schedule, and a few local items (a local beer, a small cheese snack, and keychain from the local brewery). Super cute…though I’m guessing it was expensive.

  31. Kat says:

    I’m definitely on team “no favors or gift bags”. I got married in 2007 so before everyone and their mother had smartphones so we left some disposable cameras on the tables and most people left them behind so we developed a ton of hilarious candid photos. Obviously that would be a waste today, but I’ve seen Polaroids which are fun. I still have a beer coozie and pint glasses that I got for wedding favors. Also love the custom sunglasses and trucker hat idea I saw in previous comments. I would either skip it or do something that is very local to Montana/your fiance’s home state/you two as a couple. But it’s gotta be easy to throw in a carry on bag on a plane.

  32. Joy says:

    For favors my husband and I made homemade bitters and then bottled them with custom labels that included one of our favorite cocktail recipes. What can I say, we love a good drink, and our guests loved the bitters. Many still have them!

    I also really had fun making the gift bags—we included cookies from a local
    Bakery, granola bars, maps to local parks, water, Advil, and bandaids (for ladies with blisters!) I always appreciate a gift bag with snacks for the hotel room!

  33. kiki says:

    For our 2007 wedding we did welcome bags at the hotel which were very utilitarian but appreciated. We included maps, itinerary, snacks, local attractions, water, etc. A trip to Costco made getting all the little items easy and affordable. For our favors, we brewed (gallons and gallons) of beer and we bottled it in small bottles with custom labels and ribbon. It was a very personal favor as we brewed it on my husband’s custom system and I think they were a hit. But we had fun making the beer, bottling and capping, and designing and affixing the labels. Koozies, some glassware, and bottle openers are the favors from other weddings that still get use in our home. Tasty consumables are also good for favors since most people like a little treat.

  34. Erica says:

    We did welcome bags for the hotel + favors at the wedding. In the welcome bags (which were simple handled paper bags, similar to the image above), we included 2 bottles of water, a few bags of Cape Cod potato chips (it was a New England wedding), salt water taffy from the groom’s NJ hometown, Advil, and a few inexpensive scratch-off tickets. Would highly recommend scratch-offs — they were a fun addition, and one of our guests actually won $50 and couldn’t stop telling everyone!

    For the favors, we had a Portuguese custard tart in a decorative paper box on each guest’s plate when they sat down at the reception. I’m a fan of simple, edible favors if you’re going to go that route — no need for a tchotchke that will likely get tossed.

  35. Becky says:

    The favors I’ve been gifted that stand out are a bottle opener that was shaped like a key (that you could put on a key chain), a pencil (they were both teachers and donated to an educational non-profit), and old-fashioned mix made by the grandma (a big hit in Wisconsin! Most people drove to the wedding but we flew and left ours behind).

    For logistical reasons (guests spread over lots of hotels and cost) we did not do welcome bags. For the favor we did beer koozies (my husband’s signature is to ALWAYS have one on him) and a donation to a homeless shelter associated with the church where we married, which we indicated in our mass program. It’s fun to see our friends and family use the koozies.

  36. J says:

    We did a giant welcome basket since we had a lot of international people at the wedding. One stayed with the MIL, one stayed with the best man. Both had snacks, cold/flu medicine, maps for people to do touristy stuff. The best man basket also had pedialyte.

    I am very pro-food favor. We did Ferraro Rochre name cards, so that was the favor. I’ve gotten olives, booze, chocolate, leftover cake. Love it all.

  37. Samantha says:

    We got married this past April and we had both. Our welcome gifts included na envelope with all relevant information – maps, addresses, post-wedding brunch invite, who to call with issues, etc and a mini bottle of champagne. Our wedding reception favors were luggage tags placed on every plate with the ‘Let the adventure begin’ on them. We are big travelers, so they were very much an ‘us’ favor. I ended up with quite a few leftover tags, but I will be donating most of them to a women’s shelter/foster child non-profit and using some as gift tags.

  38. R says:

    We had matchboxes at our wedding, but no real favor. We did have welcome bags though because I LOVE welcome bags, and I loved making them. They had water and a bunch of snacks, plus a little first aid-type kit with advil, emergen-c, wet ones, band aids, and some other items. We also had the schedule for the weekend (there was a welcome happy hour and a post-wedding brunch) and a letter thanking everyone for coming.

