What's your favorite wedding favor?
June 21, 2010 7:17 AM   Subscribe

What is the best wedding favor you ever received?

Looking for wedding favor ideas that are unique and/or things that people will actually use. Wedding theme is tropical and will be held in February in Florida.
posted by heatherly to Grab Bag (38 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Haha.... you should do fresh pineapples!
posted by Night_owl at 7:19 AM on June 21, 2010

I like the idea of wedding-labeled tropical seeds. You could make the envelopes yourself.

Then guests can grow something and think of you. Lots of metaphors for marriage, procreation etc if you so choose.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:28 AM on June 21, 2010

I love the fresh pineapples idea!

For my autumn wedding, we bought brown diner mugs wholesale, and tucked inside teabags and hot cocoa packets. Guests pretty much went ape over them, and we saw several people snatching them off other tables to be sure they'd get a "complete set." If I was doing a tropical wedding, I'd probably buy cocktail glasses in bulk, fill them with tropical-themed candy or somesuch. Don't bother etching them with anything wedding-related; that actually reduces the utility for your guests. Instead, get little cards printed to tuck inside (you can see the ones we used here), encouraging your guests to both use the glasses that night and bring them home.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:30 AM on June 21, 2010 [4 favorites]

Jars of candied pecans. YUM.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:32 AM on June 21, 2010

I got a packet of wildflower seeds at one; I planted them in a window box this summer -- they're beautiful, and they remind me of the place where the wedding was.

I've gotten movie tickets before, which was unusual; I definitely used them! At Indian weddings, they sometimes give out sweets usually in really pretty reusable containers. I still use them as canisters in my kitchen. I've gotten a little book of recipes that everyone in the wedding party contributed to.
posted by bluefly at 7:34 AM on June 21, 2010

Of all of the weddings I've been to, I've never gotten a favor that I've used afterwards. There was the occasional chocolate that was immediately consumed, but it's pretty difficult to buy one thing that 50, or 100, or 200 people are all going to enjoy/use. Something that I've seen frequently recently is a donation to a charity in lieu of favors. That seems to be a pretty good way to ensure that the money isn't wasted (though I supposed the charity could be wasteful with it).

For my wedding, we donated to two organizations that my wife and I work very closely with, and have affected our families. If you don't like that idea, maybe you could list out three organizations/causes on the invitations, and let your guests "vote" - then break out however much you want to donate based on the votes. So if your total contribution is $100, and charity A gets 40% of the votes, they get 40 bucks. Could be a way to let the guests still "get" something as a favor
posted by um_maverick at 7:34 AM on June 21, 2010

Cookie cutters shaped like hearts.
posted by princelyfox at 7:37 AM on June 21, 2010

I like the glasses with seeds idea.

The best wedding I've been to, they had a semi-well known (and LOUD) band play. They got little plastic boxes, put a "Boy & Girl, Date" sticker on the top, and put a couple of pair of earplus in each one.

They were a hit.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:38 AM on June 21, 2010

Something that might be handy given your theme and locale: hand fans.

I'm also a fan of edible favors so they can just disappear. I always feel bad when I end up throwing useless things out after weddings. Nobody needs those damn tiny tiny picture frames. Nobody. Tiny pear or pea shaped salt shakers? Not going to use 'em.

That being said, we gave handmade origami roses and 50ml beaker shotglasses/votives at my wedding. These were all double used as the table decor so I didn't feel I wasted them.
posted by mrsshotglass at 7:39 AM on June 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Best answer: At my wedding we gave every guest a used book that my fiance and I had chosen specifically for that person. The books were all placed in the center of the table with name-tag bookmarks so each person could find theirs.

People loved the books. They were great conversation starters during the meal. It was really fun for my fiance and I to pick them out. Plus it was very inexpensive: probably less then 50 cents per favor overall.
posted by alms at 7:41 AM on June 21, 2010 [26 favorites]

Tubes of sunscreen, with custom labels. Tiny hand-held battery-powered fans.
posted by padraigin at 7:42 AM on June 21, 2010

Tulip bulbs.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:43 AM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

We just went to a destination wedding in a tropical locale and one of the favors was chapstick with SPF. Very handy, frankly.
posted by devinemissk at 7:48 AM on June 21, 2010

My future sister-in-law gave out feathers painted with island scenes, much like this. They're gorgeous; we framed and hung ours.

