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Are Wedding Favors Necessary? [Should I Budget For These?]

My fiancé and I were discussing our wedding the other night and the subject of wedding favors came up in conversation. I was shocked to discover that he did not know what wedding favors were, having been to so many of our family and friends’ weddings together, and received a favor at most of them.

As it turns out, not only did my fiancé not know what wedding favors are, he also did not remember them at all from any of the weddings we have been to.

Now, just a disclaimer, my fiancé is the kindest, most thoughtful man you will ever meet, and I am in no way saying that the wedding favors were received ungratefully.

However, it did make me wonder, are wedding favors really necessary, or are they just one detail that can be easily forgotten as just one small part of a wedding day – I had to find out! I did some research, and here is what I found.

So, are wedding favors necessary? Wedding favors are not necessary but they are commonly given by couples to guests as a token of appreciation and/or as a memento of the day. Favors have been a traditional feature of weddings for many years, and are considered to be a nice thing to do, if the budget allows.

Wedding favors are often personalized gifts that mean something to the bride and groom involved. More traditional examples include bottle openers, bath salts or even golf balls.

However in more recent years, it has become more common for couples to gift their guests with an edible treat that can be enjoyed there and then.

Either way, couples are not obliged to gift their guests wedding favors, and are they by no means essential.

Weddings should be a reflection of the love shared between the couple getting married, how you choose to show you appreciation for the attendance of your guests is ultimately up to you.

Wedding favors can be a great wat to do this, but there are definitely some other alternatives that work just as well.

Let us now take a closer look at wedding favors; the purpose behind them, if they are a waste of money and if each guest should have one if you do decide to go ahead.

We’ll also be looking at some good examples of favors at the end.

So, be sure to keep on reading if you are yet to make up your mind on whether to offer these and want to learn more about what is involved!

What Is The Point Of Wedding Favors?

A wedding favor is usually a small gift given by the bride and groom to their guests as a token of gratitude and appreciation for attending their wedding. Usually, the gifts fit with the theme of the wedding and can be personalised too.

Couples may choose to personalise their wedding favors to act as a souvenir of their big day, or something for their guest to enjoy in the future, hopefully evoking happy memories of the celebration.

Think of a wedding favor as an adult party bag – a small token of thanks – that your guests can take home with them.

That being said, after a night of partying, it can be quite common for guest to unwittingly leave their wedding favor behind, not due to lack of caring, but just because sometimes it happens!

I have read many posts on forums by disgruntled couples who shelled out on personalized wedding favors, only to be left with many at the end of the night.

Increasingly, couples are opting for edible (or drinkable!) favors that can be given to gusts as they sit down for the wedding breakfast.

Favors such as biscuits, sweets and mini bottles of champagne have been popular over the last few years.

These on-table style favors are great for guests to snack on throughout the course of the day and I must admit, my favourite favors to receive as a guest are sweets or candy that I can enjoy later I the evening, maybe after a glass or two of fizz!

The purpose of wedding favors are to give thanks to your guests, however, giving them a small gift is not the only way to show your gratitude.

If your budget allows, consider theming your favours making them useful, purposeful or delicious for your guests!

If not, there are plenty of other free ways to show your appreciation instead. Perhaps a hand written note, heartfelt conversation or personalized thank you card is more your style?

A quick google search will fill your screen with hundreds of different ideas for wedding favours, ranging from champagne to book marks, tote bags to candles and everything in between.

It can be quite overwhelming, and if you’re anything like me, it can be very easy to get carried away!

Are Wedding Favors A Waste Of Money?

Personalized wedding favors can be quite expensive, and depending on the number of guests you have, may take quite a chunk out of your wedding budget, but are they a waste of money? Surely a token of your gratitude for your wedding guests is money well spent?

In theory, of course it is! We want to make our guests feel special and appreciated, however, consider this: after the wedding reception is over, how many of your favors will be left on the table?

I am not saying this is due to lack of gratitude, more the wedding favors may be left behind by guests because they don’t easily fit in their bags or they quite simply have forgotten them.

What will you and your new partner do with 56 bars of soap that are monogrammed and have the date of your wedding on?!

Some people may consider wedding favors a waste of money if they are not taken and used by your guests.

To ensure this happens our top tips are: make the favors edible, useful and purposeful for your guests!

It might be a waste of money to have favors personalized with your names and initials, if this is important to you, consider personalizing your favors with the names or initials of your guests. That way, they are more likely to remember their favor as it is meaningful and personal to them.

Edible wedding favors rarely go to waste either. I am unashamed to say that on more than one occasion, towards the end of the evening, I have snaffled an extra wedding favor biscuit or some sweets that have been left on the table.

