Top Ten Wedding Favor Ideas!

photo from The Wedding Lens!

Obviously there are a million ideas out there for wedding favors — from books to photos to plants. But sometimes it’s helpful to see the famous top ten. Here, my friends, are some great ideas for favors.

  1. Seeds. Give out seeds for a plant or flowers. You can order personalized seed packets or stickers with your names & the date on them so people will remember where they got them from!
  2. Tea. At one wedding I went to, they had cute little boxes of tea. They’re really cute, have a sticker with the couples’ names on it, and it’s useful (and tastey!)
  3. Boxes of chocolate. A box of chocolate can range from a little box with a single truffle to a little hand made packet with M&Ms in it. Obviously the type of chocolate can depend on your price range — and your taste buds!
  4. Donations. I think donating is a great way to give back to your community, so why not do it as a favor for your wedding? You can either print a card for the table that says something like “In lieu of favors, we donated to….” or have the DJ make the announcement. Or just break tradition and dont say anything, knowing that you did a good thing.
  5. Eco-friendly grocery bags. Help the environment AND help your friends get their groceries. You can print your names and the date or put a silly picture on it.
  6. Bottles of booze. Ok, I don’t literally mean that you should buy your pals a fifth of vodka, but something like that. Two friends of mine gave out bottles of limoncello… but not just any limoncello! They MADE it themselves, bottled it in adorable bottles, corked ’em and then put tags on the bottles so that they served as the placecards too. (In other words, each tag said someone’s name and their table number)
  7. Candles. How about getting a lovely scented candle? Or perhaps a candle in a candle holder with your name on it? It’s small, useable, and creates ambiance. And it’s different.
  8. Mints. You can get little boxes of mints!
  9. Coasters. There are a lot of different kinds of coasters out there that you could give out. Nice ones with your names and the date, or a photo coaster, or a class one, or a styrofoam one. You can also buy either plain ones or frame ones yourself and write or place stickers on them to personalize them.
  10. Photo / Picture frame. You can give out a photo of you and your significant other in a frame — or just the frame itself! People can put a photo of themselves at your wedding in the frame! You can also give out one per couple if you want to.

DO you have other creative favor ideas? Share ’em!

~ Natasha

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Green Wedding Tips: Favors & Centerpieces!

This is the fifth part of our series on green wedding tips. Another area of green wedding tips that people should think about is favors & centerpieces! And here are some different ideas for favors.

Consider stacking your favors, like boxes of tea like this, as the centerpiece! Photo from The Wedding Lens

  • Donate as the favor. Instead of buying things that might get tossed into a drawer, consider donating money to a charity as the favor. Have the DJ announce this donation, instead of printing paper notes that say so. If you do want to print cards that tell guests of the donation, consider printing one per table instead of one per guest. Tip: Don’t say that you donated “on behalf of” your guests! You don’t want people to get upset that you donated on their behalf to an organization that they may not support.
  • Plant a tree as a favor. Plant a tree (or many trees) as the favor to your guests. You can tell them (via a DJ, not printed paper!) where you planted and what kind of trees you planted.
  • Give seeds. Give seeds as the favor so that people can plant on their own plants or flowers. You can print stickers or order seeds that have your names & date of the wedding on it, if you want to make it more personal.
  • Give a basket of green products. Come up with a list of some green products and items and give those as the favor. For example, seeds, cleaning products, or other biodegradable products.
  • Make the favors the centerpieces. By using the favors as the decorative centerpiece, you don’t have to use more flowers or purchase other decorative items. And hopefully the favors will be useful and re-useable.

Have other ideas? Tell us!

~ Natasha

Top 5 Wedding Centerpieces!

Some of my friends are planning their wedding. They have everything picked out, from food to linens, but they haven’t decided on centerpieces. They’re not sure that they want to have centerpieces at all or they want to reuse something (in an effort to be just a little bit green in their wedding planning!)

There are always some creative ideas for centerpieces but sometimes it’s nice to know what the most typical centerpieces are, right? Right. Here they are and here are some tips if you decide to use them!