But they were pricey, along the lines of $15 per favor.
posted by kwaller at 7:51 AM on June 21, 2010

February in Florida

Valencia oranges? (I don't know if they're in season then....I am ignorant about FL but I love oranges).
posted by anniecat at 7:51 AM on June 21, 2010

A small picture frame from my cousin's wedding. They were used to hold our seating cards so they served a dual purpose. Not super original, but better than the bottle stoppers, cake servers, and tons of jordan almonds.

I know they're becoming obsolete with optical mice, but the "we clicked" mousepad on this page is cute. Lots of other unique ideas there too.
posted by NoraCharles at 7:53 AM on June 21, 2010

Japanese folding fans, for an outdoor August wedding.
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:57 AM on June 21, 2010

I'm with um_maverick. I've never gotten anything from a wedding that I've continued to use. We did what maverick did for our wedding as well and not only was it cheaper in the end (when you consider labor) it was also a helluva lot simpler.
posted by mmascolino at 7:59 AM on June 21, 2010

Best ever: glass flowers made by the bride, who is a glass artist. Awesome. Beautiful. Touching.

Sad: cute bottles filled with oil and ...something decoratively herbaceous, that we couldn't take home because we couldn't carry them on the plane, and we couldn't check our bags that particular trip.
posted by galadriel at 8:00 AM on June 21, 2010

T-shirts made up to look like a tour shirt for the band that played the wedding, with a list of fake (except for one!) gigs on the back. Friends made the graphics for the front, using some of the bride and groom's favorite characters/animals/etc. Fun, comfy, and every time I wear it I think of them!
posted by sldownard at 8:10 AM on June 21, 2010

The small picture frames used for place cards, like NoraCharles said, are nice.

We gave out scratch-off $1 lottery tickets featuring the State Capitol building (where we got married). Special relatives got nicer ones that reflected their interests (so we gave Elvis ones to my aunt and former MIL, who did and didn't love The King, respectively). We put them in small, nice envelopes with people's names on them that we used as place cards.

Nobody won much, but the kids got a kick out of them too. Bonus: a couple months later I forgot my wallet and couldn't pay for the gas I needed for a road trip, but we found the winning ones that had been discarded, and we redeemed them at the gas station and went on our merry way :)
posted by Madamina at 8:21 AM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

We got married outdoors in a park, so we gave out wildflower seeds, too. I probably wouldn't have bothered with favors, but I saw these online, and they fit with our 'outdoorsy-gardeny' non-theme. One of my friends did the 'donation in your name' to a children's hospital, which was nice.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 8:27 AM on June 21, 2010

Once upon a time I got a box made of white chocolate, filled with more small, homemade chocolates. Hmmm.... No idea which wedding it was, but I was on a sugar high all the following week.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:29 AM on June 21, 2010

My favorite was a wedding where, instead of cut flowers or baubles for the table decorations, the couple had a bunch of pretty live plants in neat containers. The guests got to take them home after the shindig. I totally admit to swiping the ones other fools left behind!
posted by troublewithwolves at 8:44 AM on June 21, 2010

We got married in Puerto Rico, and we have out hand fans as favors. Everyone loved them and some asked if we had extras that they could take.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:50 AM on June 21, 2010

I got a sweet glass hummingbird once, but the best I've ever heard of is little bottles of real Madagascar vanilla extract.
posted by clavicle at 9:02 AM on June 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Personally I think if you can't fit it in a clutch purse or jacket pocket you are just creating one more thing to be cleaned up at the end of the evening. However I also think it's okay if half the guests just let another guest take em. You can't please everyone but that doesn't mean you don't try.

I was just at a wedding Saturday that had a brilliant one: a little vial of raspberry lemonade mix, which went along with their theme. It was simple, useful, easy to carry (about 3x the size of a lipstick) and I didn't see a single one left on a table.
posted by phearlez at 9:21 AM on June 21, 2010

posted by bq at 11:19 AM on June 21, 2010

chapstick, m&ms, a shotglass, seeds, flip flops, balloon animals.

