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Affordable Wedding Favors To Delight Your Guests
by Matt Jacks, Freelance Writer
Favors are an excellent idea to have at your wedding; they're a small thank you to your guests for being there on your special day and sharing in with the festivities, and if they can appear expensive without being so, then all the better for you! The choice available can be a bit disconcerting to start with, there are so many possibilities, but bulk buying always saves the pennies, and indeed, many of the smaller items on offer are stipulated as having a minimum order quantity.
Some of the simplest can just be a simple box to fill with a small portion of the wedding cake. The box can be card and decorated or see-through in acrylic. If you choose candy or chocolate to give with or instead of the cake, the latter can be a good choice as it will show off the contents nicely, especially if they have been chosen with decorative shapes; shells perhaps, or hearts and bells. If not, and if they are not going to be opened until returning home, or at least not at the wedding, then more thought should go into the containers' appearance. It might be quilted, or come with ribbons and bows attached in a multitude of bright colors, even felt or silk-covered or with a candle on top, personalized perhaps, with the names of your guests, or though in this case, there should be a variety of contents available to show you've put a bit of effort into considering who might prefer this or that sort of candy or mint. Here, the attempt should be appreciated if you're lucky, even if you don't always choose correctly.
Tie-bags are an alternative to boxes and added tassels will attract attention, and these are an excellent choice if you prefer to give fragrant soaps or bath salts rather than anything edible. Be aware however, it may be wise to mark these as soaps; as some guests, perhaps well lubricated with intoxicating beverages, may perceive them to be exotic smelling imported candies, and therefore proceed merrily to bite into and swallow them down before the alarm can be raised.
If as mentioned you wish to personalize the gifts and also have set out specific place markers rather than the all-grab-a-chair favored by some, then you can combine these ideas by making the place card holders themselves the favors. Pewter is an excellent choice for this purpose, giving the appearance of silver but being far less of expense. It is very attractive in its own right and highly collectable in any number of wedding themed miniature objects of art that the maker can think of. Pewter flowers look particularly good with ornately written place cards tucked into them. Or wine buckets, top-hats, baskets, bells again or little old-fashioned soldiers standing on sentry duty might be an idea. A practical alternative would be a steel or aluminum cookie cutter, or a silver-plated one, for the more expensive option.
Real flowers can also be a lovely favor, in the form of a packet of seeds or bulbs, which would allude to the promise of growth and brightness, a wonderful metaphor for the success of your future marriage. Or, if the sweet smell is all you want then potpourri usually finds favor as an alternative, again kept in pretty but porous and diversely colored containers.
Matchboxes can be chosen with a message of thanks, date of wedding, or love poem written on the outside of the box, (though probably not if a no-smoking rule is in standing); or scratch pads, which are small writing pads with colored paper so that guests can write and compose their own. Memento pens or pencils could accompany them if encouragement is wished (or not, depending on whose there).
An interesting and probably underused substitute for any of these favors is origami, the Japanese art of paper folding can hugely impress at the table, but if there are any children around, mind they don't create some less than appropriate shapes of their own whilst adult backs are turned.
Depending on the time of year of your wedding, you can also consider granting favors related to Easter, Christmas or Halloween. Easter eggs or Easter bunnies; tree ornaments and baubles or snow globes; small pumpkins or black cat stand-up silhouettes respectively. Or even Mardi gras beads or masks from the local party supply store.
If you like, have the time and the inclination you might make these or others yourself, either from scratch or the simpler and easier ready made craft kits available for many occasions, naturally including weddings. These are often very easy to assemble with bare minimum effort, and also have the additional benefit of being to a large extent cheaper in the main than buying ready made favors.
An unusual and unique wedding favors idea is to hire a cartoonist for the celebration. He (or she) will then draw out what they see in your guests as a caricature, and you can then have these individually framed for them to keep. A highly personal favor there, but do have a word with the cartoonist first, to inform them of acceptable degrees of comic insult and to ensure relative diplomacy, and avoidance of World War Three breaking out!
Music boxes are nearly always a delightful surprise and can be acquired quite cheaply if you hunt around for a bargain early enough.
Bookmarks can be a good choice for the quieter of your relatives and friends, and drink stirrers for the contemplative amongst them. Napkins, with or without holders for some and chrome bottle stoppers for those who have been known to like a tipple or two. Disposable cameras for those who just can't sit still. Hand fans for the easily excited, palm or sandalwood is good, or delicate lace; and how about chopsticks for the adventurous? That should create some innocent laughs if the atmosphere is a bit stiff between those who don't usually get on with others too well.
Miniature glass vases for the careful. Thank you verse decorative Scrolls for the forgetful. Confetti in a bottle for the ungrateful and tiny table Cinderella slippers for the resentful. Small painted wooden birds for nature lovers and lottery tickets for gamblers. A pair of teddy bears sewn together at the paw for the romantic, and a donation to favorite charities for the semantic. Homemade jam with little American flags for the patriotic, and joke books for the idiotic. There are affordable wedding favors for all personality groups available.
And finally, for those of you who are sly out there, who might recognize a pecuniary opening when you see one, not that this should be mentioned in polite circles, there is always the opportunity of getting some of this money back! After all, favors should be enjoyed and if so, then your guests might want some more. Now, if you become an affiliate distributor with any of a selection of well-known companies you can use their products (available to you at discount rates) as your favors, and then when later on your friends tell you how much they liked them, you can look entirely innocent and say to them that if they would like a number of extras then you can get them for a very reasonable price without problems (but with some commission)!
Outrageous? Or not?
Enjoy your wedding.
Matt Jacks is a successful freelance writer providing tips and advice for consumers purchasing wedding party favors, wedding invitations online and homemade unique decorations. His numerous articles offer moneysaving tips and valuable insight on typically confusing topics.
"Affordable Wedding Favors To Delight Your Guests" reprinted with permission. Net Guides Publishing, Inc.
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