This is one of my most asked questions. Should we send our guests home with favors? What should we gift that has mass appeal? Favors are overrated. Especially if you don't really have meaning behind what you're giving your guests.
Here is the ugly truth about favors. Couples spend a couple hundred dollars on favors that they envision their friends and family loving, taking home and enjoying, giving something useful that will be kept for years, or plants nurtured into thriving adulthood. When tearing down after an event most of these favors are left on tables; discarded at the venue, hotel, or home; or accidentally broken/damaged. We all love you but glasses with your name and wedding date on it are not making it to the china cabinet.
So, why do we place so much emphasis on their importance? Tradition, it's always been done so we have to do it too. False! You should be customizing your wedding based on what is important to you. Save that couple hundred dollars for an excursion on your honeymoon or upgrade your hors d'oeuvres or bar package. Your guests will truly thank you for that.
Exceptions: a lump sum to a charity that is close to your family or heart; something that was put together by you as a couple (for example, I had a couple who owned an apiary and they gave their guests little jars of honey, some were left behind but they were able to be reused); or a family tradition (cookie table with cookies made from family recipes). The edible favor also has more of a chance of being eaten at the reception or taken home than a tchotchke chosen as an obligation.
But we want to give a gift to our guests as a thank you for coming... Well, you're already doing that with an open bar, great meal, and creating a fun time for everyone to enjoy.
Another great way to cut the fat is to cut out unnecessary stationary and blanket traditions that go along with the wedding day celebration.
Here’s how and what to cut:
Programs (50% aren't taken and the remaining are left on seats).
Menu cards (no one is saving these, all are thrown in the trash).
Champagne toast (many guests take a sip, toast with what guests are drinking)