Friday, 28 May 2010

My Top 4 Tips on Favors

I have such sweet memories from when I was a little girl when my parents would come home late at night from weddings of our italian friends and neighbors. They would always arrive all dressed up with a little pouch of pastel colored Jordan almonds. I loved them then and I love them still today!

The reason that brides and grooms traditionally give Jordan almonds or any almonds that have a sugar coating is that fresh almonds have a bittersweet taste, which represents life. The sugarcoating is added with the hope that the newlyweds' life will be more sweet than bitter.

Different cultures - Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern - each have their own versions of the tradition. But that is just what it is - a symbolic tradition filled with hope and celebration.

Today, favors are much more complex. A lot of couples give favors either because they really want to thank their guests for coming to their wedding or because favors are cute or even because they feel like they have it is a must at a wedding to have a personalized favor with their names and wedding date on them.

I believe that favors are meant to be a little thank you gift to your guests for sharing such a special day with you. They are a little extension of your big day for your guests to bring home with them.

Here are my top four tips on the world of favors:

1. Make them personal
Being a thank you gift, the favors should be personal, not necessarily personalized, but definitely personal. Think of who you are a couple. If you love cupcakes, set up a cupcake stand for guests to bring 1 or 2 cupcakes of their choice home. You could do the same with cookies or fruit tarts from your favorite bakery. If you and your fiance adore wine and are getting married in a vineyard, give each couple a bottle of wine that you love from that vineyard. If you are music lovers, give them something music-related like a cd with your favorite songs.

2. Bring in your culture.
If you and your fiance are from different cities, states or countries, go ahead and give something from where you are from. For example, at a wedding that I recently planned and designed, the bride was from Iceland and the groom's family was from South Africa so we gave out chocolates from Iceland and South Africa labelling each basket of goodies with the country that they came from.

3. It is not about the price.
Sure there are expensive favors and less expensive ones but that isn't really the point. Delicious chocolate chip cookies baked by your aunt and tied up in a little clear bag with a pretty bow are just as personal (and taste just as great) as your favorite bottle of wine with a gorgeous personalized label. So think about what is meaningful to you and your groom-to-be as well as what fits within your budget.

4. You do not need favors.
Don't feel pressured to give favors. Spending money on low cost, impersonal trinkets with your names on them will take money away from the rest of your budget and who knows where the favors will end up? If you don't have the time to brainstorm about the perfect favor or to create or buy personal favors and you would prefer to spend that part of your budget getting a better photographer, florist or band - then do it! At the end of the day, your guests have come to see you get married and share this joyous occasion with you and that is what they care about.

Here are some favors that I just love and people to work with who really do an amazing job at creating favors specific to you and your groom.

The unique, personal candy tables and favors designed to fit with your wedding style by the lovely, talented Jackie of Merci New York. Jackie creates favors and welcome baskets based on all of your favorite things and personalizes them as well!

A personalized wine bottle label and cigar by the fabulous Marina and Stacey of East Six. Take a look at the previous article I wrote all about East Six.

These are map tote bags created by Laura Hooper, who also does outstanding calligraphy. These are a great gift for a destination wedding or a wedding where most of your guests are coming from a different location. Check our my previous article on Laura.

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