Wedding Wednesday Discussion: Are Wedding Favours a Waste of Time?


wedding wednesday discussions

Today I want to open up the Blog to you and find out your thoughts on wedding favours. Love them or hate them wedding favours have been around for years. Traditionally they are given as a gift to the wedding guest as a thank you from the bride and groom for attending their wedding, a keepsake of their special day. If you are going down the Traditional route then it states that wedding favours are made using 5 sugared almonds, each of the 5 sugared almonds symbolise; Health, Wealth, Happiness, Long Life and Fertility. However times have moved on and these days anything goes as a wedding favour.

Back in the day when I first started going to weddings, to be honest it was mainly sugared almonds, then it moved to personalized chocolate, personalized matchboxes, lottery tickets, and now these days with the rise of the DIY wedding, absolutely anything goes and it seems the more personal the better.

Brides and grooms are using wedding favours not only as a cute gift for their guests but also as a way to tie their overall theme into the day. Sometimes they are used more functionally and double up as place cards or name tags.

BUT what are your thoughts on them? and will you be having them at your wedding? Some people see them as a complete necessity and feel it is their chance to say thank you to their wedding guests in a personalised manner, fitting to their wedding. They take a great amount of time thinking about what sort of gift to give that reflects them as a couple and something the guests will want to keep.

Others though feel that they are a complete waste of time and just another sap on the wedding budget, one more thing to think about in an already cram packed wedding planning schedule

But what do you think? 

Personally I did give out favours at my wedding. As we got married abroad and it was hot we gave out personalized paper fans with our wedding date printed on them, I wanted something that my guests could keep and also something that was functional, and thank God we did have them, because it was boiling! (Photo by Annie Peel)

wedding favours

On the other hand I have worked at many weddings and seen a lot of favours just get left behind, as soon as the guests have had dinner, they get off go to the bar and forget their little present and it gets left behind when the taxis are called.

wedding favours

From Experience here are a few tips if you are thinking of  having favours

  • Think about size – Large bulky items are less likely to be kept than smaller thinner items, I have seen so many pots of jam over the last couple of years made up caringly by the bride and groom, that look super pretty and then left behind, as the guests had nowhere to put it. If the favour doesn’t fit in a handbag or a suit pocket then chances are they will stay on the table and then get forgotten once the guests have had a few drinks. (Jam photo by Nicola Thompson)
  • Food Favours – Great in theory, BUT if you want to give your guests something that will keep as a memento of the wedding then food isn’t a great option as that mini cup cake, or chocolate lollipop is just going to get eaten and forgotten
  • Making it personal – personalizing a wedding favour, means it is more likely to be kept. I still have a pebble with my name on it that I was given 13 years ago at a wedding  it was my place setting and doubled up as a cute and cheap favour.


Here’s a few favours ideas that I think work if you are thinking of having them

wedding favours wedding favours wedding favours wedding favours wedding favours
  • Lip balm and mini face cream made by the bride herself, perfect to pop in a handbag. This from a wedding I attended last year
  • Mini chalk board name tags. From the wedding of Claire and Tom last year (photo by Mark Tattserall) the guest loved these and could be found wearing them later on in the evening, tied to suit lapels, on ties, round their necks and again popped into a handbag
  • Tea bag favours. From our very own Boho Bride Laura who got married at the weekend. Laura loves tea so made these DIY tea bag favours that sat on the side plate. all the guest took them home as a keepsake. (photo by Jess Petrie)
  • These gorgeous place names, doubled up as a cute gift. Made by the brides mum and from Jenna and Tonys wedding 2 years ago (Photo by Webb Weddings)
  • Bride and groom badges, again from Laura’s wedding at the weekend. All the guests wore their badges and they can be easily made by using a badge making kit, they can be personalized with photos of the couple or even the guests.


So what do you think? Are you having wedding favours? if so what have you decided on? If you’re not having them then why not? Or are you already married with advice about what you did or didn’t do?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave  a comment in the box below.


Big Boho Love

Kelly xx


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    we had home made jam and marmalade, I would say 80% were taken and we got messages afterwards saying how good they were, only small jars, but an interesting point about favours. We sent each of our guest a photograph from our wedding with a thank you card for attending Im hoping people keep the photographs as a reminder of our wedding, at a recent wedding all the men had been given a betting slip for the grand national, was a talking point round dinner to see who had won and then how much, drinks where on him…. Im interested to hear other people’s views as Im not sure on my respons


      really glad that your jam got taken home. I have worked to many weddings wne they simply get left behind. Yours must have been super special xxx

    Nathan @ Artemis Stationery

    If no one had ever got married before and I was planning that first wedding I don’t think they’d honestly occur to me. Although if abroad somewhere sunny maybe you’d have spare sunglasses or sunblock for unprepared guests. Most people coming would bring a nice present but they’re probably getting some good food and possibly drink to which is fairly equitable. Though is definitely a nice to do if you can.

