16 Wedding Favors Your Guests Actually Want

What’s the number one thing left on the table at the end of the night besides dirty drink glasses? Wedding favors! Though you put so much thought into your personalized wedding favors, sometimes you might end up with most of them left behind after your guests leave.

So step aside can koozies and pillow mints! The modern bride knows that guests deserve a little more than fresh breath for the next 14 seconds. Let’s give wedding guests some favors they’ll definitely want to take home at the end of the night.

16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Why Wedding Favors?

Favors are not a new invention. They’ve been around for hundreds of years in some way or another. The first wedding favors were not much more than a sugar cube or something sweet, something of high value and thought to be healthy at the time, in a small decorated box. After this, almonds were given both to and from guests as a symbol of good luck and well wishes.

Modern wedding favors, whatever they may be, are more of a symbol of thanks to guest for attending the wedding. Whether generic, personalized, or handmade, special care should go into choosing and presenting your favors so that guests know how much you appreciate them!

Choosing Your Favors

With the unlimited options for wedding favors at your fingertips (thanks Google!), you’ll have no problem finding ones that will fit your budget. From personalized guitar picks for pennies a piece, to homemade cookies or jams, to bottles of wine for each guest, your favors can be perfectly tailored to fit you and your wedding.

Personalized Favors

Candy Favor bags - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Personalized gift bags are a great way for guests to take advantage of a dessert, candy, or popcorn bar at your reception. You can also fill them ahead of the wedding with cookies, or have them at the ceremony with confetti, rose petals, or birdseed for tossing at the happy couple! Buy these cookie bags here.

Agate Place Cards - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Your guests will be absolutely speechless when they see these place cards that double as paperweight favors! These come in several colors and each one is unique. See them here on Etsy.

Personalized Travel Bottle Opener - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

These bottle opener favors are sure to be a hit at a travel themed wedding! They’re not only a cute wedding favor, they’re also really practical- you can never have too many bottle openers! Buy these travel themed bottle openers here.

Tasty Treats

 Popcorn Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

{Photo by Nikki Mills}

It’s no secret, I’m a huge popcorn fan! Incorporating your favorite foods or snacks as your favors is a great way to add a personal touch that your guest will definitely notice. Bonus points if you sneak in a clever pun!

Coffee Wedding Favors -  16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

{Photo by Purrington Photography}

If your guests party hard at your wedding (as they should), this favor will come in handy as soon as the next morning! Add just enough coffee beans for a cup or two to a satchel, mason jar, or paper bag and attach a personalized message to each. Great coffee puns include “Let Love Brew”, “Grounds for Celebration”, “The Perfect Blend”, and “Thanks for ‘Bean’ Here!”

Elegant Macaroon Wedding Favor - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Looking for a tasty favor that’s simple yet classically elegant? Macaroons are your answer. Package them up with a bow, some bling, and a thank you tag for a treat your guests won’t soon forget.

Rosemary Olive Oil Wedding Favors -  16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

{Photo by Nato Welton}

If you prefer something that’s seldom seen in the word of wedding favors, try something like a bottle of fresh rosemary olive oil. Take advantage of local small businesses that specialize in gourmet food items to give your guests a taste of the city, whether it’s the city where you live or the city you’re getting married in.

Mini Champagne Bottle Wedding Favors -  16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Bring out the red, white, or bubbly! Mini bottles of wine or champagne are sure to be a hit at your wedding. You can also tailor this to your location and theme by having mini bottles of tequila at a Mexican themed wedding, Bailey’s at a winter wedding (especially with a hot chocolate bar), or whiskey at a rustic wedding. DIY your own custom mini wine bottle labels here!

Homemade Favors

If you or your future spouse is known for making something really well (e.g. your grandma’s famous cookies, the family pickle recipe, a scented bar soap), your guests will love that you’d want to continue your tradition and make it for them.

If you’re still feeling the DIY bug and don’t know what to make, here are some great (and simple) homemade wedding favor ideas. Though not included in this list, great homemade favors also include packaged cookie mixes, CD’s (or flash drives) of romantic songs from your wedding playlist, sugar scrubs, and hangover kits for guests joining you for brunch the next morning.

