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81 Unique Wedding Favor Ideas They'll Love

Dec 3, 2019
By Wedding Spot

Wedding favors are happy reminders of the big day and sweet expressions of gratitude to the friends and family who came — from near or far — to join in the celebration. Guests take them as a souvenir and cherish them for years (if you give keepsakes) or for a yummy moment (if you offer chocolates).

This gesture is rooted in tradition, but modern couples have taken wedding favors to a whole new level with personal, elegant, quirky, and unexpected mini gifts. They can be as creative, simple, sophisticated or playful as you wish. Explore our collection of unique wedding favor ideas, and then read on for presentation tips.

Discover unique wedding favor ideas you never knew about:

The secret to choosing the perfect wedding favor is keeping the gift true to your style. One bride’s just-right wedding favor may be another bride’s idea of clutter, so find favors you’re excited to present to guests. They can include your wedding date or monogram, or you can keep these commemorative gifts super simple.

Food and drink-based wedding favors

  • Mini jam jars with a personalized label provide your guests a sweet treat for later.

  • Turn your favors into decoration with a penny candy bar where guests can fill personalized bags with their favorites. Match the candy colors to your theme, create a giant rainbow, or go for an elegant all-white color scheme.

  • A bottle opener is a gift that will remind guests of a craft-brew loving couple for years after the wedding.

  • Bottle up a spice mixture or rub so guests can bring home the flavors of your wedding BBQ or marinated chicken entree.

  • Mini wine bottles with a heart-shaped stopper tied around the bottleneck give guests something for now, with an item to enjoy later.

  • Box up a variety of chocolate truffles featuring traditional or adventurous flavors.

  • Heart-shaped ceramic tea bag rests with a personalized tea bag attached.

Living wedding favors

  • Plantable, seed-infused place setting cards are an eco-friendly solution: reduce waste and brighten the world with more flowers.

  • Glass lockets with dried flowers pressed between the panes can be worn as a necklace, hung in a window, or used as holiday décor.

  • Succulents are an easy plant for anyone — mini potted succulents create a living centerpiece that guests can bring home.

  • Encourage guests to ‘let love grow’ with personalized seed packets — just make sure your seed mixtures don’t include any invasive plant species.

  • Give an Oak tree seedling, which symbolizes new beginnings, or a variety of Pine which represents love — guests can plant theirs when they arrive home, provided the tree type is zoned for the region.

  • Pressed birdseed ornaments can be hung from a tree to attract songbirds.

Crafted or homemade wedding favors

Put a little extra love into your favors — and save some cash, too — with handmade gifts for your guests. If you’re not feeling particularly crafty, but want to impress with handcrafted items, check out Etsy or local craft shows.

  • Vanilla-infused sugar (presented in a small mason jar) makes a delicious addition to coffee or tea.

  • Heat it up with mini bottles of chili-infused olive oil, or create a savory flavor with your favorite herbs.

  • A salve, soap, or bath salt mixture offers a relaxing spa experience at home after a long weekend of travel.

  • Use Scrabble tiles to craft cheerful messages for use as ornaments, wall hangings, or keychains. Create a variety so guests can choose their favorite. There’s no need to search second-hand shops for discarded board games — get the letter tiles in bulk online.

  • Add your initials and ‘Let Love Grow’ to garden markers: painted on stones, stamped onto metal, or burned onto wooden stakes. For indoor plants try blackboard paint and chalk or molded clay.

  • Gather and press wildflowers to create bookmarks for each guest.

  • Craft coasters with 4x4 ceramic tiles decorated with decoupage photos, scrapbook paper, pressed flowers, or alcohol inks. Add felt pads to the bottom so they don’t scratch surfaces — and check that the sealant you use is water- and heat-proof.

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Locally-inspired wedding favors

  • Include a mini bottle of maple syrup at each setting — guests can use it on pancakes in the morning or drizzle it atop a scoop of vanilla ice cream from your well-stocked dessert table.

  • Treat everyone to the confections of your favorite local chocolate shop.

  • Use local honey to make honey spoons guests can use to sweeten future cups of tea.

  • Share your love of the ocean or pay homage to the beach where your spouse-to-be proposed with ‘beach in a bottle’ keychains — make your own with sand and shells from your favorite beach.

  • Brighten the decor with sea glass candy, or take it to another level and etch names onto pieces of sea glass to create place cards guests can bring home.

  • Show alumni pride with your favors: Keep it simple with ribbons in your college colors, or go all out with mascot cookies.