Even if there are some edible favors left at the end of the night, they are the sort of things that will be eaten and enjoyed by remaining guests and friends and family over the next few days.

Wedding favors are only a waste of money if they are not taken and used by your guests. Any gesture of thanks is appreciated, and the chances are, your guests are grateful to be a part of your big day anyway!

If you are choosing not to provide favors, it is highly unlikely that guests will even notice, let alone say anything!

Ultimately, the decision is made by the bride and groom in accordance to their budget.

Is It OK To Not Have Wedding Favors?

I have been very fortunate to have attended some absolutely beautiful weddings in recent years. I remember the atmosphere, the food, the dress (of course!), but can I remember whether I was given a favor at each wedding? No, I certainly cannot.

It is perfectly fine to make the decision to not give each and every guest a favor at your wedding. Perhaps you would rather spend your budget elsewhere (if it’s behind the bar I doubt there will be any complaints!) or perhaps, as a couple you would rather thank your guests in a more personal way: your wedding, your choice.

Due to the fact that traditionally, wedding favors have been given, it could be that your parents have stronger opinions than you do regarding wedding favors. In more recent years, guests typically do not attend weddings expecting a gift of thanks or a favor.

If parents are contributing to the wedding budget, consider spending a portion of their donation on a favor that appeals to and reflects you and your partner.

If not, and you feel strongly about not giving them, then there is no necessity to do so. Perhaps your budget is better spent elsewhere to show gratitude to your guests?

At the end of the day, your wedding day should reflect you as a couple. Decisions about music, food, décor and wedding favors are ultimately your choice and whatever you decide as a couple will be right for your day.

Do You Give Wedding Favors To Each Guest?

As a general rule, wedding favors are given to guests of the ceremony and wedding breakfast only, rather than guests who are only attending the wedding reception.

However, like most ‘wedding rules’ this is totally open to interpretation and ultimately couples can choose which guests to give favors to (if at all!).

It is very common for wedding favors to be laid out on the tables where guests will be seated for the wedding breakfast. A gift per place, one per guest.

However, favors can also be presented or displayed on a separate table for guests to take when leaving.

Consider which would suit you best as a couple. I like the idea of having them ready on the tables for guest to enjoy, particularly if they are edible, and things are taking a little longer than planned!

I was so grateful for the biscuit favor at a recent wedding I was at, where the meal was running about an hour late – the sugar cookie staved off my hunger pangs perfectly!

Consider your budget when thinking about which guests to give favors too. If you would rather gift your day guests a slightly more personal or luxurious favor, there is where you spend your budget, as evening guests are unlikely to expect anything anyway!

Or perhaps you want to give everyone something! The decision is yours.

What Is A Good Wedding Favor?

A good wedding favor is something that shows your gratitude and will also be used and enjoyed by your guests.

Wedding favors don’t have to be big, expensive or grand gestures of appreciation, rather what makes a good wedding favor is something that is thoughtful, purposeful and reflects you as a couple.

A good wedding favor can be something that is edible, sweets or a cookie for example. Something that guests can enjoy during your wedding or in the days following. A sweet treat that will remind them of you.

Another example of a good wedding favor is something that is purposeful, perhaps luggage tags if your wedding is abroad, a personalized charm for their glass of champagne so as not to lose them at the wedding or some bubble bath or soap that can be used and enjoyed by the guest.

I really like the idea of a sparkler as a wedding favor! Not only will you be able to snap some gorgeous pictures of all your guests creating a sparkler exit for you, but waving a sparkler round is guaranteed to be something that your guests will remember for years to come!

Do-it-yourself or DIY wedding favors have become a huge trend in weddings over recent years combining budget-friendly and thoughtful and personalized into one great favor!

Examples of this might be mini hot chocolate kits, complete with a cute message, hot choc and mini marshmallows, or even some seeds and a little pot that guests can plant in the future.

What makes a good wedding favor is something that is thoughtful and reflects you as a couple whilst being useful to your guests.

Remember, it is your wedding. The guests you choose to invite are likely to feel privileged to celebrate your day with you, and should you choose to give wedding favors or not, they will remember the atmosphere, the love and your celebration above everything.


So, its over to you.

Do you like the idea of giving your guests a wedding favor?

Do you have particular wedding favors in mind?

Or is this all just an area of stress and a worry on the budget that is already stretched?

Only you and your partner can make the decision. But ultimately, they should be considered nice to have.

Up next: Do You Need Wedding Programs? [Are They Necessary To Have?]