  • Flowers! Obviously this is the most typical centerpiece. See if you can re-use the flowers that you have in the ceremony — saves you money and is a bit green. A warning on the flowers: If you want conversation around the table, don’t make the arrangements too big! It’s hard to have a conversation across the table if the bouquet is blocking the view.
Photo from The Wedding Lens

Photo from The Wedding Lens

  • Candles. Candles can be incorporated with flowers, but they can also be their own centerpiece. They’re elegant and can set the mood (and create some dim lighting at the tables).
Photo from The Wedding Lens

Photo from The Wedding Lens

  • Favors. Use your favors as the centerpieces — and people will take them at the end of the night. Double duty for the centerpieces! For example, my friend gave out these boxes of tea and stacked them in the center. We each had to take them away before dinner was served ’cause it was family style!
 

 

 

Photo from The Wedding Lens

Photo from The Wedding Lens

 

 

 

 

 

Photo from Modern Bride, Brides.com

Photo from Modern Bride, Brides.com

 

 

  • Glass bowls. The fifth most common centerpiece is a glass bowl — filled with something. Sometimes people use marbles, shells, stones (like those pretty irridescent ones!), water + flower petals, or water + fish (it’s true!). You can check out something like this:
Photo from The Wedding Lens

Photo from The Wedding Lens

Or even like this!

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

Photo from The Wedding Lens!

So those are the most common — but that doesn’t mean you should stop there! What kind of centerpieces did you have?

~ Natasha

Share photos of your centerpieces with an online photo album!

Wedding Cigars

Someone recently asked me about wedding cigars — which was conveniently only a few weeks after I had my first wedding cigar! It turns out that there are lots of ideas when it comes to the wedding cigar, so I thought I would share.

Photo From Lucies Events & Weddings

Photo From Lucie's Events & Weddings

What is a wedding cigar?

Well, it’s a cigar that either is given out at a wedding (as a favor, for example) or is given out to be smoked at the wedding to celebrate.

Where do people smoke the cigars?

Assuming that the cigars are given out as part of the wedding celebration, there are two options: outside or a designated smoking room. If you are interested in having people celebrate with cigars, make sure that you find out if the venue allows smoking! Also be sure that you direct your guests to the designated smoking area. (Note to winter weddings where it’s cold: outside might not be an option if you want people to enjoy them!)

Either way, make sure that wherever you allow people to smoke cigars does not intrude on those people who can’t stand smoke or are allergic to smoke. Don’t let the cigar smoke ruin the evening for non-smokers.

What kind of cigars should we use?

There are a number of kinds of cigars that might be appropriate for a wedding.  You can buy in advance or have a cigar bar (see below!) which would have a number of kinds of cigars and/or allow people to roll fresh cigars. One great tip on cigars and weddings: make sure the cigars aren’t too big! You dont want your guests being gone for hours smoking a ridiculously large cigar.

How should we hand them out? (aka What’s a cigar bar?)

My friends just handed them out at the end of the night, in front of the venue. The idea was that most people were heading to an after party with the brides and it was a celebration/continue the party while walking to the afterparty. It was very informal.

If you want something more grand, you can have a cigar bar – a bar that has cigars! You can DIY and just buy different types of cigars that people can choose from. Or, there are services that will set up a bar for you and have different types. Or, another option is to have a cigar rolling bar where people can roll their own cigars (obviously this is the most expensive option!). Rolled cigars are more fresh and taste different than the store bought, so that might impact your decision, too.

Hope that helps! Happy smoking!

~ Natasha

Want to help your guests keep the celebration going? Share photos with an online wedding photo album!

All About Out of Town Gift Bags

A reader recently asked us about where to find inexpensive gift bags. She wants to put together gift bags for the guests who are staying at the hotel. It occurred to me that this is a really helpful topic for some people who are trying to figure out what to do (if anything) for their out of town guests.

Photo from The Wedding Lens

Photo from The Wedding Lens

What is it?

Some people like to have gift bags that the hotel will give to each guest as he or she checks in to the hotel. It’s a nice token and can make people feel welcome. Some people call this “OOT Bags” for “out of town bags” because they’re primarily for out of town guests.

What goes in it?

