Family and friends offer a lot to the bride and groom on the wedding day: their time and assistance, gifts from the wedding registry, and even money. At the end of the reception, it is your turn to express your gratitude. There are multiple ways you can thank your guests, from ensuring multiple entertainment options during the reception to offering wedding favours. You can choose between various wedding favour ideas, including the traditional bonbonniere to more unusual DIY favours.
What are wedding favours?
Wedding favours are gifts for guests and they can be anything from confectionary to glassware, traditionally they are a sign of passing along good luck. The earliest documented wedding/party favours date back to 16th century Europe. Such favours were known under the name of ‘bonbonniere’ from the French bonbonniere, literally a box containing bonbons – a sweet gift bestowed by wealthy hosts to their party guests upon leaving. As the concept of favours grew in popularity along came the Jordan almond (sugar-coated).These were designed to represent both the sweet and bitter parts of married life. Fun fact – at Greek weddings, they are offered in odd numbers (usually five), signifying health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.
Later the tradition was adopted by couples from all social classes and transformed to express individuality. Nowadays favours can be anything from candy to souvenirs that represent an elaborate statement piece of a wedding. Each bride and groom is different and favours can be their own unique wedding gifts to their guests, which represent them as a couple.
Whose responsibility is the favours?
The couple is responsible for choosing and sourcing favours, although frequently close family and friends, such as the maid of honour, will help with this part of wedding planning.
There are a couple of different ways favours can be presented:
- At each place setting, next to table decorations;
- Displaying favours on a special favour table; each gift will have attached a decorative name containing guests’ names;
- Giving favours out by hand in exchange for a wedding gift.
Wedding favour ideas are important to explore from an early date because they can really make an impression with your guests and add a little extra sparkle to the experience. Their costs are relatively low, but if you pick it right, your guests will love the added effort and treasure those thoughtful, personal gifts for years to come.
What are your options when it comes to wedding favours?
Your choice of wedding favours and also bridesmaid box ideas should reflect your personality and should be consistent with your wedding theme. Here are some of the most well-loved wedding favour ideas:
Would you like to keep the tradition? Almonds dipped in sweet coating continue to be popular. All you need to get is Jordan almonds, either white or in bright colours. Offered in tulle, they continue to represent the five wedding wishes – which we all desire to enjoy in our marriages.
Gifts with a local flavour
If your wedding is a destination wedding, you can offer guests something relevant specifically to the location. For example – beach wedding? Decorate your gifts with shells and sea glass.
Something with a sentimental touch like your family’s favourite sweet treat can also make a great wedding favour.
Many couples have shifted their focus towards items their guests can use and enjoy later on, such as bottle openers or reusable bags. Your guests will always remember your wedding dearly each time they use the object offered as wedding favour. Promotional product companies are a great source for these!
How much do you spend on bonbonnieres?
The pricing for wedding favours varies anywhere from $0.50 AUD to almost $90 AUD if we have a look at this selection of favours from an Australian online shop. You can choose something memorable and that your guests will love at prices as low as a couple of dollars. Bonbonnieres should not represent a large part of your wedding budget, but you will need to assign at least $100 AUD to $200 AUD to create something memorable and worth giving.
What works and what doesn’t
First of all, do not offer wedding favours just out of obligation. After all, you are treating your guests to an evening of dinner, drinks, dancing and fun, and a parting gift is not compulsory. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t have the time and budget needed to organise some nice wedding favours.
Things that are not particularly elaborate are a trusted option, because they are inexpensive and easy to prepare, bagged or boxed small gifts such as sweets are always good. The idea is to offer a token of love and appreciation, and a sign of goodwill.
Choosing something meaningful can work as well. Do this only if you have a wedding favour idea that represents you as a couple and is acknowledged and understood by family and friends – something related to your passions or your relationship that speaks for you as a couple.
Some not so reliable or worthwhile wedding favour ideas to avoid:
Making your own edible favours
This idea requires a lot of time and effort from your part, plus that you also need to ensure freshness. Such items need to be prepared a day or two before the wedding, just the time when you are most busy, and if they’ve gone bad by the big day then you’ll be stressing even more so.
Products that create waste
The eco-friendly aspect of wedding favours is becoming more and more important. You should avoid souvenirs that create waste, don’t break down easily, or are impossible to repurpose (i.e. useless plastic products that cannot be recycled).
Edibles that can melt
Getting married in a tropical setting? Avoid candy or chocolate favours that melt in high temperatures – they will make a big mess.
Creating your own bonbonnieres
If your time schedule allows for it, you are on a tight budget, or you have great crafting and creative skills, you can try creating your own bonbonnieres. Make sure you prepare them in good time so you can resort to a plan B in case your DIY project doesn’t go according to plan. Think about the message you want to communicate to your guests and who you are as a couple before choosing one of the following creative wedding favour ideas or coming up with something entirely original:
One creative wedding favour from a Villa Botanica wedding was maracas – this had personal significance to the couple and the guests understood it too.
The morning newspaper
Create your own special edition of the morning paper for your Sunday brunch wedding. The newspaper should include details about the party and your couple’s story – guests will keep the favour and remember the great time they had at your wedding.
Put your monogram on a bottle of vino – it is a nice idea for smaller weddings that do not require complicated transport arrangements and also to avoid excessive cost.
How-to-make origami videos can be easily accessed on the Internet – even the most complicated figures are easy to make when someone explains the procedure step by step.
Have an illustrator to do custom portraits of your guests and offer live illustrations during the reception.
For a reception stretching long into the night, try glow jars. All you need is a collection of glow jars and glow-in-the-dark paint. Splatter the paint and paint dots inside the jar. After the paint dries, pour in tonic water mixed with glitter. Close the lid tightly and enjoy! You could even add the bride and groom’s initials for added personalisation.
Would you like to offer the traditional sugar almonds, but still customise your bonbonniere? Personalised wedding tags can be attached to each tulle containing the sweets. Time to learn some calligraphy (if you haven’t already for those wedding invitation ideas)!
Follow Villa Botanica on Instagram (@villabotanicawhitsundays) and keep checking their blog posts for more wedding inspiration, tips, tricks and advice.
Stacey is an innovative problem solver with the ability to develop solutions for a wide range of business and industry scenarios. With an outstanding performance in marketing and business development.