What are Wedding Favors? A Quick and Simple Guide

Wedding favors are small tokens of appreciation given to guests at a wedding. These thoughtful gifts serve as a way for the couple to express their gratitude to their friends and family for attending the special event, and give the guests a souvenir to remember the celebration by. A wedding favor isn’t intended to be an extravagant gift; rather, it should reflect the sentiment behind it and resonate with the overall theme of the wedding.

One of the key aspects to consider while choosing wedding favors is the budget allocated for them. According to a survey conducted in 2022, the average combined cost of favors and wedding party gifts was around $440. Couples should determine their spending cap before selecting the type of favors they’d like to offer their guests. Various options are available for wedding favors, from practical items, such as bottle openers, to decorative pieces that match the wedding theme, like island-inspired shapes for a destination wedding.

The history and etiquette of giving wedding favors carry importance as well. Originating as a symbol of the couple’s gratitude and the guests’ presence, the tradition of providing favors has evolved over time. Couples must keep in mind the purpose of the gift and consider choosing favors that hold meaning and can be cherished by their guests. Ultimately, wedding favors should be a thoughtful way to thank attendees for their time, love, and support in celebrating the union of two individuals.

What’s Wedding Favors?

A wedding favor is a small gift given to guests as a token of appreciation for attending the wedding and celebrating with the couple. These favors are a way for the couple to express their gratitude and provide guests with a memento to remember the special day.

While wedding favors can range from simple to elaborate, they don’t need to be extravagant or pricey. Guests typically do not expect anything too extravagant, so it’s up to the couple’s preferences and budget to determine what type of favors they’d like to give.

Wedding favors can be customized or themed around the couple’s interests, hobbies, or even the wedding theme itself. Some popular options include:

  • Edible treats, such as chocolates or candies
  • Small keepsakes, such as keychains or ornaments
  • Personalized items, such as coasters or bottle openers
  • Eco-friendly or charitable favors, such as seed packets or a donation in the guests’ names

When selecting wedding favors, it’s important for the couple to consider their guests’ preferences and potential usefulness of the items. This ensures that the favors will be appreciated and cherished, rather than being discarded or forgotten.

History and Tradition of Wedding Favors

Wedding favors have been a part of traditional wedding ceremonies across a wide range of cultures for centuries. Over time, they have evolved and taken on various forms, each carrying its unique symbolic significance. Let’s explore a few of these historical and traditional wedding favors.


The Bonbonniere is believed to be the first wedding favor, originating amongst European aristocrats. Crafted as a small trinket box, typically made of precious stones or porcelain, it would contain luxury items such as sugared almonds or other sweet treats. These delightful gifts were not only a gesture of appreciation but also a symbol of the host’s wealth and status. The sweet contents of the Bonbonniere were believed to bring good luck and blessings to the guests who received them.

Wedding Bells

Another traditional wedding favor comes in the form of small decorative bells. Throughout history, bells have been used as a symbol of celebration, and their joyful ringing is thought to ward off evil spirits. In some cultures, it is customary for the bride and groom to give their guests small wedding bells as a token of their everlasting bond and a commitment to a lifetime of love and happiness. The ringing of these bells during the ceremony not only adds a festive ambiance but also serves as a reminder of the love shared between the couple.

Tokens of Apprecation

Wedding favors have evolved into a diverse range of small, thoughtful gifts that serve as tokens of appreciation from the bride and groom to their guests. Today, some popular wedding favor ideas include:

  • Mini champagne bottles
  • Candle favors
  • Small lanterns
  • Skeleton key bottle openers
  • Eco-friendly seed packets
  • Personalized wine glass favors

Regardless of their form or content, the key purpose of wedding favors has always been to express gratitude and share the celebration of love with friends and family who attend the special event. The history and tradition behind these favors reflect how they have become an integral part of wedding ceremonies worldwide.

Popular Types of Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a lovely way to show appreciation to your guests for attending your special day. There is a wide variety of wedding favors to choose from, fitting various themes and personal preferences. Below are some of the most popular types of wedding favors, sorted into four categories.

Edible Wedding Favors

An enjoyable and ever-popular choice, edible wedding favors delight guests with a tasty treat. Some edible options include:

  • Honey: Mini jars filled with all-natural honey, featuring personalized labels and optional dippers.
  • Candy: Small bags of candies, such as gummy bears or chocolates, tailored to the couple’s theme and colors.
  • Gourmet Popcorn: Pre-packaged gourmet popcorn in various flavors to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
  • Tea Bags and Coffee: Personalized tea bags or coffee packets for guests to enjoy at their leisure.
  • Hot Sauce: Custom-labelled hot sauce bottles to add some spice to the celebration.

Candles and Scented Items

Candles and scented items not only serve as beautiful decor but also offer a pleasant sensory experience. Consider these ideas:

  • Scented Candles: Personalized candles for guests to take home and enjoy, bringing back memories of your special day.
  • Soap: Beautifully-shaped or scented soaps to make for a practical and memorable gift.

