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Author Topic: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?  (Read 23560 times)

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Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« on: October 17, 2013, 06:29:52 PM »
Reading the hosting a shower thread in "Life in General" I got to thinking about party favors. Some posters in that thread thought they were useless and others thought that they were fun, thoughtful and creative.

I didn't want to derail that thread, but I was wondering what people thought about party favors for specialty type parties (like weddings/bridal or baby showers/housewarmings, etc.)

What was the best/worst party favor you ever received?

If you host a party, do you feel that a party favor is a must? What type of favors do you give?

When you attend this type of function, are you disappointed/do you think it's rude if there isn't a party favor?

What is the point behind party favors? Is it meant to be a simple TY for attending? or is it suppose to be a something for your guests to remember this special day?

What are your thoughts?

Back in the day (30 years ago) the thing to do for weddings was to have a matchbook engraved with the name of the couple and the date. I threw them into my "box of memories" and never used them. Alas, my BoM is gone, but I remember looking through the box every now and and then and when finding the matchbook thinking "Oh, yeah, I remember that wedding!" So I guess the party favor was pretty much useless but it did it's job . . . bringing back memories.

For my BWW, my mother insisted on finding something unique for the party favors. We settled on something like this: filled with candies, along with a ribbon around the neck including a tag with mine and exH's name and date of the wedding.

Just throwing this out there . . .

« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 06:32:24 PM by jpcher »


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 07:30:48 PM »
I don't usually care for party favors. I see them as wasteful. You are already supplying me with a place to be, food and hopefully booze. I don't need/want any knick knacks, I don't wear nail polish, etc. I live in a small condo so I don't have room for stuff I don't need.


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 07:40:43 PM »
I loathe them and think they are wasteful, for the reasons the PP just stated.  Even the food ones. I usually have a tiny purse with me at weddings, I don't want to lug stuff home.  I usually just leave them on the table for the inevitable "favor hog" guest who goes around taking anything that's not nailed down. (Leftover favors, centerpieces, plants, etc.)


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 07:43:05 PM »
I dislike them and if I can do so without attracting attention I leave them behind. If not, I take and toss. I hate seeing people spend money on stuff that pleases them but may be of no interest to me. Since I tend to be a minimalist and do not collect things most are useless. And I especially hate adding to the city trash dump.


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 07:52:08 PM »
We did customized fortune cookies at out wedding. They seemed to go over well, and they were about $0.15 each. People found the insides quite fun, and we've been getting great feedback for months about them.
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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 07:56:13 PM »
I don't know when the idea of adult party favors for showers started. I don't remember them in the '70s or 80's but suddenly sometime in the 90's they started appearing. We didn't do them for our wedding in '93 and I don't remember them for the bridal showers I gave or attended before then. But the first baby shower I attended around '95, there was a small party favor.

I've given party favors for things I've hosted. I prefer food or consumables. Some I've done
-Lemon Thympe cookies
-Honeycone candle to go with a theme
-Homemade chocolate fudge
-Little packet of tissues

One that I receive that I liked but I know was expensive was a cute USB drive shapped like an engagement ring with photos of the couple and the shower loaded. The hostesses DH took photos as everyone arrived and as the shower progress he loaded them on the USB and had them ready to send home with everyone. Way too much time and money. But I still have the USB drive in my desk. It's the one my DS won't "borrow".

Another one I liked was the hostess had bottles of vitamin water and plain water chilled and custom lables set out for guests to grab on the way home. It was a really hot day so it was great to have a cold drink to take with you.

But I do not feel slighted at all to walk out of a wedding, shower, or any party without a trinket, especially if I can't eat it on the way home.


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 08:02:13 PM »
I had matchbooks at mine which I liked - at least they're practical and small.

Otherwise I would have gone the edible route.  At least you aren't stuck with cheap junk you won't use.

Wate of money IMO and I don't care in the slightest if there are none at all.


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 08:37:40 PM »
The little kid in me loves getting a little bag tied with ribbon and a pretty cookie with frosting in the shape of wedding bells or a baby stroller or a cute little bra (seriously adorable lingerie shower cookies). But an item that I have to cart home and can't devour? Annoying unless someone really knows what they're doing. Getting an edible treat is like the after party. I don't get out much these days, but I love parties, so its a bit of a let down (a tiny itsy bitsy let-down) when I come home and see the mess I made getting ready and I'm all tired from talking and laughing and then... "Ooh! Cookie!" and I feel better. :)


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 08:38:36 PM »
Not a fan- I have enough junk. If you're going to do it I would prefer something edible because that isn't going to hang around for ten years.
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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 08:43:03 PM »
If I never see a little tulle bag of jordan almonds again, I won't be sorry. But for our wedding we did personalized pint glasses. The guests could use them at the wedding (or not) and take them home. Nice, and useful. Some folks left theirs (more for us!) but a lot of people took theirs home, and my parents had us bring them a pair when they realized they'd forgotten theirs. :-)
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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 09:19:56 PM »
The best I saw were "nuptial nuts".  The couple (who had a large walnut tree) had printed little wedding sayings and folded these up with a chocolate and put them into walnut shells.  It looked like a walnut tied with ribbon at everyone's place.  They were great icebreakers at the tables where we didn't already know each other.  Some of the phrases were hilarious.   


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 09:20:29 PM »
I wouldn't miss them if an event didn't have them. I think of them more as part of the decor--we don't really need chair bows or centerpieces either but they look pretty when everything is all set up, and I think they can add to the atmosphere, especially the more clever ones that match the event's overall theme. IME shower favors tend to be a bit more fun and casual than wedding favors, which often run towards bland yet dignified.

