Special/Signature Issues » Bridal Style

Fantastic Favors

Finding A Favor If your budget can handle over-the-top expressions of gratitude, that's great, but for most couples, budgets are an issue. Fortunately, some of the best favors rely on creativity rather than their price tag. Take inspiration from the season, your honeymoon destination, your wedding theme or colors, your heritage or the location of your wedding or reception.

If you have your heart set on something that costs a bit more, keep it within your budget by giving one gift per couple, including both names on the tag. For solo wedding guests, of course, it's one gift per person.

Tying It Together No matter what the favor, you can give it extra pizzazz by getting creative with the presentation. Box it up with ribbon, tie it in clear colored bags that match your wedding colors, set it inside a vintage candy dish, drop it in a pretty flowerpot filled with tissue paper, - your creativity is the limit here. Add a personal touch by including a tag with the name of the guest and a favorite quote, passage or poem.

Graceful Giving There are several ways you can handle giving your guests their favors. Put a gift beside each place setting if you are having a sit-down affair or if it is an informal reception, arrange your favors on a pretty table with a framed sign that expresses your appreciation. If it is a very small wedding, you can personally hand out favors as you see each guest.

A Few Of Our Favorite Things

Need some inspiration when it comes to deciding on a wedding favor? Here are a few that we think take the cake.

Jordan Almonds are a perennial favorite at weddings. Tried and true, but always appropriate, add a bit more to this classic favor by explaining the tradition. Put each guest's almonds in a pretty container - think a mini bird nest, vintage candy dish or decorated gift box - and include a tag telling your guests that fresh almonds have a bittersweet taste, which represents life. The hard candy coating is added with the hope that the newlyweds' life will be filled with more sweet than bitter.

Charity begins at home so consider skipping the traditional gifts and making chartable donations in the name of your guests. Choose an organization that is connected to your interests as a couple or to the location of your wedding, reception or honeymoon to tie it all together.

CDs of the wedding-day music, favorite tunes or songs that evoke the honeymoon destination are a fun way to let your guests take a bit of the happy day home with them. As a couple, personally create the song list and include numbers that will appeal to all ages. Customize the CD cover with a picture, your names and the wedding date.

Take inspiration from your location with gifts that evoke thoughts of your wedding or reception site or theme, the state where your wedding is held, or your honeymoon destination. You might give seashells filled with saltwater taffy for a coastal theme, blueberry pancake mix and maple syrup for a New England-based location, potted lavender for a garden theme. You get the idea.

Custom made sweets are a fun novelty. Give your guests cookies or chocolates shaped as X's and O's or hearts.

Pair up with the season or nearest holiday. Ornaments tied with a ribbon for winter holidays, sparklers for July 4, tricks and treats for a fall wedding, sunglasses for a summertime affair.

Smiling faces are always nice. Consider giving each guest a pretty frame then fill it with a picture of the two of you or a family shot. If you are very industrious, have a designated person use a digital camera and print out photos of your guests right at the reception.

Use love as your theme and provide a book of poems or writings about love, life or happiness to each guest. Be sure you and your love sign it ahead of time.

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