  39. ELIZABETH says:

    We did giftbags for anyone staying at our hotel blocks. I think they had water bottles, some candy and granola bars, tissues, lip balm, directions to venues, advil and probably hand lotion (my mother put them together, so I don’t really remember). As for the favors at the wedding, we did stemless wineglasses which I hear anecdotally are still being used.

  40. JTM says:

    So we had favors that were tied to our wedding theme – we got married on Pi Day (3/14/15) so our favors were mini-pies! They were a big hit at our wedding and people loved them.

    I think going the food route is the best way to do favors, especially if you can do something special or local to your area. I know people who have made their own homebrew for guests, or maybe had special local treat as their favor.

  41. Christina says:

    Our hotel welcome bags contained the usual (Advil, bottle of water, wet wipe, mints, etc). As well as a “his” and “hers” favorite snacks. I thought it was cute and had a cartoon of our male dog on my husbands favorite snack (poor corn) and a cartoon of our female dog on my favorite snack (speculoos cookies). This was a mistake. Especially for the cookies. I can’t tell you how many people asked me over the course of the weekend if the snacks were safe to eat and confirm they weren’t dog treats.

    We got married in NH and our wedding favors were tiny 3oz bottles of maple syrup to so people traveling by plane did not to have to worry about checking their bags.

    Unrelated but an interesting topic that got brought up right before our wedding was raffling off the centerpieces. I thought this was weird, and to this day I don’t recall this ever happening at any of the weddings I’ve attended.. but both my parents and grandparents asked what we would do about the center piece raffle since we had so many out of town guests. I ended up skipping the raffle and just gave the centerpieces to my aunts or friends who lived locally.

    • Anna says:

      People raffle centerpieces? Where I’m from people just walk out with them.

    • Kelly says:

      The company I used to work at would “raffle” (in a “who’s worked here the most or least amount of time” way) the centerpieces at their holiday party. I’ve never heard of raffling off wedding centerpieces though.

  42. Meg says:

    I had to force my mom to forgo the welcome bags at the hotel for my sister’s wedding. I think it’s a great idea, but the hotel was going to charge some ridiculous cost to give them out–something like $5/bag. I think they were going to put them in the rooms, and didn’t have an option to just have them at check-in? I don’t remember all the details, but at that point people can get their own snacks lol

  43. Abbie says:

    My best friend is a chocolatier, and she made chocolates in pretty colors and custom favors. We sent everyone home with a box of two. It was delicious and pretty:

  44. irmck says:

    We did neither gift bags nor favors. Since we were self catering everything, we made many jokes about how “in lieu of favors, a donation has been made in your name to the open bar.” We didn’t put up signs, but we did buy the good booze (which also fueled the afterparty).

    I do like receiving the pretty packets of wildflower seeds as favors, and I will always eat the chocolate on the plane back home.

  45. Allison says:

    This is assuming that you are thinking of providing a gift that guests receive at check in, not one they get when they leave the wedding- I recommend providing either a tourist flyer for the town you are getting married in, or pull together a list of things to do locally (maybe with a map) and provide it. It’s amazing how many people expect the bride to be their personal tour guide when they are attending your wedding, this mitigates that problem a bit. I like personal touches from the bride and groom, especially if the wedding is in their hometown, like local candies, favorite things from a local store, or something that speak to them as a couple. Like a magnet of their dog if they have one, something like that. It makes me think about the couple and get excited to celebrate them. I also think a note from the bride and groom thanking the guests for coming is really sweet. (Not a how we met bio- we read your wedding website, and jeez this isn’t the bachelor, if we are at your wedding we know you.) A reminder of the timing and location is helpful for people that forgot to bring the invitation. Don’t give out koozies if you don’t like the idea of cheap koozies showing up in every picture from the reception. If you do intend for the gifts to be given at check in, double check that the front desk is actually doing it. Ours didn’t, for no good reason besides bad staff training and communication.

  46. Holly says:

    We did VERY basic gift bags for our destination wedding. Kraft bags from amazon filled with itinerary, sweet and salty snacks and bottles of water.

    Then we did koozies as our ”favors”.

  47. Annick says:

    We did not do gift bags or favors. Mainly because I personally wouldn’t keep anything with another person’s wedding information on it and it was an expense we didn’t want to incur.

    We decided instead to do a late night snack.