Sentimental wedding favors

  • Scents and memory are strongly tied — burn candles at your wedding, then send everyone home with a votive in the same scent. Everyone will think back to your ceremony when they light the wick. Try lilac for a spring wedding, sugar cookies for a cozy winter wedding, apple spice for your orchard nuptials, and gardenia for a summertime soiree.

  • Use sheet music of your wedding song to create paper flowers, or use it to wrap your favors. Carry the theme throughout the wedding with petal cones made with sheet music, or music notes on your wedding stationery.

  • “There's rosemary, that's for remembrance,” Ophelia stated in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Remember loved ones who are unable to join in your day: Give rosemary-infused sea salt packaged in tiny glass jars, with a sprig of fresh rosemary tied to each jar with twine. A tradition of the bride and groom wearing rosemary dates back to the Middle Ages, as well, thanks to the belief that the herb was a love charm.

  • Offer the sentiment of comfort with teacups, a tea infuser, and a loose tea mix. Collect pretty, mixed from thrift stores for a personal — and budget-stretching — touch.

Surprising wedding favors

  • Send guests away with a skill rather than a ‘thing.’ Host a how-to class to teach something you’re passionate about, or just want to learn yourself: Painting, cocktail mixing, juggling ... you name it. Just warn guests they may get dirty.

  • Fill cocktail shakers with boozy-themed trinkets and include a pun on the tag — or on the actual shaker itself — for good measure.

  • For a funky version of the trending wedding photo booth, hire a caricature artist to sketch everyone.

  • Gift a playlist on Spotify or iTunes: Add your favorite songs, your wedding playlist, something romantic, the biggest dance hit of the season, or whatever speaks to you. Package instructions for how to download the favor in a CD case — or go old-school with a cassette case.

  • Inspire creativity with mini Lego sets. While wedding-themed sets exist, there’s no need to stick with those. Choose dinosaurs, astronauts, or mermaids and see how people collaborate and create at each table.

  • Movie buffs can build a theater-themed favor with a bag of microwave popcorn, nonpareils, 3D glasses, and a quote from the movie you were watching when you realized you were in love with each other.

  • Get them thinking (and laughing) with a book filled with wedding-themed mad libs, crossword puzzles, and other games. Include a fun pen printed with your names and wedding date — everyone could use a new pen.

Rustic wedding favors

  • Wooden coasters are gorgeous, with or without personalization. Live edge tree slice coasters are one-of-a-kind, with each presenting a different ring pattern or bark texture.

  • Personalized Moscow mule mugs with a vodka nip tied to the handles.

  • Drape cozy throw blankets across benches or tie leather laces around rolled throws to leave at the entry.

  • Create a coffee bean bar with your favorite flavors, and small burlap bags or mugs guests can fill themselves.

  • Tin camp mugs in your wedding colors are the perfect vessel for s’mores granola or trail mix.

Seasonal wedding favors

  • Divvy up the wedding centerpieces — give each guest a vase and they can pick flowers straight from the tables. Designate any centerpieces you’d like to keep for yourself so they’re left intact.

  • Cozy scarves are a festive, warm favor for a winter wedding. A solid color or classic plaid is something people can use season after season.

  • Chocolate-dipped wooden spoon stirrers let guests make hot cocoa when stirred into warmed milk. Use them at the reception, or send them home with guests to enjoy later.

  • Coordinate with the local brewer serving up pints at your reception to create a Fill-a-Growler (or howler) station for an Oktoberfest-themed favor. Consider guests who are traveling by plane: They’ll need to pack it in their checked baggage, so offer packing materials to keep the growler protected in transit.

  • Hand fans are a beautiful accent at Southern summertime weddings.

Favors inspired by the wedding theme or venue

  • Hand out sunglasses at your beach-themed wedding — just make sure those lenses include 100-percent UV protection to keep your guests’ peepers safe.

  • Vintage wine glasses for a vineyard wedding double as tasting glasses. Include wine glass charms with your guests’ initials for an extra personal touch.

  • Create recipe cards or booklets using your wedding stationery. Include the recipe for your signature cocktail, her favorite dessert, or his homemade lasagna you ate the night he popped the question.

  • Send guests home from your destination wedding with personalized luggage tags. Use them as place cards or on the seating chart.

  • Display each place card or menu inside a beautiful picture frame, and let guests know the decor is meant to go home with them.

Practical wedding favors

  • Offer up sunscreen for an outdoor wedding; stick personalized labels on each (witty puns or sweet sentiments welcome).

