Wedding favours are a fun little take away for your guests to have as a reminder of your big day, and over the past few years have steadily gotten more and more popular. Or not, depending on who you talk to. But do you really need them at your wedding? Let’s chat about them.
So, are wedding favours required?
Let’s take a quick stroll down history lane. The tradition of handing out wedding favours can be dated back as early as the 16th century in France and England.
It is believed that the first wedding favour, common amongst European aristocrats, was known as a bonbonniere. A bonbonniere is a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, and/or precious stones. These precious boxes’ contents were generally sugar cubes or delicate confections, which symbolize wealth and royalty.
As sugar became more affordable, almonds were then handed out. You may be familiar with the tradition of Jordan almonds being the wedding favour of choice and something I learned about that tradition is that 5 were given to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness.
Now that we are all caught up with our wedding favour history, are wedding favours required? Technically no, but they can be quite fun to give out as a token of your appreciation as well as a fun reminder for your guests.
Some popular favour ideas that I have come across are engraved mason jars for guests to sip from throughout the night, small candles with the wedding date on the lid, and confectionery goodies, like the above mentioned, Jordan Almonds.
However, if you are on a budget, this might seem like an extra expense that you don’t want to take on, so let’s breakdown the average cost before diving into the pros and cons!
According to The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding favour cost is £180 in total. With the average headcount at 136 guests, that makes the average spend on favours per wedding guest roughly £1.50. That’s not too bad right?! You can certainly lower that amount by being a little more thrifty in your planning or go above and beyond with some extravagant gifts!
To understand and ultimately decide whether or not I wanted to give out favours at my wedding, I asked my parents about them, and they mentioned that when they got married, it was matchboxes or bubbles. Nothing too fancy at all and the matches were useful! Still, I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted wedding favours. So I came up with some pros and cons to help me decide.
As mentioned before, wedding favours are another way of saying thank you to your guests for attending your wedding. For some, it is a great reminder of the day and how much you mean to them.
You can share with your guests some of the things you really love. Maybe you have a favourite perfume, or you have a favourite drink as a couple. Find small sample-sized versions and hand them out to share with everyone.
Keeping up with tradition can be something that means a great deal to you and your soon to be spouse or family.
Since technically they are not something required at a wedding, and these days are just another popular wedding trend, there is some pressure to come up with a cute and on theme wedding favour to give out. The added pressure to hit it out of the park can cause some extra stress on the wedding planning and eat into your budget.
They also can be somewhat useless. When we were thinking about having a more destination style wedding, I had to think about what people would be willing to pack into a suitcase. That ultimately ruled out any glassware that could break, as well as anything perishable.
Wedding favours, while nice, can also go to waste very easily. I can not tell you how many weddings I have shot where many leftover wedding favours weren’t taken home at the end of the evening. If you put a lot of time, money or both into your wedding favours, it will be a big disappointment to have to deal with the extras once your wedding day is over. A lot gets thrown out, and it’s such a waste!
Most non-edible favours run the risk of being left behind because people typically don’t feel the need to have another bottle opener or keychain. Especially if your favours are too customized around your wedding day with dates and names on it, don’t get me wrong, some people will love them, but you want to think about most of your attending guests.
As you can see, I found many more cons regarding wedding favours and whether or not to have them at our wedding. To each their own!