You can put whatever you want in the OOT bag! Snacks, water, tissues, candles, itineraries, maps, local souvenirs.

I received a fabulous one at a wedding that had a few snacks (chips, rice crispy treats, cookies), a bottle of water, tissues, and the itinerary (a bus was picking us up at the hotel to take us to the ceremony/reception and back again). It was sweet. I arrived late and was thirsty and hungry and I felt welcomed — even without anyone being around.

What kind of bag is it?

There are many types of bags out there for these types of gifts and favors; it all depends on what you’re looking for and how much you want to put inside. Some people might try to figure out another kind of creative container for the gifts.

So that’s the background on the gift bags! Does anyone have any help for our reader who needs to find some inexpensive ones?

~ Natasha

Guest Post: Rehearsal Dinner Favors

In case you didn’ t know, The Wedding Lens Blog accepts Guest Posts.  Do you have an idea for a guest post? Email us at editor[at]theweddinglens.com.

Here is a guest post by Susan Hawkins on Rehearsal Dinner Favors.  Enjoy!

~~~

Fabulous Rehearsal Dinner Favors Are Ready for Their Debut!

You’ve been to rehearsal dinners, and typically they’re more laid-back than the wedding itself.  Most of them are held someplace close to the ceremony venue, so they can be easily reached after the rehearsal. And some aren’t. A few of the rehearsal dinners I’ve attended in the past have been backyard barbecues, a New England clambake and a picnic in the park. I don’t recall the favors, but I do know favors are as important at the rehearsal dinner as they are at the wedding. There are, however, designers that think outside the gift box to create unique party favors for all kinds of events, including those really cool rehearsal dinners. I found three favors that are real beauties to cover the rehearsal dinners I mentioned!

Backyard barbecues are always a lot of fun, and you need a fun favor to knock the socks off your guests. For example, I found a tea light candle holder that looks just like a grill.  They are so detailed, they even have tiny, black wheels and the handle!  And the one I found is not just a tea light holder-it’s a place card holder or photo holder, too. It even comes with the cutest hot dog- and hamburger-shaped place cards. This is a smokin’ favor!

sea-glass-luminaries

I went to a New England clambake rehearsal dinner in Maine a few years ago for my cousin’s wedding. They dug a fire pit and filled a canvas tarp with lobsters, crabs, mussels, King crab legs, potatoes, corn on the cob and more that I just can’t remember. The dinner was at night, and they had tables set up with lobster bibs, plates and utensils and disposable cameras. They could have used small glass candle holders, shaded in light frosted colors – blue, green, and white — to create an incredible ambiance with tea candles. Afterward, the guests can take them home and bask in the glow of the memories. Oh-and the dinner was beyond delicious. I still dream about it.

Picnics in the park are made for two or two hundred of your closest family and friends. When it comes to the food, almost anything goes-fried chicken, sandwiches, burgers and dogs, steaks, grilled chicken and all the luscious sides that go with them. And, yes, you’re right! The tea light candle holder that looks just like a grill would work beautifully here, but how about a mini bench that has a slot so it can be a place card or a photo holder? Pretty perfect, right?

If you have an idea for an unusual type of rehearsal dinner, let me know. I bet I can come up with the absolutely ideal favor for you!

– Susan Hawkins

A happily married world traveler with her heart and home in America’s Southland, Susan Hawkins is a writer for MyWeddingFavors.com. She writes on a variety of wedding-related topics, with specialties in wedding favors, destination weddings, wedding reception decorations and unique wedding ideas. Susan lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband and a houseful of German Shepherds.

Best of The Wedding Lens Blog

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided that it would be nice to review some of the “Best of” blogs.  This is based on your comments, number of views, and the feedback that I have received. So without further ado….

Since those posts were created, we also developed two FABULOUS lists. One is 75 Cheap Wedding Tips and the other is 50 Green Wedding Tips. We think these lists will help you plan cost-effective, green weddings by doing small things that don’t compromise the quality, class, and dream wedding you’ve always imagined. 

Also, always remember to consider our FREE photo albums for your wedding!

Do you have other favorites? Tell us!

~ Natasha