Useful and Practical Favors

Providing your guests with something they can use in their everyday lives is a thoughtful option. Here are some useful and practical wedding favor ideas:

  • Hand Sanitizer: Personalized bottles of hand sanitizer for your guests to keep themselves safe and sanitized.
  • Playing Cards: Customized playing card decks as a fun gift that guests can use for game night.
  • Champagne: Mini champagne bottles for guests to celebrate with you on your big day and beyond.

Personalized and Unique Favors

To add a personal touch to your wedding favors, consider these unique and personalized ideas:

  • Engraved Items: A wide range of choices, from keychains to wine stoppers, can be engraved with the couple’s names and wedding date.
  • Photo Frames: Beautiful and unique photo frames, personalized with the couple’s wedding details, waiting to be filled with captured memories.

Selecting the Perfect Wedding Favor

Choosing the right wedding favor for your guests can be a delightful task if you keep a few key factors in mind. In this section, we explore how to take into consideration your budget, match the wedding theme, and opt for meaningful and memorable choices.

Consider Your Budget

When selecting the perfect wedding favor, it is essential to first establish a budget. The average cost of favors and wedding party gifts is around $440, but this can vary depending on your personal preferences and the size of your guest list. With a clear budget in mind, it will be easier to narrow down your options and make a well-informed choice.

Match Your Wedding Theme

Your selected wedding favors should reflect the overall theme of your celebration. If you’ve chosen a particular color scheme, design, or motif, incorporate those elements into your favor selection. This will create a cohesive experience for your guests and contribute to a memorable and harmonious event. For instance, if you’re having a vintage-inspired wedding, consider giving out skeleton key bottle openers or small lantern favors that align with your theme.

Meaningful and Memorable Choices

It’s essential to choose wedding favors that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also meaningful and memorable. Opt for favors that represent a sentiment or a personal touch, rather than something generic. For example:

  • Mini champagne bottles are a delightful reminder of the celebratory atmosphere at the wedding.
  • Eco-friendly seed packet favors will encourage guests to remember your big day as they watch their flowers grow.
  • Personalized wine glass favors add an intimate touch and can be used for years to come.

In summary, when selecting the perfect wedding favor, remember to consider your budget, match your wedding theme, and choose items that hold meaning and create lasting memories for your guests.

Creating DIY and Personalized Wedding Favors

DIY and personalized wedding favors add a unique and memorable touch to your special day. They not only showcase the couple’s creativity but also convey gratitude to the guests in a truly thoughtful way. Here are some ideas to inspire you with your own DIY wedding favor projects.

Mason Jars and Handcrafted Items

Mason jars are incredibly versatile and useful items that can easily be transformed into beautiful wedding favors. They can be filled with a variety of items such as homemade jams, honey, or even bath salts. Personalize them by adding custom labels, ribbons, or tags to match your wedding theme. You may also explore handcrafted items from sites like Etsy, where you can find unique, artisan-made options to suit your style:

  • Hand-painted coasters
  • Custom embroidered handkerchiefs
  • Handmade soap bars

By choosing these items, you provide your guests with a heartfelt keepsake that they can treasure for years to come.

Custom Labels and Packaging

Another way to add a personalized touch to your wedding favors is to create custom labels and packaging. Websites like Minted offer a range of customizable labels, tags, and stickers that you can use to enhance your favors. These options allow you to:

Coordinate colorsMatch your wedding’s theme or palette
Include names and datesAdd a personal message, quote, or monogram
Choose a variety of shapes and sizesSelect from different designs and patterns

Using custom labels and packaging elevates the presentation of your DIY wedding favors, making them even more special and memorable for your guests.

Whether you choose to create your own mason jar treats or handcraft personalized items, remember that the most important aspect of a wedding favor is the thought and care put into it. Enjoy crafting these unique, meaningful gifts, which will surely leave a lasting impression on your loved ones.

Where to Buy Wedding Favors

When it comes to selecting the perfect wedding favors for your special day, there is a wide array of options available to choose from. The key is to find the right source that matches your taste, budget, and theme. Below, we’ll discuss different ways to purchase wedding favors, specifically focusing on online retailers and marketplaces, and local artisans or specialty shops.

Online Retailers and Marketplaces

One of the most convenient ways to shop for wedding favors is through various online retailers and marketplaces. These platforms typically offer a wide range of options, and you can often find unique, customizable favors to suit your wedding theme.

  • Amazon: The popular e-commerce website offers a vast selection of wedding favors, from traditional options like Jordan almonds to more unique choices like seed packets or potpourri. They also have a variety of bulk purchasing options, making it budget-friendly.
  • Other online retailers: Websites like Etsy and Minted can also be excellent sources for distinctive, handcrafted options from experienced artisans all over the world. These sites often showcase items that can be personalized to match your wedding theme and colors.