  • You can never have too much lip balm, especially when you’re spending your evenings on the dance floor.

  • Notepads and matching pens are perfect for heartfelt notes and shopping lists alike.

  • They’ll need something to tote their belongings home after the night’s activities — give eco-friendly reusable shopping bags that fold into a compact package.

  • Breath mints and gum freshen breath after an Irish coffee, or the next morning’s latte.

  • Skip the physical gift and donate to charity. Pick an amount to donate (but keep the total to yourself) and let guests know which charities you’ve chosen. Have guests vote on their charity of choice and divvy the donation based on the results. Use a pinboard to make voting easy: Each guest receives a pin upon arrival and sticks the pin under their selection.

Traditional wedding favors

  • The trinket box as a favor dates to before the 13th century when guests received bonbonniere at events. Follow tradition with a candy-filled porcelain box, or put a modern spin on it with a box made from paper, colored glass, or wood.

  • Play on the bouquet toss and send everyone home with a wood, paper, or feather flower.

  • Sugared almonds, either three or five, are a 16th-century French tradition meant to signify life’s ups and downs and wishes for a sweet life.

  • Bring cultural traditions from both sides of the family into your reception. The bride and groom hand out candy or other favors personally, give Martyrika pins at the end of the ceremony, or incorporate wedding bells, which are a traditional Irish symbol of luck.

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Wedding favors for kids

Keep children busy at the wedding or provide activities for the trip home. Keep a few things in mind to create a favor for all ages; avoid choking hazards and messy gifts.

  • Coloring books let them get creative. Have an artist create a book that stars the bride and groom. Surprise them with coloring pages that feature the children themselves.

  • Temporary tattoos in keeping with your wedding theme are fun reminders of the evening.

  • Mini stuffed animals offer something to snuggle with when the party has gone past their bedtime.

  • Create busy bags with crayons, mini puzzles, and other activities to keep them entertained.

  • Include a crafting area in your floor plan and hire childcare staff to supervise and work with the kids to create something they can then take home.

  • Play-Doh and heart-shaped cookie cutters give children a tactile activity for the reception.

  • Create a storytelling bag with a little burlap sack stuffed with prompts to get imaginations running. Create inspiration with stamped stones or tiles that include simple images, or a variety of small animal toys, dollhouse accessories, or pictures. Children draw prompts from the sack and tell a story as they go.

Are wedding favors required?

No. Favors are not required. This is an optional gift that is a fun way to thank your guests. If your wedding budget is tight or you’re feeling uninspired, favors are something to consider dropping from the to-do list.

How many favors should you buy — and how much should you spend?

Decide if you want to give a favor to each person, or provide a single favor per couple or family. Then, plan ahead with extras to account for guests taking more than one, favors getting broken, and saving a few for yourself. If each person gets a favor, you’ll need an extra 10 favors for every 100 guests.

Couples often spend between $2 to $3 per favor, but there’s nothing wrong with spending more — or less. When budgeting, don’t forget to include packaging costs, as well.

How should you distribute wedding favors?

You can place a table near the exit as the reception winds down so guests can grab their favors on the way out, or consider these ideas:

  • For favors that pull double-duty, let them stand in as the seating chart. Guests can find their name at the same time they get their favor.

  • Create a festive centerpiece by placing favors in the middle of each table so guests can check them out when they are seated.

  • Personally distribute the favors to each guest — not only does this allow you to greet each person and thank them for attending, it also ensures people don’t take more than one.

  • Ask the catering staff to pass out the favors while you make a short ‘Thank You’ speech.

  • Leave usable favors, such as fans or sunglasses, at each seat for the ceremony or include them with the wedding program.

Ideas for wedding favor packaging

How will your guests take their trinkets or candy treats home? Options range from practical to rustic to spectacular.

  • Repurposed canning jars, mismatched mugs, or wine glasses for candy favors.

  • Eco-friendly and biodegradable packaging, such as paper bags closed with a sticker.

  • Burlap, linen, or satin drawstring bags with labels, tags, charms, or ribbons attached.

  • Mini decoupage boxes with theme-based pictures or designs.

  • Craft paper jewelry boxes stamped with your initials and the date.

  • Gold or silver bubble mailers.

  • Laser-cut boxes in your wedding color.

If you choose to send guests home with a takeaway, avoid bulky or large favors that are difficult to carry or favors that may not travel well — they’ll likely leave them behind. The best wedding favors are heartfelt keepers your guests will love taking home.

UP NEXT: 47 clever cheap wedding ideas for the perfect day.

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.