June 12, 2022

Wedding favours: pros, cons and ideas

Wedding favours started long ago as a traditional gift of five almonds tied together with ribbon that were thought to bring the marrying couple health wealth, cheerfulness, fertility and long life. They remain traditional in some European countries but wedding favours have become a much bigger business now. So, let’s chat all things favours. Are you having them? Giving them a miss? And importantly, what will your favours be. Read on for the pros and cons and lots of ideas…

Box of sugared almonds wedding favours on a grey linen napkin

(The traditional sugared almonds)

Wedding favours: what’s great about them

Firstly, there is nothing that says you must have wedding favours so it’s completely down to you as a couple.

If you’re creating something truly personalised to you as a couple that your guests will keep, use or have to truly remember your day by then wedding favours are fabulous.

When you’re hosting a weekend-long or destination wedding a lot of couples are opting for welcome bags which might have information about the local area, water or other drinks to enjoy in the hotel room or perhaps other local delicacies.

Either that, or depending on how you feel your wedding is going to go down, how cute are these recovery kits that Kathryn and Matthew gave to their wedding guests (and judging on the party I’m guessing that most of them were very grateful for them!

Hangover kits lined up as wedding favours

Wedding favours: what’s not to love

More couples are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious when it comes to wedding planning (yay!) and the idea of providing small individually plastic wrapped mints, chocolates or other gifts that get forgotten and left on tables at the end of the table doesn’t feel as appealing as it once did. And believe me I have seen a lot of things left behind.

Homemade cookie bar wedding favour table

(The amazing homemade cookie bar with four different flavours all made by bride Marie)

Budget wise, when you feel you are inviting your friends to an event, do they also need a small, non-personalised gift as well? If you’re doing it just to tick something off a to do list then perhaps it’s time to rethink and use that money more wisely.

I think one of the biggest frustrations is definitely gifts being left behind so go with something that guests can easily slip into pockets, bags or eat on the spot if this is a concern!

Bird seed hangers with sign as a wedding favour idea

(Nat and Alex opted for bird seed feeder hanging ornaments which were both super cute and environmentally friendly!)

Wedding favours: an alternative

If you really want your guests to have a favour that they take home with them you can have a table at the exit where they take a gift on exit so the favours aren’t forgotten on tables, or have a sharing table like a sweet bar as your favour idea. Or give them something to use at the wedding like Sally and Jonathan who gave out flip flops to guests for the dancefloor.

Similarly, you can always donate the money you would have spent on favours to charity.

Sweet bar pick and mix wedding favour

(Sweet table that Sarah and Ian made up at their wedding for all to enjoy)

Wedding favour ideas

There are so many different things that you can offer your guests as wedding favours and here are some of the fab things I’ve seen at weddings over the years at weddings I’ve photographed…

Edible wedding favour ideas

Ian and Louise brought all these little lanterns back from Morocco and filled them with sweets. Guests had to find their name and on the reverse of their name was their table number. Their favour doubled up as a seating plan. It ticks many boxes; edible, something to take home and practical on the day!

Wedding favour sweets used as a seating plan

Kasumi and Kevin incorporated both of their cultures into their favours… her Japanese side with the green tea and his English side with the Earl Grey tea. Cute!

Homemade biscuit wedding favours with blue ribbon and printed sign

Emma and Paul did something similar with their English-Irish marriage and had English jam and Irish marmalade as favours.

Jam and marmalade wedding favours

I’ve seen lots of other great edible favours that usually go down well with peckish guests too; lots of different personalised items such as rock, iced biscuits and chocolates. There has also been honey from the personal hives of the couple, chocolates homemade by the talented groom, and cake pops for table sharing. 

Wedding favours of orange, honey, cake pops and personalised rock
Edible wedding favours like gingerbread men, sugared almonds, chocolates and iced biscuits

This couple’s married name was going to be Godfrey so it seemed only fitting to get the Pret gingerbread man involved! Any time a favour has any meaning or fits your day then it’s going to be a big hit with your guests!

Pret gingerbread man Godfrey wedding favour

Non-edible wedding favour ideas

If you don’t fancy something that your guests will eat and forget, how about a keepsake to take home with them? Check out the fab ideas that some of these couples had…

Niki and Joe gave all guests a lottery ticket in a pretty envelope. There was a LOT of chatter at the tables about what would happen if anyone scooped the jackpot at the wedding; would the table be a syndicate, would they share with the couple etc. It was a great ice breaker!

Bride in red dress scratching off lottery ticket wedding favour

I’ve seen various wine charms given as gifts which doubles as a great gift if you’re having an open bar and want to keep the bar bill down, ha!

I loved Lou & Pete’s double gift of personalised wine glasses with everyone’s names on them (cool take on a wine charm) and fans for all guests after the forecast turned super hot)…

Wedding favour ideas like wine charms, fans and tattoos

Sophie and Dan had a personalised scent soy candle made up for all their guests which were well received and smelt amazing!

Personalised white candle wedding favour

Personalised transfer tattoos, flipflops for the dancefloor, bubbles and homemade decorations to keep are all unique favours I’ve seen at weddings too. Any of these appeal to you?

Wedding favour flip flops, heart decoration, bubbles and wine charm

Drinkable wedding favour ideas

If you know your guests love a tipple then a mini bottle of drink is never a bad idea. I’ve seen plenty of weddings with mini airline bottles as favours, or like these weddings ones with homemade sloe gin, flavoured gins or spirits, apple cider from orchards at family houses and other concoctions that I’m sure I’d have braved! 

There are lots of ways to dress up mini bottles and you can use them as a favour on the side or as the place setting as you see here.

Alcoholic wedding favour ideas

If you’re having a cash bar, you can also do what Rach and Staff did and use drink tokens as a wedding favour that everyone will love… Make them themed to your day and they are sure to be a big hit!

Homemade biscuit and drink token wedding favour

I hope this will help you spark some ideas, either as to whether you want to have favours or not, and then if you do as to what you may like for your own favours.

Favours are just a small part of what I photograph on your wedding day. I capture all of your decorations and details, of course, and the rest of the day I focus on capturing happy, natural moments on your wedding. Click that link and see a little more of what I’m about and then I’d love for you to get in touch and see if we’re a good fit for your wedding. Let’s have a chat!

About Tori

Hi I’m Tori, welcome to the home of all things happy! Here I reckon you’ll find some of the happiest photos in Hertfordshire…I love being around love so I was made for photography. Your wedding, your family days, your passion projects; they all give me the grins. Anything you want to chat about, I’ve probably seen it so get in touch because I love a good natter. Plus, maybe we’re friends that just haven’t met yet, who knows?!