  48. Sw says:

    My favorite favor was a homemade candle. I’m not a fan of edible favors since I’m usually stuffed by the end of the wedding and the last thing i want is more food

  49. Sarah says:

    I did a courthouse wedding but had a garden party type reception a few weeks later. Sent a paperless post and did heavy snacks and booze to include homebrew (definitely tons of food). Since it was outdoors in a nice lawn area I decorated the tables with succulents in little pots I put a gold ribbon around and people took the succulents home. Not everyone took a succulent, but some people took like 5 and they were all gone! It wasn’t a big guest list, so it was a bit more affordable. I also didn’t want a chotchke to be thrown away. I’ve never kept a koozie or bottle opener from a wedding.

  50. Cagey says:

    I hate favors, they’re a pain and no one cares after the event. This may be colored by the bells I received as a favor that rolled around my car trunk for six months. When I got married, we had guests vote for charities to get a donation instead of doing a wedding favor. It was a fun game for our guests and bonus tax deduction for us!

  51. Airlie Loiaconi says:

    We did gift bags and favors. For gift bags we did bottled water with personalized labels, moon Pies because I’m from the south, snickers because they’re my husband’s favorite, and pretzels. For favors we made Smitten Kitchen’s dry rub and put it in mini jars. It was incredibly popular. It’s been four years and people still ask for the recipe.

  52. KLO says:

    I can’t remember a single favor from the weddings I’ve attended. But I still have the snapshots from the photobooth at a friends wedding on our fridge, 10+ years and a move to another state later.

  53. SLG says:

    We did no favors and no one complained. I’ve also usually found favors at weddings to be unremarkable at best and annoying at worst. I don’t need extra stuff to fill my house, and I’m not a kid at someone’s birthday party. 🙂 Although if someone wants to hand out something small and edible, I won’t object.

  54. Allison says:

    I don’t like wedding favors for a few reasons. First, a good favor is likely going to cost more than $5 a person. If you have 100 people at your wedding, that’s $500+ dollars that could go towards something else – better wine, an upgrade in a photographer or flowers, etc. Second, if the favor is given out at the reception… what am I supposed to do with it? I’ve never been to a wedding where we didn’t immediately go to an after party somewhere, so I can’t take outside food/beverage/drinking glass in. And, usually my purse for a wedding is just a clutch, so I have no room for anything additional anyway. I also am a bit weird in that I really dislike koozies and anything that has been personalized/monogramed. My thought process is – I was at your wedding, so I know who you and your spouse are and the date.- I don’t need an object with this information printed on it.

    • anna says:

      I don’t mind a cookie, because they just get stuffed in a drawer, but I don’t want a bag or mug or wine glass with the wedding info on it. It wasn’t my wedding; why would I want something with my friends’ wedding date on it?

      • KAy says:

        Yes, 1000 times this. I don’t need something with the names and wedding date of someone else’s wedding on it. I have the memory, it’s nice, and that’s enough. That’s the kind of stuff that gets tossed during the does it bring me joy type of cleaning.

      • anna says:

        Coozie* damn autocorrect….though I would love a cookie.

  55. Terri says:

    Nope – no favors!

  56. firstgirl says:

    Mini bottles of bourbon. They were a big hit, but obviously only recommend if you want your guests to drink heavily. For out of towners, we also gave out gift bags at the hotel with a few local snacks, bottled water & recs for things to do the day before the wedding.

  57. Sarah says:

    We didn’t do favors and look back on that as a good choice. Save the money or spend it on something people actually care about: food and alcohol.

  58. Courtney says:

    No gift bags, no favors. We put the money into the food and booze. I did hand write a thank you note to each guest with a thought on why we wanted them at the wedding with us, and those were left at their seats in lieu of favors. We had a 100 guests, so it was a fairly manageable task. The guests seemed appreciative, and not a single one was left behind.

  59. Anne says:

    My brother and sister-in-law had great canvas totebags for out of town guests with iconic locations of their town screen printed on the front. They had snacks and things, but what I liked is that has a list of their favorite things to do in town with restaurant and coffee shop suggestions. It added a personal touch. I’m pretty sure they added a mini bottle of liquor or two, too.

  60. Nel says:

    Isn’t the gift of a meal and an open bar enough? This feels like one more thing to add to a bride’s plate that is just, unnecessary. My MIL did some little bags for out of state guests but that was it. Just like destination bachelorette parties, extravagant decor and enormous bridal parties, I really hope these types of things are on their way out.

