Wedding favours are a tradition that has been around for centuries. One of the earliest examples were love knots – an English wedding favour that was traditionally made from ribbon or lace and were being gifted as early as the 16th century.
Another classic wedding favour comes from Ireland in the form of small wedding bells. Besides being adorable, this tradition was often used to ward off evil spirits.
Sugared almonds are another classic. Rooted in Greek and Italian wedding favour traditions, each guest would receive 5 almonds to represent five wishes for the newlyweds: fertility, health, wealth, happiness, and longevity.
No matter what you choose to give your guests, favours have become a traditional way to show appreciation or gratitude towards your guests. However, do you really need wedding favours? Do guests still appreciate them, or is there a more beneficial way to show your thanks?
In order to get to the bottom of this age-old question, we polled our own team of wedding coordinators to see what has gone over well with guests in the past two years, and to determine whether you really need wedding favours for your perfect day.
Wedding favours are rarely taken home
Let’s be honest – a lot of wedding favours get left behind or thrown out. How many times have you been a guest at a wedding and decided to leave without taking your customized coaster/name card/bottle opener with you? We’re going to guess it’s more than a few times. As wedding coordinators, we’ve helped throw our fair share of weddings where we’re picking up more than a few wedding favours to take out with the recycling.
That’s because a cutesy item with the couple’s name and wedding date on them are a great way to remember the day, but not necessarily a wonderful addition to your home decor. This same logic applies to wedding favours you might have on your own wedding day. Put yourself in your guests’ shoes and ask yourself: would I take this home with me or leave it next to my empty wine glass? If I did take it home, would I keep it for a long time or quickly throw it out? If you can’t confidently say yes to these questions, you might not need wedding favours.
Wedding favours don’t need to be traditional
Traditions are changing, and that’s exciting! Instead of spending money on things that could possibly end up in the trash, why not pick something else just as valuable to spend that money on?
There are a lot of ways to thank your guests for celebrating your wedding that can’t necessarily be used as part of their place setting. Over the past few years, the Stella Co coordination team have seen a lot of fun and exciting solutions for wedding favours that think outside the box. Here are a few of our favourites:
Photo booth → why not give your guests the opportunity to remember your day their own way? Setting up a photo booth with either a professional camera or a simple Polaroid can be a really fun way to get your guests involved in creating more incredible memories.
Live entertainment → no favours? No problem! Treat your guests to a live band or other performers during your reception to make your wedding a one-of-a-kind experience.
Make a donation → if there’s a cause you and your partner care deeply about, consider making a donation in your guests’ names as a way of paying it forward! Many Stella Couples have chosen this route, donating to organizations like The Cancer Society or Humane Society.
Don’t let these ideas stop your imaginations from running wild, though. The sky’s the limit!
The best wedding favours are either consumable or useful
If you still have your heart set on having wedding favours, the key is to keep it simple. More importantly, make it edible! Our team all agree that if your favour is either edible or drinkable your guests are more likely to take them.
Not only that, but leftovers won’t go to waste! Whether you and your partner choose to take home what’s left behind or you leave them for your venue to enjoy (because trust us, they will be enjoyed!), favours that taste delicious or are ultimately useful are something you and your guests can enjoy comfortably at home whenever suits them best.
Wedding favours are even better when you and your partner make them yourselves! Why not mix your own blend of coffee, or learn how to make soap together? The story behind the favours will make it even more special for guests, meaning you’ll have even fewer things to take home.
Long story short: you don’t need wedding favours
At the end of the day, your guests know you appreciate them simply because you invited them! On your wedding day, you want to be surrounded by the people who love you most, and those people are not going to expect you to shower them with gifts (hello, they should be doing that to you!).
So if you really feel you can’t celebrate your wedding without giving them a little something, make sure it’s something they can use. From cookies to coffee, jam to hot sauce, soap to aromatherapy, and so much more, we’ve seen all sorts of creative ways to give your guests a delicious memory from your day!
Looking for more inspiration? Try the following Stella Co approved favours on for size:
Rockey + Ashleigh's hot chocolate bombs
These delectable confections were placed at each guest’s seat as a way of encouraging them to slow down and enjoy a sip of something sweet in the future.
Photo by Liam Good Visuals
Jenny + Chris' homemade jam
Every year, Jenny and Chris make jam together and they wanted to share that annual tradition with their guests! These sweet wedding favours were the perfect complement to their brunch wedding.
Photo by Tom Guest Weddings
Suni + Ian's cupcakes
Instead of setting each one at their guests’ plates, Suni and Ian invited everyone to take a delicious cupcake with them on their way out.
Photo by Gary Evans Photography
Mike + Katie's confectionary jars
Inspired by the idea that “love is wild,” Katie and Mike topped tiny glass jars with animal figurines and filled them each with delicious candy for guests to take home.
Photo by Liam Good Visuals
Trella + Will's hot sauce
As a gift for them on their wedding day, Trella and Will’s friend Alex made them a custom hot sauce to spice up their guest experience.
Photo by Sandra Monaco Photography