Local Artisans and Specialty Shops

If you prefer to support local businesses, consider visiting nearby artisans or specialty shops that focus on crafting unique wedding favors. This option not only provides a personalized experience but also offers the opportunity to select items that shine a spotlight on your local community.

  • Artisan markets: Art and craft fairs often feature talented artists and crafters who produce unique, handmade wedding favors. This can be an excellent way to discover one-of-a-kind items that capture the spirit of your special day.
  • Specialty shops: Local stores that specialize in custom gifts can also provide a personalized touch to your wedding favors. Many specialty shops can produce items specifically tailored to your theme, allowing you to create memorable keepsakes for your guests.

No matter which route you choose to purchase your wedding favors, the most important thing is to select items that resonate with you and your partner, as well as appreciate the effort and time your guests have dedicated to sharing your special day.

Environmental and Charitable Alternatives

Plantable and Eco-Friendly Options

When considering wedding favors, it’s a great idea to think about environmentally-friendly options that have a positive impact on the planet. One popular choice is gifting mini succulents to your guests. These small plants not only serve as beautiful and memorable keepsakes, but they also contribute to a greener environment by improving air quality and requiring minimal maintenance. 

Furthermore, couples can encourage their guests to adopt a sustainable lifestyle by offering eco-friendly wedding favors, such as reusable water bottles, bags, straws, or cutlery. By selecting items that replace single-use plastics and papers, guests will be reminded of the couple’s commitment to the environment and may even adopt more sustainable habits themselves.

Donating to a Cause

For those who are looking for a meaningful alternative to traditional wedding favors, making a charity donation on behalf of each guest can be a thoughtful and impactful choice. This approach allows the couple to support a cause close to their hearts while also sharing their values with friends and family.

When choosing the appropriate charity, it’s important to consider organizations that reflect the couple’s passions and are neutral enough to be appreciated by all guests. Some popular options include supporting the arts, helping animals or children, or contributing to environmental conservation efforts. 

To make this charitable donation, couples can simply provide a card at each place setting, letting guests know that a donation on their behalf has been made to the chosen charity. By opting for such meaningful and eco-friendly wedding favors, you leave a lasting impression on your guests and contribute to a better world for all.

Elegant Presentation and Placement

Presenting your wedding favors in an elegant manner adds a touch of refinement to your special day. When it comes to displaying these tokens of appreciation, taking the time to arrange and wrap them thoughtfully can showcase the gratitude you feel towards your guests. In this section, we will discuss various techniques to enhance the presentation of your wedding favors, focusing on place settings, favor displays, thank you notes, and gift wrapping.

Place Settings and Favor Displays

Place settings and favor displays have the potential to elevate the overall ambiance of your wedding reception. Beautifully presented favors can serve as an extension of your wedding theme and enhance the visual aesthetics of your venue. One approach to incorporating favors into your place settings is by placing small tokens or gifts near each guest’s plate or napkin. Alternatively, you may also create a separate table or display to showcase your favors, which guests can visit to pick up their thoughtful keepsakes.

Thank You Notes and Gift Wrapping

Including a sweet note of thanks alongside your wedding favor can add a personal touch and express your gratitude towards your guests. Handwritten thank-you notes are a heartwarming gesture that can make your gift even more memorable. To further elevate the appearance of your favors, consider utilizing elegant gift wrapping materials, such as ribbons, delicate tissue paper, or even customized packaging that reflects your wedding theme.

In conclusion, paying attention to the presentation and placement of your wedding favors can enrich the overall experience for your guests. Be it placing them on the table creatively, or adding thoughtful notes and attractive wrapping, a well-presented wedding favor showcases your gratitude and care for your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Wedding Favors Necessary?

Wedding favors are not strictly necessary, but they are a thoughtful gesture to thank your guests for attending your wedding. They offer a small token of appreciation and can help guests remember your special day. The choice to provide wedding favors ultimately depends on your personal preferences and budget.

What Is an Appropriate Budget for Wedding Favors?

The budget for wedding favors varies depending on the number of guests and the type of favor chosen. According to a survey of nearly 12,000 newlyweds who married in 2022, the average cost of favors and wedding party gifts combined was about $440. It’s essential to consider your overall wedding budget and allocate an appropriate amount for favors, keeping in mind that they should be a small, heartfelt gesture rather than an extravagant gift.

How Many Favors Should Be Ordered?

When ordering wedding favors, plan to provide one for each guest or one per couple or family unit, depending on the type of favor. To avoid running out, it is a good idea to order a few extra favors, as accidents can happen or last-minute guests may attend. Here’s a proposed approach to determining the number of favors needed:

Guest TypeNumber of Favors
Individual guests1 per guest
Couples1 per couple
Family units1 per family
Extra favors5-10% additional

Remember, your wedding favors should be meaningful and useful to your guests, reflecting your appreciation for their presence at your wedding. Choose something that represents you as a couple and will create a lasting memory for your guests.

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