Candle DIY Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Though this particular candle is from Favor Design Studio, you can make your own soy candle and finish it off with a personalized sticker.

Succulent Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com    Wildflower Seeds Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

{Photo by Simply Bloom Photography and Lara Kimmerer Photographer}

These whimsical favors are sure to delight your guests! Succulents are one of the biggest trends in weddings and home decor right now – its the best of both worlds! You can propagate succulents to create little ones like these and replant them with a little moss in a small container. Though seeds as favors aren’t really a homemade item, your guests can create a wildflower garden to remind them of your wedding. How romantic!

Jam Jar Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Some of my favorite gifts, whether wedding favors or otherwise, have always been homemade jams and jellies. Try using seasonal berries to create a delicious spread. Don’t be surprised when your guests ask for refills in a few weeks! (Jars of local honey packaged like this will also be a winner at your wedding!) Thank You Tag is from A Creative Destiny on Etsy.

Lace Wrapped Soap Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Yes, this gorgeous thing is soap wrapped in lace! You can buy the soap and just DIY the lace and thank you ribbon, or go full on DIY goddess and make the soap from scratch with your favorite scents or herbs.

Unexpected Favors

Blanket Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

{Photo by Lovers of Love Photography}

A blanket is a great token of thought and appreciation to your guests, especially at a fall or winter wedding where the night is sure to get cold. Your guests can snuggle up with one of these at your reception and remind them that they can take them home too! (The same goes for parasols for a hot summer ceremony!)

DIY Pinecone Fire Starter Wedding Favors - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

One more warm idea! Your guests will want to go camping ASAP and make use of this adorable DIY pine cone fire starter. Instructions on how to make them can be found here.

Kids' Wedding Favors, Adopt a Monkey - 16 Favors Your Guests Actually Want on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Don’t forget the kids! If you’re having a children’s table, consider opening up your own ‘adopt-a-critter’ agency for the night.  Not only will children be thrilled by getting a new stuffed animal, they’ll keep this memento of your special day for years to come.

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A Classic Carnival Wedding

Better clear your schedule for the next hour because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be swooning over this carnival wedding for at least that long!

This wedding literally has it all. Beautiful bride, check. Gorgeous ceremony, check. Carnival games, check. Ferris wheel, check. Butterfly release, check. Snow cones…. well, you get the point!

Ferris Wheel Ride- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

The save the dates echoed a classic carnival poster by inviting guests to join the bride and groom for a “one night only, truly exuberant, magical, jubilant, unforgettable jaw dropping time.”

A Carnival Wedding Save The Date- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Before the party was a traditional ceremony set in the California redwoods. Even if the wedding stopped here, it would be a stunning day. But the night went on, and so started a carnival for the ages!

A Redwoods Ceremony- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Ceremony Surrounded by California Redwoods- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Their venue, a private residence in Woodside, California, was decked out in everything carnival themed. From the Ferris wheel, to the fish bowl toss, to the caricature artist, everything was good, clean, old fashioned fun.

Ferris Wheel Ride- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Shooting Carnival Games- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Caricature Artist at Wedding- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Bottle Up Carnival Game- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Food was catered by Taste Catering & Event Planning and included soft pretzels, watermelon, popsicles, snow cones, milkshakes, and churros. Dinner was served fair food style with fried chicken, fried mac n cheese balls, corn dogs, and sweet potato fries.

Wedding Food With Fried Chicken, Corn on the Cob, and Burgers- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Berry Snow Cone Cocktails- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

No detail was overlooked. Yes, that’s both a butterfly and balloon release!

Butterfly Release at Ceremony- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Balloon Release- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Even the simple tablescape was gorgeously set in the wedding’s colors, a light blush and grey, with romantic string lights over the reception.

Blush and Grey Wedding Tablescape- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

Wedding Reception- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

To see more of this whimsical wedding, see the full story on Style Me Pretty here.  For the full gallery, click here.

