Are Wedding Favors Going Out of Style? A Wedding Expert Weighs In
It's all about the experience and memories you make on your happy occasion.
There's no doubt that 2022 will be the year of big weddings and events. Now, more than ever, couples are focusing on the experience that their wedding offers to guests, as well as the importance of the day for them. With that focus comes the question, "Do you need to give wedding favors?"
We'll be the first ones to admit that we love the tradition of wedding favors, and the sentiment of giving your guests something to remember your day. But which wedding favors, if you do give them out, are the best ones to give?
We spoke with Bryce Carson, the lead coordinator of the Richmond, Virginia, office of Roberts & Co. Events, to get the full scoop on how to approach the wedding favor debate. Here are Carson's answers to our most burning questions:
Are certain wedding favors taken more often than others?
"We've worked with favors for many years. We've seen trends come and go with favors as well over the past decade. I love an edible favor; to me, those are what people take the most of and that's what people like the most.
"I'm from northeast Ohio originally, and a big favor where I am from is the Midwestern cookie table. It's a big Pittsburgh and Cleveland area tradition, where all your aunts get together with your mother and grandmothers, and everyone bakes cookies for your wedding. Then you have two massive tables just filled to the brim with cookies that are all made from someone. It's a special thing for everyone to gather around and talk about, 'oh, I've been waiting for this aunt's cookies; I haven't had them in years.' And then you have cute treat bags and favor bags to go with the cookies."
What favors usually get left behind?
"The favors that are often left behind are the things that are personalized. As much as people have had a great time at your event, do they want a tchotchke with your name and date on it? Most likely not. They'll take it with them, but will they ever use it? Probably not. I would say for our clients, we typically pack up a good number of those favors at the end of the night to give back to them, and its heartbreaking because favors often have a lot of time and money put into them."
What's an appropriate amount of money to spend on wedding favors, and how should you determine the number of favors to buy?
"Everyone's budget is different, so there are favors for everyone, and there are budgets for everyone. What I recommend budget wise to think about is to take your guest list and cut it in half. That's all the favors that you need. And that definitely helps you with saving and not wasting."
And finally, the real burning question:
Does a couple need to give their guests a wedding favor?
"At the end of the day, favors are a fantastic thing to have, but by no means are they a necessity. We always recommend to our clients to focus on guest experience. When they give us an idea, we always love it, but we also throw the question back at them: "How does this affect the guest experience?" If it heightens it, then maybe it's a great idea, but if it doesn't, then maybe you don't need it at all.
"What my recommendation is, if you're on the fence about favors, I always recommend enhancing your welcome bags. I think a welcome bag when you check into your hotel is such a fantastic treat. It gives you the timeline of events; it gives you the wedding website information; it gives you the water, and some candy and treats that really represent the couple, and sometimes it's themed around the city that the wedding is taking place in."
There you have it. The long and short of wedding favors.
Carson even had one more useful piece of advice on wedding favors:
"Favors are always a great activity for families. A lot of times when you're planning a wedding, parents often are looking for a way to get involved, and sometimes they struggle with figuring out how to do that. Favors are a really nice task that you can pass on to a family member that wants to have a role in wedding planning, and it's a great activity to bond together as a family, but it should never be something that you guys are staying up until two in the morning putting together the night before the wedding. It should be something that's nice and easy and can be taken care of well in advance and dropped off at the venue the day of."
We hope these wedding favor tidbits ease your mind, so you can focus more on the joyous occasion you're celebrating!