Let’s be honest: no one really cares about the wedding favors. Most people eat whatever is edible, then toss the rest or shove the favor into a drawer. But couples stress about wedding favors. Yes, you want it to represent you, but you also don’t want it to eat a substantial portion of your budget.

Buy or DIY Favors?
If you have the time and really want to make it personal, you can make the favors yourself. My husband and I made handrolled 4-inch beeswax candle pairs. The cost was around $90 for the wax, purple ribbon, and homemade labels printed on leftover invitation paper. We ended up making so many that we’re still using the candles five years later, and have given my aunt several more batches, too.

My sister’s were sort of DIY and sort of not. She bought cheap small frames, then scanned a photo of herself or the groom with each person attending. Since everyone who attended was on old friend (even the dates), she was able to find photos from other events or occasions. She didn’t spend a lot of money, but the guests really loved those frames.

Another friend bought purple votive holders, dropped in a votive candle, and wrapped ribbon printed with the wedding date and their names around it.

There’s really no right answer to the favor question. If you DIY, you can save money but it will take some time to assemble. If you buy, the favors are less personal and more likely to get stuffed in a drawer.

If you do buy favors, don’t spend a lot. If you make, don’t spend a lot of money on the materials or it defeats the whole purpose.

I once read about a bride who spent $10 on each favor. They were some sort of crystal googaw. I’m going to assume she had a high budget, but really, how many people want some crystal googaw that suits the couple’s taste rather than their own?

How to Choose Favors
Whether you buy or DIY, the wedding favors you choose should go with your theme or colors. For example, if you’re having a fall wedding, consider a small candleholder with leaf details. A packet of seeds is nice for a spring wedding. But before you get there, first you need to establish your budget.

  1. How many people are you expecting?
  2. Are you giving a favor to each person or to each couple?
  3. How much do you want to spend on your favors total?
  4. Divide that by the number of people/couples.
  5. That’s how much you can spend per favor.

Don’t go over budget. Keep looking until you can find something you right that fits your budget. When in doubt, choose a simple bag of Jordan almonds or chocolate. No one ever minds these tasty treats, even if they’re not the most creative favors.


4 Responses to “Save Money on Your Wedding: Cheap Wedding Favors”

  1. Amy on June 28th, 2010 5:46 am

    We hosted our weddings (yes, two, one on each coast) and came up with the idea of giving the wine glasses away as wedding favors. Ikea had wine glasses for less than we could rent them so we bought them instead. We then bought lengths of ribbon online that had our names and the date printed on it. At my shower I had all my shower guests help tie the ribbons on the glasses. (This is better than etching because after the wedding is over people can take off the ribbons and actually use the glasses…did you ever actually use that wine glass etched with your prom date and theme? Yeah, we thought so too.)

    It worked out pretty much as I expected. Some people didn’t bother to take theirs home so others got to take home a set.

    And I have a dozen or so left over for hosting parties.

  2. Aryn on June 28th, 2010 9:29 am

    That’s a great idea, Amy! We did something similar with our centerpieces. Rather than flowers, we did fruit baskets. Our guests took the baskets back to the hotel so they could have fresh fruit with the continental breakfast.

  3. Janice on June 28th, 2010 3:30 pm

    I am officially an old curmudgeon. Why are you giving favors? When did that become a thing to do?

  4. Aryn on June 28th, 2010 3:54 pm

    Favors are a way to thank your guests for attending your wedding. It’s a centuries-old tradition.

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