  61. Hanna says:

    I got married in Santa Fe, NM (destination for almost everyone). We did welcome bags at the hotels in a custom tote with water (for the altitude), an emergency kit, caramel chili popcorn, local granola bars, travel size local honey, and custom chapstick with “stay kissable” on it (also important in the high desert). Years later people still use that tote and tell me how much they loved the chapstick.

    For favors we did pretty, small jars with our names on the label filled with either local coffee, my favorite tea, or local hot chocolate. We definitely had more left over than I expected because the table was set out too late and not next to the exit, which was annoying. However, the people who got them loved them and I’ve heard many converted to the tea and still use the jars for storing food or odds and ends.

    Thinking back on the weddings I’ve been to, very few memories of welcome bags or favors stick out though. My favorite bridesmaid gift was a waffle bathrobe with my name on it that we all wore while getting ready. The photos looked beautiful and five years later I still wear it all the time. My favorite favor was a beautiful set of handmade ceramic mugs that I still use even though the couple divorced (eep!).

    I think in the end though guests will appreciate any thoughtful touches you do and you don’t have to do anything if you don’t have the time, budget, or interest.

    • Hanna says:

      Forgot to add that we also did inexpensive pashminas for our early spring outdoor ceremony and people still wear them six years later. We did some cheap wacky sunglasses too and they were really fun for photos!

  62. Jenna Glockner says:

    We put 2 locally made caramels in a small box, tied a ribbon around the box and attached the seating assignments to the box.

  63. Anna says:

    I never expect nor look forward to favors. I think if there’s something unique to you and Kyle, then go for it, but don’t waste too much time thinking about it. My favorite favors have been food related, made by a friend of the couple (tapenade, sauerkraut) or of something that’s a particular favorite (hot sauce, candies). It’s also been nice when coming in for an out of town wedding to have a little goodie bag with water, snacks, and a schedule or local suggestions, but it’s been more of a nice-to-have than an expectation. If you’re going to do some sort of keepsake, make it something actually useful (I like the bottle opener suggestion), not something that’s just going to add to clutter or mismatch with other things I own.

  64. Julia says:

    We did favors, but not gift bags for the hotels or anything. Since we had a brunch wedding, we did little bags of my favorite homemade granola for folks to take with them. I think people liked them. To me it was better than something with me and my husbands name on it… no one wants that.

  65. Espie says:

    We did little bags of Lindt chocolates (3 each) in colors relatively close to our wedding colors and sprinkled them on the table, had basically none left over. The smaller favors let us budget to give more thank you gifts to the many people who helped in smaller/bigger ways beyond the wedding party.

  66. Lauren says:

    We had welcome boxes for guests staying in our hotel blocks. I opted for boxes because they’re sturdier and keep contents contained better than bags and I found gable-style boxes online. I printed labels via VistaPrint but you could probably get some to match your stationery suite. We filled them with snacks and weekend “essentials” – a bottle of water and individual packet of aspirin for each person in the room, a few snacks, a weekend agenda. We didn’t include a “favor”/tchotchke. Because I’m. It a fan of wedding favors (cute, but they always become extra stuff to deal with after we get home – even the useful koozies start to overflow), we used tchotchke and wedding favor funds to up the food and beverage offerings. No one seemed to mind and all my close friends followed suit at their weddings in the years following.

  67. Jenna says:

    I did welcome bags for everyone because we did a destination wedding. They were basically craft bags that I had a friend with fancy hand writing write “welcome” on. Had a note printed up at FedEx, koozies, repackaged costco cookies, pop corn, pistachios.

    I went to a destination wedding recently where they had really nice linen napkins during cocktail hour that were hand painted by someone on Etsy. I thought that was a really nice touch if you have a small enough guest list to make it work in your budget.

    Etsy is great for finding someone to personalize things with fancy “calligraphy”. I found someone hand letter all my invitations. And what a good side gig for someone with that talent?

  68. Keli says:

    My husband’s love of chinese food is well known among our family and friends, so our favors were fortune cookies! We put them in cheap small boxes tied with ribbon and had them placed on everyone’s plate – it was a fun inexpensive thing that people enjoyed reading/comparing with others at their table that also served as a cute piece of decor.

    Love the donation ideas!

  69. Kate says:

    We did macarons because I was insistent that whatever we did should be edible/consumable and not be a hassle to take on an airplane. I have received enough stupid trinkets at weddings that I did not want to give my friends/family any more crap, and I had received enough ‘artisnal jam’ and ‘local honey’ that could not go through TSA to be annoyed.