REally my favorite is just getting a fistfull of M&Ms wrapped up in some tulle. Feed them and they will be happy.
posted by WeekendJen at 11:28 AM on June 21, 2010

Food local to the venue or to the bride or groom is always nice. Tiny containers for said food are even better for people who are traveling. There's usually a little label with bride & groom & wedding date on it in addition to the food label. You can take it home and save it if you want, or use it for breakfast in the hotel in the morning if you don't have room to pack it. Plus, if you choose something food-related that you & your bride enjoy, you won't mind having a few leftover favors kicking around the house.

One wedding I went to had tiny jars of different-flavored jam. People traded away flavors they didn't want, and I may have swiped some of the left-behind flavors. Other foods that worked: maple syrup, apples, chocolate, and wine. My sister-in-law spent last summer making jam for her wedding favors...I can't wait to taste it!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 4:18 PM on June 21, 2010

Oh yeah, snickerdoodle's idea is great, too! Rent or jury-rig a photobooth. There will be one at my jam-making sister-in-law's wedding, and this thread has inspired me to make little labels for the backs of the photo strips with "X and Y's wedding, location, date." If you could set up some way that the guest gets a photo strip and you guys get a digital copy, that would be even more fun! Or set up a Flickr account for people to scan & post their strips.
posted by Fui Non Sum at 4:21 PM on June 21, 2010

Balloon animals! Fun for a couple of days, but then they deflate, so you don't end up with another candle/paperweight/jar/etc. you didn't need, anyways.
posted by pecanpies at 5:13 PM on June 21, 2010

I still listen to the CD burned with music beloved by the couple.
posted by hollyanderbody at 5:23 PM on June 21, 2010

We had a tiny Florida wedding (8 people), so for each guest/couple I made a goodie bag with:

1 bar of locally made soap
1 jar of locally made orange-scented hand cream
1 jar of locally made orange marmalade
a handful of local chocolates

Are you sensing a theme? Everyone seemed to really like the fact everything was local since it personalized the wedding a lot more than the usual favors on theknot.com.

I also just went to a wedding that had a candy bar where you could make your own bag. Everything was red, white, or pink: Hershey's kisses, jelly beans, m&ms, twizzlers, gummy bears, etc. Really cute and yummy....it was a lot of fun to eat on the plane ride home.
posted by gatorae at 7:07 PM on June 21, 2010

A dried herb blend of the bride's favorite herb and the groom's favorite herb, mixed together.

Handblended spice mixes and teas.

Really, anything tasty and usable-upable.
posted by Eshkol at 8:23 AM on June 22, 2010

I made these paper ornamental stars that a favorite uncle used to make for years at holidays before he passed away. This was a way I could have him at my wedding. Everyone who knew Uncle Harry recognized the paper stars that were all over the tables and many commented that it was a wonderful reminder for someone we all still really missed. I propped them up with these simple picture/placecard clip holders. For those that didn't know him they were just neat little paper crafts.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:06 AM on June 22, 2010

We did what alms did--used books were the centerpieces at tables as well as the favors, with books picked specifically with our guests in mind, plus we made bookmarks with photos of our favorite authors and quotes from them, when possible pertaining to love or happiness. They seemed to go over well.
posted by ifjuly at 10:12 AM on June 22, 2010

At my brother-in-law's recent wedding, everyone received a scroll of paper saying a donation had been made on the guests' behalf to the Make-A-Wish foundation. I thought it was great -- they spent the same amount they would spend on random trinkets to give away, and everyone thought it was a really nice gesture. IMHO, your wedding guests don't really need another plastic doodad or piece of chocolate, so this was a nice way to give them something without giving them SOMETHING. (Also, my husband, the groom's brother, is a cancer-survivor and had been a beneficiary of the Make-A-Wish foundation as a child, so there was a personal connection there, too).
posted by nuclear_soup at 10:43 AM on June 22, 2010

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