Homemade wedding favors
Boost your budget with homemade items such as wedding favors.
You don't have to be a millionaire to host a wedding that looks like it cost a fortune. Today's savvy brides and grooms know that economy and luxury can go together like love and marriage or a horse and carriage. All it takes is a little imagination. And cutting a few corners by making some of the wedding items.
Many wedding costs are fixed. The rental of the reception hall is a fixed expense. The bridal gown and the groom's tuxedo may not be negotiable. Few resort managers will barter when newlyweds with skills inquire about trading carpentry or plumbing services for a week-long stay in the honeymoon suite. A price tag is a price tag. But enough is enough. How can a couple save money and present a memorable affair at the same time?
One of the best ways to save is to design, construct and decorate your own wedding souvenirs. Homemade wedding favors can be beautiful. The number of complaints one will receive from disgruntled recipients is predictable: zero. The array of oohs-and-aahs, on the other hand, is probably endless. Everyone but a grump enjoys something handcrafted—something made with love.
Take the pulse of the crowd before taking materials in hand
The style of the wedding is an important factor when considering what kind of homemade wedding favors to distribute to your guests. Is the wedding going to be outdoors? Is it formal—or casual? Will there be youngsters included in the ceremony or toddlers running amok at the reception? Keep the kids busy with some children's toys and games so the adults can rejoice undisturbed.
How big is the group of guests? Are you thinking about making a dozen favors—or a hundred? Do your guests appreciate country music, heavy metal or Lawrence Welk? An examination of the group's overall personality reveals clues about the kind of favors to choose. Homemade wedding favors can run the gamut from frilly to frivolous. It's up to you.
Once you have a handle on the kind of group you plan to have present at the wedding, it's time to decide what kind of favors to make. Think of the theme of the wedding. Think of the color scheme. Are the bridesmaids wearing vivid colors or pastels? Are dresses floor-length or thigh-high? There is plenty of room for imagination when it comes to making homemade wedding favors.
Look for inspiration in bridal books, catalogs and magazines
There are inspired favors. And there are boring favors. Sugared nuts wrapped up in squares of stiff netting are favors you're likely to later discover—in the trash cans. Think out of the box. How about some miniature flashlights? They make great homemade favors when decorated with ribbon streamers and handwritten cards that let your guests know: "You light up our life."
Catalogs and bridal books make much of using fancy, gift-wrapped candy as wedding favors. Why not use that stiff netting to make a puffy pouch filled with foil-wrapped chocolate hearts? An attached message could say, "You're sweet to share our day." Dome-shaped cherry cordials and other types of fine chocolates are especially attractive because their foil wraps show through the netting.
Don't be afraid to try some playful wedding favors
A casual garden ceremony—perhaps a second or third wedding—between any of today's baby boomers or seniors might inspire some nostalgia. Most remember the days of the hippies and the flowers in their hair. Why not incorporate into those festivities some favors entailing colorful packets of flower seeds, tiny pots of seedlings or small garden tools.
Imagine your guests surprise when the long, slim gift-wrapped packets alongside your guests' dinner plates reveal miniature garden tools—little trowels and little rakes. Such tools are readily available for tending potted house plants. And your attached note can gleefully read, "Thanks for being here. We dig you the most!"
Think outside the box of cookies at the bakery
There are many ways to tailor homemade wedding favors to the atmosphere of the day. For example, motorcycle enthusiasts who make theirs a biker wedding may draw dozens or hundreds of guests who arrive aboard Harleys, or Hondas. Unique celebrations call for equally imaginative wedding favors.
Call some local bakeries to see if cookies in unusual shapes can be ordered. You'll have fun watching your leather-clad friends open packets of cookies—shaped like dog bones. All you need to add is ribbon and sticker, "Bob & Mary—Bad to the Bone." The ploy works when hosting a wedding with a golf theme or a reception at a tennis club. Think outside the box before you say, "I do." Then, climb into the limo and wave as you drive away. "Adieu."