    I am a fan of ‘in lieu of favors, a donation has been made to xyz non-profit who does work in an area important to the bride & groom’ too.

    Nobody misses a favor if it’s not there. Nobody.

  70. SC says:

    I don’t recall any favors being given to guests at weddings I’ve attended. One wedding had a welcome bag waiting for us at the hotel, which included beer and some beer memorabilia, as the groom owned a brewery. However, I’ve received many bridesmaid gifts, and my favorites are all monogrammed. I was a flower girl in my uncle’s first wedding when I was 5 and I still have the tiny flip-open silver photo frame I was given — it has my monogram engraved on one side and their wedding date on the other — I love it.

  71. Diane says:

    The best and most memorable wedding favor I recieved was a lovely card at my place setting, stating in lieu of a favor, the couple will be making a donation to St Judes Hospital for Children. That has always stood out to me.

  72. Erin says:

    We got married what seems like ages ago (15 years!) and we did a small box of chocolate covered almonds – we had friends who went around and grabbed any extra boxes they liked them so much! We also bough a lot of the centerpieces ourselves and gave them out to some of the wedding party and family members who were there. I think edible favors go over best – one friend had white chocolate popcorn that she made and bagged up and another had local chocolates from a small store in Michigan. To be honest, I really don’t want something branded with the couple’s name and probably wouldn’t use it. My sister just got married last year and didn’t do favors at all but they did have an end of the night round of hot dogs and donuts (two things they love) and I think that may have been even better!

  73. Tina says:

    I got married in Montreal and I gave out glass maple leaf syrup bottles. I received so many pics post wedding of guests using it on the their pancakes/food. Months and months after still receiving pics saying they loved it!

  74. Emily says:

    Just got married in Montana in July. Although I grew up there, our wedding was a destination wedding for most people. We made s’more packs for favors. We also made welcome bags for everybody who stayed onsite at our wedding venue (a guest ranch) and included bottled water, a hangover kit, bug spray, some local snacks and local coffee.

  75. Sharon says:

    We didn’t have favors at our wedding, opting instead to make a donation to a charity. I haven’t liked any favors at a wedding (minus chocolates!). I feel bad and wasteful when I toss the cute packaging with the couple’s names into the trash asap.

  76. Elizabeth says:

    My husband and I had a literary themed wedding since we both love to read. We bought books at thrift shops and used them for the centerpieces, then once the dinner was over our friends took the books off the dinner tables and placed them on a table near the exit with a sign that said “We hope you’ll add to your library” and used the books as wedding favors, along with a small box of candy. It was great since we didn’t have as many books to take home with us after the reception!

  77. Megan says:

    I’m getting married this fall too! We have an heirloom family cookie recipe (a bit more special than plain old chocolate chip) and we’ll be making and bagging them with a note explaining.

  78. Sarah Whiting Moxley says:

    We did breakfast tacos and donuts (from district donut and they were so good) as favors for our wedding. As far as I know they were enjoyed, but I think my husband and I enjoyed them so much on the drive from our wedding to the hotel. We had made the time to actually eat our meal at the wedding, but they hit the spot later.

  79. ManDi says:

    The only wedding favors I have really liked as a guest we’re those that were substantial and edible (I honestly just tossed the little bags of personalized M&Ms). I ordered late night tacos to be delivered from a taco truck instead of traditional favors and everyone loved it.

  80. Jenna says:

    I really love welcome bags. I think it’s a really nice way to do something extra special for guests who have travelled. That said, I think it’s kind of a wasted opportunity when they are super generic, but I love when it has a nice welcome note and regional treats or something else unique. I also think they’re great because they are a task that’s easily outsourced to a mother-in-law or aunt who wants to take something on. Along similar lines, my aunt always volunteers to put together bathroom baskets. Something I’m not sure I would do if she didn’t volunteer to do it, but they’re nice and she likes to do it.

    Regarding favors, unless it’s a delicious treat or something unique, I think it’s a waste of money. I wouldn’t really consider them favors, but we’re Jewish so we will be having yarmulkes made with our names and wedding date inside as well as “benchers” which are little prayer books that have the Jewish grace after meals and some other prayers that are generally printed with the couple’s name and wedding date. We still have the benchers from my parents’ wedding and it’s so nice to use them (and ones from other family).

