If you’ve ever been to a wedding, chances are you walked away with a trinket or token to mark the occasion. They’re called favours, and they serve as a thank you for joining the bride and groom in their celebration. But, when planning a wedding, it can be difficult to decide on a wedding favour that is fun, cost-effective and that can be mass produced (depending on your guest list of course).
For some tips, we chatted with Alison McGill, editor-in-chief of Weddingbells Magazine who told us about the history of wedding favours and what you should think about doing for your own nuptials. Her overall advice for picking the perfect favour? “A great wedding favour is a thoughtful one. You want your guests to feel you put the effort in to thinking of just the right thing to say thank you for being a part of your day.” So make sure your favour reflects you or your relationship in some way.
Why did people start giving out wedding favours?
According to McGill, the tradition is based in aristocratic celebrations. “In Europe, favours were known as bonbonniere,” says McGill. “The bonbonniere—then—was a delicate porcelain or crystal trinket box stocked with sugar cubes or sweets.” A sweet ending to the event, no?
How did wedding favours evolve?
An extension of the sugary snack of yore, sugared almonds were the favour of choice for many years. “They were the only wedding favour people gave,” says McGill, “it wasn’t until the last 30 years or so that people started to think outside of the box when it came to gifts for their guests.” We’re thinking this evolution had a lot to do with couples wanting to DIY parts of their wedding or approach the event with a less formal attitude.
So… where should we start nowadays?
Sweets and other edibles are still big. Preserves, pies, chocolates and even wine are always much appreciated among guests. Nobody will ever complain about a sweet snack to end the evening. But McGill also thinks plants are gaining in popularity. Think: “bulbs for the garden, succulents, terrariums.”
But perhaps the favour that is most popular right now is not a favour for your guests at all. “Giving back is also huge when it comes to wedding favours,” says McGill. “Couples donating to their favourite causes instead of sending guests home with a gift is big—I would love to see more couples embrace this.”
But, I’m on a budget
There’s no need to spend a huge amount on favours. “There are so many things you can DIY that are amazing gifts,” says McGill. The charity idea is a great angle for couples on a budget—“you can choose exactly how much of your wedding budget you want to dedicate to this portion of your party.”