Forget the Trinkets: 6 Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Favors
Treating guests to a small gift to take home from a wedding may be traditional, but lately favors have fallen out of favor with modern couples.
“I tell every bride we encounter that a favor is not necessary. In today’s world, weddings are huge events that no one wants to miss. This is not just a slice of cake in the church basement,” says Lydia Noble, founder of Noble Events. “Also, does anyone have anything in their home with someone else's wedding date or monogram on it? The answer is no.”
Instead of spending money on a memento that will be quickly discarded, why not invest in ways to enhance your guests’ experience? Here are six alternatives to wedding favors.
1. Open bar
An open bar is always a crowd pleaser! A cash bar is a money saver, but it is clunky and often an immediate turn-off for guests. You can also keep costs from getting out of control by limiting the liquors, beers and wines available.
2. Free transportation
Ensure your guests make it back to the hotel safely by arranging for transportation to pick everyone up at the end of the night. Not only is this super convenient, but it also gives you the peace of mind that no one drives after indulging in the open bar.
“I love when the newlyweds hire extra transportation at the end of the night to get guests from venue to hotel or the next late night stop,” says Noble. “We have had several brides set up about 20 Ubers to sit waiting outside the venue to transport their tipsy friends.”
3. Novelty entertainment
Give your guests an unforgettable experience by thinking beyond the traditional wedding band or DJ when it comes to entertainment. Hire a gospel choir for your grand entrance; get everyone moving with professional dancers; or get an artist to create caricatures or paint portraits. Today, the possibilities are only limited by your creativity.
4. Late night snacks
Guests planning to work up an appetite on the dance floor? Send them home with full bellies by offering a late-night snack towards the end of the evening.
“The most well-received gift is something they can eat. Whether it’s hot doughnuts, bedazzled bon bons (yes, there is such a thing), nachos or McDonald’s burgers, your guests go absolutely wild for something yummy to snack on,” says Noble.
5. Welcome bags
Start your wedding off right by pampering your guests with a bag full of goodies as soon as they arrive. Fill a bag or basket with purposeful gifts, such as bottles of water, toiletries, small snacks, a sewing kit (for wardrobe mishaps) and a brochure of local eateries and landmarks. This is an especially great idea if guests are traveling to your wedding.
6. Breakfast service
Let your guests know you’re thinking of them even after the festivities are over by providing a morning-after breakfast delivered to their hotel rooms. It’s a thoughtful surprise without adding a great expense to your budget.