  81. Veronica Hines says:

    We did favors and they were $1 scratchers. We got the idea from a wedding we attended. We thought it was fun and playful. And no one felt like they had to keep someting (candle, potted plant, etc). We put them in small envelopes and attached a shinny penny; we placed them at each table setting

  82. Katharine Gregg says:

    Had a destination wedding so wanted any “favors” to be both meaningful and easy to carry/travel with. My husband comes from an artist family and I am a writer. So on each of the dinner tables our reception was an art piece/sculpture made by his father surrounded by miniature frames with a copy of poems I had written. The frames were the favors. Each frame had a different poem so folks could choose their fav. Also, I spent the year before the wedding accumulating the frames at antique stores, estate sales, vintage swaps, etc. so each frame was unique and different.

  83. Rachel says:

    We gave cat shaped cookies and made a donation to our local Humane Society where we adopted our cat.

  84. carolyn says:

    Wedding favor – we did brownie “cake” pops decorated like bride/groom attire. they were cute, and looked nice on the tables (wrapped up with a little gift tag), but honestly, we could’ve skipped. I think half of them were left on the tables.

    We also did welcome bags – super basic – just a few snacks, bottles of water, and local brochures. They got pricey quickly. They also started a fight between my (perfectionist) husband and I as he didn’t like the way I threw them together…and then I think half of them didn’t get passed out from the hotel front desk. So yeah.

    Of all the favors I remember from others – I think I liked the trinkets the least (bottle openers, cookies etc) because I felt obligated to keep it. Edible things are nice…candy or some kind of baked good etc from where you are (or something that will taste yummy the next morning!).

  85. AB says:

    I didn’t have favors at my wedding and I don’t think anyone noticed. We had good food, tons of quality drinks, and lots of desserts. That’s what matters.

    I was at a wedding recently that had personalized flutes with our name.These also served as place cards. It’s a cute idea, but a pain to carry around if you’re going out after. I also had to fly back and didn’t want to pack glass in my stuff. As others are mentioning – there are a lot of great ideas but I don’t think most actually care about a gift. It’s unnecessary pressure to your day, and most of it ends up as wasteful junk.

  86. Kim says:

    The best favours have always been some kind of edibles: take home bags for the candy table, sample sized truffle honey or regional jelly specialties. Even M&Ms in your wedding colours (I think you can still custom order these online by the pound in a wide range of colours).

    Also, not really a favour, but one friend of mine did baskets of cheap flip flops at the reception for when people inevitably kicked off their heels for dancing.

  87. Anna says:

    We did personalized playing cards for our favor, and they were a big hit, a lot of people were playing games during dinner even. We did know that our crowd were game players though, so we knew they’d be popular – there were only two left behind out of 200 guests.

    We also did welcome bags for our out of town guests who stayed at the hotel where we had the reception. I just bought green gift bags that matched my wedding color, and added two bottles of water, two chocolate bars from a local shop, popcorn from a local shop, and a pack of gum.

  88. Leila says:

    We got married in Paris so we wanted to give something light that wouldn’t be a pain for our guests to pack away in their luggage or weigh them down in any way. We thought about doing welcome bags, but realized that so many of our guests decided to stay at AirBnBs, throughout the city, so it would have been a challenge to get them all them gift bags. Therefore, we settled on lavender sachets. We ordered them on Etsy and had them customized with our wedding date and “long live the couple” in french. Plus, the lavender was a nice nod to the french location of our wedding. We handed them out at our rehearsal dinner, and they were a light and sweet smelling take away for our guests! Congratulations again on your engagement and best of luck on your upcoming wedding!

  89. Kate says:

    The best wedding favor we received was a nicely packaged set of smores makings (cellophane with ribbon and a gift tag with cute writing of the couple’s name and date). The venue was a farm and after dinner, dancing, and cutting the cake, we all were encouraged to visit the patio firepitts and use our smores. It was the perfect way to end the night. We still have the gift tags on our fridge and think of the couple whenever we see them. No one needs a trinket. We loved the experience of the favor and how it was the perfect end to a great evening. I don’t know what your venue is like, but if possible, something like this that can compliment your day. Cute bubble wands with your & kyle’s name to be used during a honeymoon sendoff (instead of rice)?

    • Pam says:

      Flip flops to change into towards the end of the party. Instead of people dancing barefoot we had some nice flip flops which we took home and a small bag for our shoes.

  90. MRR says:

    We did not give out favors, but we also did not register and adamantly insisted on no gifts (this worked for about 90% of our guests).

