Wedding favors are a special way to thank each and every guest who's there to support and be a witness to your marriage. And designing custom favors is one way to infuse some personality into your wedding day.
Let's be honest, though. Not many of us want to go home with a trinket that will gather dust in our home or be thrown away the next day. Get creative and create a favor that your guests will love!
Here are 10 ideas for fun, fresh and easy favors you can make yourself. Your guests will be raving about them long after the last dance.
10: Herbed Olive Oil
All you need is fresh herbs, olive oil and a bottle, and you're ready to make this delicious and practical wedding favor. Your guests will love the thoughtfulness, and you'll love the simplicity of the project!
Start by washing your herbs and letting them dry thoroughly. Then, put a few leaves or sprigs into each bottle and pour in the olive oil. Add the cork and you're done! Go the extra mile by adding a personalized label to the front of each bottle. If you make these about two weeks before your big day, the herbs will have time to infuse the oil with plenty of flavor.
9: S'mores Kit
This is an edible favor that your guests can enjoy at your wedding, or at home later -- and it's a fun activity, too. If you're having a beach wedding or an outdoor reception where there'll be a fire pit or bonfire, a s'mores kit is an ideal favor.
Give each guest a small box packed with a few marshmallows, chocolate pieces and graham crackers. You can even include a small skewer or have them on hand by the fire pit. Just make sure your friends and family don't get their fill of sweets before the cake is cut!
8: Cookies in CD Sleeves
Love the idea of giving out baked goods but not sure how to package them? Try using paper CD sleeves! Bake your favorite cookies, slip them into the CD sleeve, and smack a cute label on them with your wedding date.
No time to bake your own cookies? Just buy them in bulk at your local grocery store or bakery. You can get the paper sleeves for a great price as well, which makes this favor idea affordable and delicious.
7: Dish Towel Wine Bag
If you're having a small, intimate wedding or if you've got the budget to give your guests a really nice favor, this one is delightful!
Buy your wine in bulk (it's less expensive that way), and go with one of your favorites or choose several different varieties of red and white. Using a plain cotton dish towel, wrap the bottles and tie the fabric at the top with ribbon or twine. Vintage scarves or even pretty sheets that you've cut into small pieces work, too. Personalize the fabric and ribbon to match your wedding colors and add a gift tag with your name, wedding date and the type of wine nestled inside.
6: Vanilla Extract
Who doesn't have a place for vanilla extract in her kitchen? And since so many of us cut grocery costs by buying the imitation kind, this will be a huge treat for your guests.
All you need are vanilla beans, alcohol (rum, vodka, white tequila and brandy all work) and little bottles to make this yummy potion. And, you'll also need a little bit of time for the beans to work their magic.
Slice your vanilla beans lengthwise, and submerge them in your bottle of rum, or whatever liquor you've chosen. (You may have to pour half the bottle into another container to make everything fit.) Cap your bottle and shake it -- then stash it in a place that doesn't get much light. Check on your extract a few times a week, and shake the bottle so flavors can mingle. Give your homemade vanilla extract at least three months to set; six to eight months is ideal.
When you're satisfied with your concoction (the contents of the bottle should be dark brown and smell more strongly of the vanilla beans than of alcohol), pour it into small favor bottles. Add ribbon and labels, and you're done!
5: Chocolate Spoon
You won't have to worry about this favor not getting picked up at the end of the night. To make chocolate spoons, you need baker's chocolate, plastic spoons, candy bags and ribbon.
Microwave the chocolate until it's fully melted and fluid, but be careful not to overcook it. Then, dip the spoons in the chocolate, coating the entire base and part of the handle. Place the spoons on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate them for about 15 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Then, wrap each spoon in a candy bag and tie it with a ribbon. Add a tag that explains chocolate spoons make perfect coffee stirrers.
4: Cake Pops
Cake pops are the new, big thing -- if you want a fresh idea, this is it! If you've never heard of them, they're basically little balls of cake and frosting mixed together and dipped in another layer of frosting. They're usually decorated with sprinkles, colored sugar or candy.
The options are endless when it comes to cake pops, giving you the freedom to personalize these as you wish. Find your favorite recipe and start baking! Make the finished product your own with the packaging -- wrap cake pops in cellophane and tie with a ribbon, or nestle them in decorative boxes wrapped up as gifts. You can even have them on display at your reception by sticking the ends of the pops into a Styrofoam block.
3: Potted Plants
This day and age is all about going green. What better way to be an eco-conscious bride than to give greenery?
Offer each guest an individual potted plant or herb -- you can buy these in bulk and can get them for as little as $1.00 each. (Did we mention you'd save some green, too?) Choose an herb that you and your honey love to cook with or a flower that's meaningful to you. Feel free to decorate the pot with your names, wedding date or meaningful quotation. And if there's a special reason you chose that plant, share it!
If they're cared for properly, these favors will be sure to make your guests smile months after your big day.
2: Spring Bulbs
This favor is the gift that keeps on giving. A spring bulb wrapped in a cute box or bag is something your guests can plant in their yard or garden. You can even get them started by potting it in a small ceramic container or tin so it can be nurtured inside their homes until it's ready to be planted outside.
Some bulbs that grow well indoors include paper whites, daffodils, tulips, amaryllis, cyclamen and ginger. Add your own special touch by attaching some gardening tips or a note written to each guest. When their gift blooms year after year, they'll be fondly reminded of you and your special day.
1: Thank-you DVD
A DVD is definitely something different and creative that your guests won't soon forget! Before the wedding, film a short video of you and your fiancé thanking everyone who was there to support you. Have some fun with this project -- maybe write a little song or poem, or even put on a short skit re-enacting how you met. Above all, make sure you express how grateful you are for all your friends and family.
Just burn the video onto DVDs, slip them into CD sleeves, and have them onsite at the reception. You guests will look forward to watching your video at home, and it's something that they're sure to cherish for years to come.
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