I think if people are going to do them, they should try to come up with something unique, personalized, and useful. Of course "useful" is in the eye of the beholder. Small is also good. If it's small enough and has the couple's name and the date on it, I probably will keep it, and remember them whenever I glance at it. I'm cool with this. But, if they didn't provide a personalized favor, I would probably keep the invitation or something anyway as a memento, so it's not exactly necessary.

Alternately, they should be edible, and good. If you're going to spend the money on them, get real M&M's or Hershey's kisses or Jelly Bellies (at least, *I* think those are yummy) and not the generic ones. Quality over quantity.

For people who like giving favors, I feel like they do think of them as a little extra "thank you," something that the guests can take home as most receptions don't let you take doggie bags of food away. If it's something edible and yummy, I always gobble mine up right away, but I feel a little gauche doing so, like I was supposed to take it home first.

Storytime: When my friend Amy was planning her wedding, she felt that of course, she needed to have favors. But then, she had the brilliant idea of making a donation to a charity with the favor budget instead. So then she didn't need to buy actual favors, but she spent extra money printing up little info sheets about the charity to put at each place setting instead, telling people what a wonderful thing she'd done by donating this money. Then, the wedding ran over budget, so she repurposed the donation money to pay for something else, like the cake or the dress. There wasn't anything tangible attached to it, see, so she could use it for something else. It was only several months after the wedding--with some nagging from her mom--that she actually made the promised donation to the charity.

Now this is what I think about whenever I see that someone has done a charitable donation as a party favor. "Did they really donate that money, or are they just telling me they did?"  :P


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 10:29:35 PM »
The best party favors I've ever gotten... hmmm, I do like cookies. I got an egg timer from a baby shower once and thats pretty handy - I keep in the bathroom and use it to time my hair dye sine I don't have clock in there and don't wear a watch while dying since I'm about to jump into the shower. A friend gave out very nice ceramic dual serving dishes for her wedding, I would think it was awesome except I have about 6 already.
(like this but a different, more classic design on it)

My wedding favor was mini whisks (because I like to cook) and personalized pens (because DH is a writer). It was a pen for everyone (hey who can't use a pen?!?!) and the whisks were 1 per couple. None were left after the wedding so I guess people liked them. Actually I know at least a few people liked the whisk because occasionally people still come up to me and say "you know that whisk? Its great for (eggs, hot cocoa, whatever)."

As for least favorite, well I can't stand jordan almonds although I guess the history/symbolism is cute. And once I got a small (about big enough for 2 Hershey's kisses) real silver box engraved with the couple's names and wedding date. Its real silver so a shame to just toss, but to small for much plus engraved with someone elses names and wedding date so not something I particularly care to keep and display (and now, 6 years later they are divorced anyway)... I think I donated it to charity figuring someone might want it just for the silver.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 10:36:47 PM by WillyNilly »


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 10:30:30 PM »
Best: Chocolates from a specialty shop.

Worst: Little clay herb pots to be used as a votive candle burner with the couple's names and date on it. I know they went to a lot of work making them, but I was really happy when the kids we roughhousing and it broke. We only brought one home, to be polite.
           3X2 picture frames used for our placecards. Not our style, but not personalized, so we took ours and the others accidentally left behind ::) and gave a bunch to the charity shop. That might have been really cool for someone!

Before our 40th anniversary party, big bash given by our kids, our daughter had won at an auction personlized pens. She had them printed  with "Celebrating 40 years together// <3 Luci & Lucas <3//You are a special part of our lives. //Thank you."  I still come upon some people using them.

Um, <3 is a heart on Facebook.  :)

Martha Stewart once made very elaborate boxes, and then gave suggestions for etched silver boxes with the names and dates on them through commercial company at $$$ bucks apiece. I think that is when I gave up on her.


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Re: Wedding/Shower/Whatever Party Favors . . . Thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 12:27:33 AM »
What is the point behind party favors? Is it meant to be a simple TY for attending? or is it suppose to be a something for your guests to remember this special day?

What are your thoughts?

(snipping the rest since this is the question I'm answering)

I feel like favors should be a combination of a little fun thank you for attending, and a something for guests to remember the special day. My personal favorites (and what I've used as inspiration in the past) have combined a little bit of both ideas together.

1) Something little and consumable - for my wedding we did M&M's in the wedding colors, I've gotten a truffle or decorated cookie before, a little mini shaped soap (that thing lived in my go bag for ages, because it was the perfect run-out-the-door size)

2) Something that acts as a time/date/place keepsake - a single visible memory of the day, variable depending on budget and size of the crowd. A magnet, a christmas decoration, a photograph and frame - it really depends.  My personal favorites are CD mixes, because I'm a child of the mixtape era, and it's fairly simple and creative to make a playlist of songs and a "cd cover' and burn and print.
2a) BONUS! A unique memento of the day - depending on the theme, something quirky - a friend did off-season magnets (she hosted a spring baby shower, but gave out christmas ornaments and halloween magnets. It made TOTAL sense at the time given the friend she was throwing it for.)  We attached red plastic spoons to our wedding favors because the spoon was a symbol of something unique to our ceremony, I got a cake decorating tip and measuring spoon as a bridal shower favor once (again, it made 100% sense in context)

I think favors should be both a momento AND somehing and consumable. Hit both the immediate "YAY! That was fun!" note, and also the longer-term memories.