    I’ve never received a wedding favor I liked, which kind of made up my mind with respect to my own wedding favors. I guess I’ve liked when we’ve gotten some sort of booze, but we weren’t aloud to bring in or give out any sort of alcohol at our venue (a wine/champagne bar).

  91. Hannah says:

    We skipped the favors and instead included a small “thank you for coming, we really appreciate all your love and support, etc. etc.” note at each place setting on fancy stationery. Lots of our guests had come from out of town, and everyone was staying in different places, so welcome bags just weren’t practical, but we still wanted to recognize that guests had traveled just to come see us. I don’t think anyone noticed that we didn’t have favors, and I’ve seen the note on the fridges of friends and family members even years after the wedding.

  92. Meg says:

    Our favor was buckeye candies (I’m from Ohio) which I individually wrapped in small card holders with nice ribbon and paper. It was labor intensive and expensive. At the end of the night a substantial number (at least 1/3 of them) were still laying on the tables, left there by my gusts. It’s a little thing– but it really bummed me out.

    My advice– I’ve been to so many weddings where there was no favor and I didn’t think twice about it. Skip it!

  93. Lacey says:

    I got married 8 1/2 years ago. We had a candy bar – pretty sure it was a thing back then. I put different types of candy in apothecary jars, bought silver scoops and then bought little Chinese take out boxes from Oriental Trading. Popped a sticker on it (our monogram?) and some ribbon. They looked pretty good and the candy bar (actual bar, not like a butterfinger is a candy bar) was a huge hit.

  94. Jenny says:

    NO GIFT BAGS! Don’t do it! They are so much work and for what? So your guests can have a bottled water in their hotel room?? Save yourself a tremendous amount of time, money and effort. I also skipped favors because I have never in my life kept a wedding favor, and I can’t remember which of the weddings I’ve attended had/didn’t have them.

    • Jenny says:

      though I will add that reading these comments, I see that many brides derived a lot of enjoyment out of putting together favors/gift bags. If you think it will be a fun thing for you to do, that’s one thing. I just know myself and know that it was the last thing in the world I wanted to be doing in the weeks leading up to my wedding.

  95. A says:

    My best friend’s family are big huckleberry pickers, and her mom loves making jam, so for her wedding they did tiny jars of huckleberry jam which were of course delicious, but also particular to her and her fam.

  96. J.o says:

    Hands down, best wedding favor/treat ever was chick-fil-a sandwiches served off silver platters as we departed wedding onto the bus back to hotel. Any sort of “treat” would suffice, but the timeliness was more than appreciated. Everyone leaves weddings hungry and the treat was beyond appreciated!

  97. Sof says:

    I only had a marginal “gift” to attendees, which was that they could take home the mason jar glasses and coasters at the tables. We had a very small (& low-budget) wedding. The best wedding swag I’ve gotten has beens a pack of cards and a personalized koozie. Use those all the time.

  98. Hilary says:

    Our centerpieces/wedding favors were photographs: some of the groom or me as children, some of us together, and some of us with the people who were seated at that table! They were great conversation starters and our guests loved taking photos home at the end of the night.

  99. Sara K. says:

    One of my best friends just did gorgeous watercolored koozies at both her welcome party and wedding (a different design for each that was an important place to them). They are beautiful and I now use them all the time.

  100. Sara says:

    I bought small picture frames from a company that let me engrave an initial for a nominal fee. I ordered a few extras blank for any last minute folks that might not RSVP in time. We used them as placecards with their name and a quote printed on cardstock inserted in the frame. Instead of using table numbers the quote was displayed on each table. Example: Real love stories never have endings.

  101. SJ says:

    We did a donation to a charity and also gave everyone a $1 scratch off in the envelope with the table assignment. I don’t think anyone won big!

    We also did a cookie table with to go bags, and welcome bags in the hotel rooms with water bottles and snacks.

    Good luck!

  102. Sydni says:

    Food favors are the best. I wasn’t going to do favors, but my mom wanted to and I didn’t mind. The ceremony was close to Christmas and she made glass bulb ornaments with paint swirled inside in our wedding colors. They didn’t have our names on them, except on a paper tag that thanked them for coming. I still put one or two up with our tree every year and see them once in awhile on family members trees when we visit, but I don’t think favors are necessary. I did not have welcome bags and have never received one when traveling for a wedding.

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