A Sunset Carnival Wedding Kiss- A Classic Carnival Wedding on Early Ivy earlyivy.com

 

{Photos by Michael Segal Photography} { Event Design + Planning by Trisha Dean Events} {Catering + Flowers by Taste Catering & Event Planning} { Invitation + Save-the-Date Design by Alchemy Fine Events and Invitations} {Wedding Dress by Ever After Private Label} {Rentals from Hartmann Studios} {Event Resources from The Bridal Bar} {Ferris Wheel Rental from Classic Amusement}

And the Bride Wore Plaid

Let’s all admit it, as a bride to be (or just a girl dreaming about her wedding day) we’ve all spent a fair amount of time in the wedding category on Pinterest. Your family and soon to be husband might event say its a little more than fair. Okay, maybe it’s an obsession. Oops!

My Pinterest perusing recently  led me to stumble upon the photo below. There was a split second of confusion and then a sudden AHA! I know that place! It’s the always lovely Retro Ranch in Temecula with last year’s winter bride Talia.

How cute is she with her plaid button up over the wedding dress? It had snowed the night before the wedding and her beanie and button up tied at the waist were the perfect accessories to warm up and dance all night!

See the rest of the photos and details from Talia and Bryan’s winter wedding on Green Wedding Shoes here.

Plaid Button-Up Over the Wedding Dress- And the Bride Wore Plaid on Earlyivy.com

A Winter Retro Ranch Wedding- And the Bride Wore Plaid on Earlyivy.com

 {Photos by: John Robert Woods}

And a quick shout out to all my lovely readers and followers from 2015! You all mean so much to me and keep me inspired to write more.

I’m very much looking forward to what 2016 brings for earlyivy.com and I also will be launching my event planning business, Charming Churchill Creations. Stay tuned for updates!

Cheers!

5 Things You Need For A Perfect Picnic Wedding

It may be August, but summer is still in full swing! Take advantage of warm evenings and beautiful sunsets with a picnic with your sweetheart- and all your friends and family! What better way to celebrate summer (and your love) than with a casual picnic reception?

5 Things You Need For A Perfect Picnic Wedding on earlyivy.com

Long gone are the days of cheap plastic picnic tables with ugly red and white checkered tablecloths. Bring in some wooden tables, lawn games, and friends ready to party old-school style, and you’ve got yourself the funnest wedding of the century. Here’s 5 things you need for your picnic wedding afterparty.

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Love is Sweet, Enjoy a Treat…. Make a Rustic Dessert Table Complete!

Struggling to find props and dessert stands for your rustic themed dessert table? Look no further! Maybe I’m just in the mood to check out all the possibilities for dessert tables because I’m currently shopping for and designing one for my own event coming up soon, but I just love all the versatile ways sweets can be presented.

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17 Rustic-Chic Wedding Dessert Tables on earlyivy.com

Your dessert table is one of those places at your wedding where brand-new store bought props, vintage items, and DIY projects can come together in one comprehensive look for your table. A rustic chic theme is probably one of the easiest themes to successfully execute for a dessert table. Not only are props readily available at any thrift store or vintage market, it’s a simple element to help theme your entire reception.

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Eat, {Drink}, and Be Married

Planning your wedding menu is one of the most important parts of planning your big day. The choices you make for food and drink at your reception can distinguish your wedding from just one of those days that two people got married, or make it memorable as a celebration that your guests will be talking about for years to come.

Though your food menu may be the center of your focus, don’t forget the drinks! Whether you’re catering to the crowd that favors alcoholic drinks or the completely sober crew, drinks can help set the tone for the rest of the reception. Make the most of this opportunity to wow your guests by creating signature drinks that reflect you as individuals and as a couple.

Bartender- Eat, {Drink}, and Be Married on EarlyIvy.com
{Photo Credit: Abby Jiu}

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Peaches and Creams and Golds, Oh My!

It’s not often that I come across a picture on Pinterest that makes me stop and simply say “WOW.” But with this one, I’m completely in love!

Peaches and Creams and Golds, Oh My! on Early Ivy [earlyivy.com]

This beautiful tablescape features soft colors of whites, peaches, and creams highlighted with accents of gold. With the set-up of the place settings, the feel is formal, but the colors keep it light and airy. You can be sure there will be joyous conversations going on around these tables!

How can you use this inspiration for your own wedding? Take these beautiful color combinations and accent the part you like most. Continue reading