DIY Favors

Okay, after spending boat loads on vendors, venue, etc. the question of favors can be tricky. How can you convey your appreciation, in a creative manner, to your guests without breaking the bank? It’s not impossible. Utilizing your friends and family for labor and creativity and perhaps a few of the following ideas may have you looking like the next Martha Stewart. Be sure to see her site, as it is the Mecca of creative resources.

 Why not give the gift of life? Small shrub starts, wildflower seeds, etc are a great way to share the love. This is especially meaningful, if you have a green thumb to share. A pretty packet with flower seeds, accompanied by a note saying “Spread the love”? I’d take it home.

A great idea for a smaller destination wedding (or if you have the means) is guest baskets filled with nice local treats and necessary items. A small tote or basket with wine, sunscreen, local maps, weekend itinerary, local chocolate or candy, etc is one heck of a way to welcome your guests. Have them ready in their rooms or at check in for a nice surprise.

Display can play a crucial role in the impressiveness of favors. A fold up card table with a bunch of cheesy knickknacks may not fit the bill, unless of course your theme is let’s say 1950’s “Americana”. When it comes to upping the ante on creative display, move over Marsha Brady, it’s “Martha, Martha, Martha” (Stewart, that is). 

Perhaps you are dumping a load of money or effort into spectacular centerpieces or large desert table. Send guests home with these in lieu of favors. This is a great way of minimizing waste and making clean up a breeze for your family or wedding coordinator. Just be sure to inform guests with signage or in the programs of this fact. Oh, and don’t forget to provide boxes or “doggie bags” for transport.

Focus on locality. Wedding at the Jersey shore? Salt water taffy! Seattle? Coffee beans! Vermont? Maple syrup! Texas? Hot sauce! You get the picture…try going to a farmer’s market or another small local merchant and strike a deal. Or just buy a pear for each place setting and attach a pretty tag to the stem saying “Perfect pair”. Soap from the local farmer’s market wrapped in pretty calico offers vintage flair.

 Package up your favorite sweets or delectable eats in cellophane bags or jars. Nan’s chutney? Aunt Sue’s strawberry jam? Cheap and cheerful! Of course there are the ever trendy candy tables. Glass vases with singular contrasting colors or metallic wrappings placed on tiers are a great way to showcase your goodies without a color-vomit effect. Or throw caution to the wind, and put out your favorites without regard to aesthetics. It’s your day after all. A “his” and “hers” candy table? Even better. Just be sure to put out those take home bags and twisty ties.

Practical items may be just the ticket. Expecting warm weather? Have pretty fans placed at place settings or in baskets upon entry. Bottles of water with custom labels are a nice way to keep your guests hydrated. Throw in some travel sized sunscreen for outdoor daytime weddings.

Get creative! Roll your own beeswax candles, and wrap with band of pretty fabric and raffia. Make a spice mix, and fill tins with a label “Spice up your love”. Make a mix CD of your favorite songs. Try giving a cookie cutter with your favorite cookie recipe. Lavender sachets, bath salts, body lotion, or even custom made temporary tattoos.

The options are limitless. Let your imagination (okay, and your wallet) be the guide. That’s all for now folks.

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2 thoughts on “DIY Favors

  1. Love your ideas! I think it’s wonderful to give something you and your family have put a lot of effort (rather than money) into. My mother-in-law made small jars of huckleberry jam, and my grandma made toffee, which we put into small glassine bags sealed with cute labels. I found lovely fabrics for the jam jars at The Quilting Loft in Seattle, and the customized labels for the bags came from Two Poodle Press on Etsy. Everything was very reasonably priced.

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