One thing many couples struggle with is what to provide as a gift or "favor" to their guests for being a part of their big day. In fact, in my experience, that's one of the most asked questions from my past couples - "Do you have any suggestions for a unique or fun favor?" That, and "Do we have to provide favors?"
First of all... No, you do not need to provide favors. These days, guests do not expect a favor and they certainly won't leave your wedding upset that there were no favors. To be honest, they probably wouldn't even notice their absence. So my first piece of advice is... if there isn't something that comes to mind right away, then don't worry about coming up with something. If an idea happens to fall in your lap along the way and it fits with the theme/look/feel of your day, then go for it. But otherwise, focus your money and efforts elsewhere.
Now, if you absolutely need to or want to, then opt for something that's either
And if you can manage to come up with a favor that is functional, tasty and memorable, well then you've hit gold!
Tasty/Yummy Favors are always a hit and are by far the most appreciated by guests, especially when they're provided as a late night snack offering. I've seen couples hand out donuts as a way for guests to satisfy that sweet tooth as they head out the door. Or fresh from the oven chocolate chip cookies with small containers of milk. Your catering vendor can help you with this and if you have a food & beverage minimum you're trying to hit, these favors will help you get there! Other ideas I've seen are more savory selections like soft pretzels with dips, sliders & fries or for an idea popular here in the south... warm ham & cheese biscuits! Yum!
Another option for favors that are sure to please everyone is that of the adult beverage genre. Guests can take the favor home and continue the celebrating or save for a rainy day and remember your special night!
Functional/Useful favors are great if you can come up with something unique and hasn't been done at all your other friend & family weddings. A trick to this type of favor is to make sure it fits with your theme or style of wedding. So if you have a travel themed wedding with a globe or travel book for guests to sign and passports for programs, then maybe have luggage tags made for favors. You can even make this a combo favor/escort card and kill two birds with one stone!
If you have a winter wedding with a holiday theme, then ornaments may be a good idea for a favor. If you have a nautical theme, go with a compass/escort card or a message in a bottle favor. How cute are these Life-Ring/bottle opener combos?
These days you can pretty much customize/personalize anything. There's probably an app for it! For example, check out those personalized K cups for your coffee drinking guests! Love it, and I would definitely love receiving a couple of those as a wedding favor! Here's a few other tried and true personalized wedding favor ideas.