    That said I think if you combine place names and favours I think you can get some really imaginative, fun and nice items that serve a function and provide good keepsakes.

    There are dangers – if you mix and match giving some people chocolate and other soap being prepared for someone to take a bight out of their soap and get a surprise.


    Great piece! We had hand-painted champagne flutes at our wedding last year (bought from Next in the sale at 50p each). We had a small wedding of 50, and I hand-painted each glass myself! (I’ve hand painted glasses as a hobby for some years now).They doubled up as place names and were used for our toast and each and every guest took them away and has kept them! We made sure we provided suitable packaging for them to get home safely at the end of the night, and gave the job of collecting them up and getting them ready to take home to one of the ushers so they didn’t get lost or broken when the evening guests arrived! x


    I made little candles for mine, and although most people thought I was crazy making 110 candles in a selection of 5 scents in small jam jars, most people took them home and used them. I received so many compliments on how their home smelled and how useful it was I’d do it all again. I decided on them because I love making things, wanted to learn a new skill and I am personally obsessed with candles. I now make them for fun! much to the husband’s dismay…. ;)

    I like innovative and quirky favours…. I’ve had ….
    A tea cup and saucer
    Mini compact mirror
    Morino glass picture frame
    A horse in a sweepstake
    Mini eggs and a lindt chocolate bunny at Easter
    Front page news headline with mine and my husbands image and personalised story on it
    All very unique to the couple and all very memorable.

    Gone are the days of almonds in netting !


      wow these sound like a fab idea, when so much care has gone into something ti is’t surpising that they all got taken home.
      And what a lot of weddings you have been to!


    Rather than having favours on the table I was thinking of having a candy bar, and printing up some paper bags with our names and the date of our wedding for guests to pop a few sweets in and take home with them.

    I’m in the packaging industry so I’ve got to get packaging in there somewhere! ;-)

    Amy, Vintage Styler

    Love this post Kelly! Favours really do bug me, I hate to see them left behind but every wedding I have been to have ended up with favours on the tables at the end of the night and it just seems such a waste of money!

    When we got married, we were engaged for 2 years and in that space of time, 3 people who would have been invited sadly passed away. So we decided to donate our favour budget to the charities relating to those 3 people so they would still play a small part in the day, and we put a little note in a simple picture frame on each table so guests were aware. The families of those people really did appreciate the thought much more than they would have appreciated a favour. x


    Our favours are the mini chalkboard martini glasses that were featured on Boho a few weeks ago. They will also double up as place names and add to the theme of cocktails as this is what our table names will be and we plan on filling them with cocktail flavour jelly beans (unfortunately an actual cocktail goes beyond our budget).
    I must admit I am a bit worried that people won’t take them home and am debating putting a little luggage lable around them saying ‘take me home’ or something similiar.

    I guess that although we were thinking about something for the guest we also wanted something that would look good on the table and link with our various themes. Must admit though I do love the heart chalkboard name tags pictured above!!


      Hi Jo I do love your wedding favours, they are such a great idea, but yes I would put a tag round it saying take me home, otherwise guest may not realise they are theirs to keep.
      May some bubble wrap near the door as well at the end of the night


    I love love love favours but unfortunately they tend to be admired for a few minutes and left behind. I found this when i was working as a wedding planner/coordinator in hotels in Ireland. Such a pity as there are so many really beautiful ones!


    Wedding favours are one of the must have things for me at weddings because I just love the creativity that they bring out in people. You can really see the personality of the couple through them and they can really tie into the theme of the wedding too. As a guest at a wedding I always take them home because I like the keepsake from the day. From the brides perspective, I really hope that people take their favours home from our wedding as they are meant to be used after the day as a little reminder of our wedding and of us as couple. We are having CD favours that were part of my last Brides Diary on this very blog and they feature songs from the year we met in 2001, so it’s a bit of reminder of our youth and poking fun at our tastes in music back then! I’ve made enough for the evening guests too.


      I know people will take your favours home becki, it is such a great idea and nice and flat so will fit in a pocket.

    Laura Parker

    I know I’m late to this post but just wanted to add that we had approx. 5 of our teabag favours left behind and no badges! Some people even put two badges on (one of each) so I was glad I made extra.

    I agree with Nathan above though – if weddings were a new idea people might not even think about them!

    In a nice way I don’t think they are expected though, they are just a nice addition to the day. Noone will notice if you don’t have them, but if you do your guests will love them as nowadays people put so much thought and care into selecting their favours. Long live the sweet and meaningful favour! x


    Hi, I love the idea of having the personized fans at my wedding next year, and was just wondering where you had them done.

    Thank you


    I got married in 1977 and we never gave favours. I went to many weddings before that and many since and have never seen or heard of favours. My daughter is getting married and she told me that you have to give favours. I told her that I think it is the most rediculous thing I’ve ever heard of.
    In my opinion you invite a guest and normally feed them and give them a drink and if your lucky they may give you a present. WHY why why do you have to give them one


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