Do You Really Need Wedding Favors? The Complete Guide

Last Updated on October 16, 2023 by Ruby

So, when you’re wondering, “Do you need wedding favors?” remember that these small tokens of appreciation are the final brushstrokes on the canvas of your special day.

They symbolize the love and gratitude you have for your guests, making them an essential part of any wedding celebration.

Choose from our enchanting collection and make your wedding day truly unforgettable.

In this article, we’ll look at the origins of favors, alternatives to consider, and tips to make favors meaningful.

Join us as we delve into the world of thoughtful tokens of appreciation that can make your special day even more memorable for both you and your cherished guests.

Are Wedding Favors Really Necessary?

Wedding favors are certainly not a must-have. Many brides forego them to save money or avoid waste. If you’re on the fence, first consider your budget and guest list. Favors can get pricy with 100+ guests. Also, think about environmental impact – do you want to generate extra trash? If you only want favors for sentimental reasons, seek eco-friendly options like seed packets. Ultimately, your wedding will still feel complete without favors. Focus your efforts on aspects that matter more to you and your guests.

The History and Tradition Behind Wedding Favors

Wedding favors have centuries of tradition behind them. Back in European royal weddings, guests were given fancy boxes filled with treats as a token of appreciation. The first wedding favor in the U.S. dates back to 17th century Massachusetts – newlyweds gave out nuts and fruits to thank their guests.

Favors used to be more practical gifts, like sugar cubes or seeds, before evolving into the decorative tchotchkes of today. While the intention is still to show gratitude, some couples now view favors as one more check box.

If you want to honor tradition, make your favors useful or sentimental. For example, donate to charity in your guests’ honor, or give personalized items like photo keychains. Just avoid trinkets that will likely get tossed.

Current Wedding Favor Etiquette and Expectations

Wedding favors are certainly not required today, though many couples include them. If you do opt for favors, follow these etiquette guidelines:

Favors should reflect your taste and style. Choose useful items, sentimental mementos, or treats to delight guests. Handmade gifts can be especially meaningful.

Make favors accessible to all guests by avoiding food allergens and cultural taboos. Consider dietary restrictions.

Place favors at each place setting or in a designated pickup area. Have your wedding party help distribute them.

Thank guests for attending on the favor tags or packaging. Include your wedding date and name.

Spend between $1-4 per favor. Go more lavish for ultra formal weddings. Cheap trinkets can seem thoughtless.

Favors are optional – your love and gratitude for those celebrating with you is not.

The Pros of Having Wedding Favors

While not required, wedding favors can add a thoughtful touch to your big day. Here are some of the benefits of giving favors:

  • They’re a tangible way to show appreciation for your guests’ time, support, and presence at your wedding. A small gift says “Thank you for celebrating with us.”
  • Favors can reinforce your wedding theme and style through creative, personalized gifts. Matching keepsakes helps create fond memories.
  • Edible treats delight guests and provide an extra element of fun. Who doesn’t love take-home snacks and sweets?
  • Useful favors like hangover kits, candles, and coasters actually get used after the wedding. Functional gifts are always appreciated.
  • DIY and handmade favors allow you to infuse extra personality and meaning into gifts for your nearest and dearest. Nothing says “we care” like something custom-crafted.
  • Keepsakes become special mementos and souvenirs from your big day. Years later, favors can remind guests of happy wedding memories.

Ultimately, favors are optional. Focus on what feels authentic for you as a couple. But if given sincerely, these small gifts can have a big impact.

The Cons of Having Wedding Favors

While wedding favors can be a thoughtful gesture, they aren’t always necessary. Here are some potential downsides to keep in mind:

  • Favors can get expensive, especially if you have a large guest list. The costs add up quickly.
  • It’s hard to find gifts that appeal to all guests. Kids, teens, and adults – of different ages have different tastes.
  • Generic, low-quality favors may seem impersonal or tacky. This can detract from your event.
  • Many favors end up left behind, tossed, or forgotten after the wedding. Waste isn’t ideal.
  • The extra time and effort spent sourcing, making, or assembling gifts takes away from other planning tasks.
  • Some venues prohibit certain types of favors due to rules or restrictions. This limits options.
  • Food allergies and dietary preferences should be considered. Edible favors aren’t universal.
  • Handmade gifts require supplies and tools that must be bought or rented. More costs incurred.
  • Favors can come across as gifts given with strings attached if not handled delicately.

At the end of the day, choose wedding favors based on your priorities and budget. Don’t feel obligated to give them out. Focus on gratitude, not trinkets.

Creative Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Favors

Tired of typical wedding favors? Here are some creative ideas to consider instead:

  • Make a donation to a charity in honor of your guests. This gives back.
  • Offer homemade baked goods like cookies, brownies, or cake pops. Delicious edible treats.
  • Give seed packets for guests to plant flowers or herbs. Promotes sustainability.
  • Provide individual succulents in small pots. A unique living memento.
  • Craft custom drink stirrers with your names and dates. Useful beyond the wedding.
  • Assemble s’mores kits for a sweet late-night snack. Campfire nostalgia.
  • Make playlist codes for your first dance song. Share your musical memories.
  • Give personalized hangover kits. Help guests recover the next day.
  • Offer homemade seasoning mixes or hot sauces. Spice up cooking.
  • Provide individual sunscreen packets. Encourage sun safety.
  • Give logo koozies for beverages on the go. Fun and practical favors.
  • Share freshly baked cookies upon exit. A sweet way to say thanks.

With a little creativity, you can find meaningful alternatives to typical wedding favors that better suit your style.

How to Choose Wedding Favors on a Budget

Looking for affordable wedding favors? Prioritize your budget to maximize impact:

  • Focus on consumables. Edible treats or drinkware get used.
  • Buy bulk and assemble favors yourself. Saves versus pre-packaged items.
  • Opt for practical items like bottle openers or reusable bags. Useful beyond the wedding.
  • Choose seed packets or succulents. Inexpensive but meaningful living mementos.
  • Print your own custom stickers or tags. Affordable personalization.
  • Shop sales, coupons, and clearance items. Saves substantially over full price.
  • Consider homemade gifts like baked goods or mixes. A personal touch for less.
  • Repurpose decor items like vases or candles. Dual purpose and cost effective.
  • Order early and buy only what you need. Prevents last-minute rush fees.
  • Ask for bulk discounts from vendors. Never hurts to politely request.

With some strategic choices, you can find wedding favors that are both affordable and meaningful for your guests.

Advice for DIY Wedding Favors

Looking to make your own wedding favors? DIY can be rewarding, but also time consuming. Here are some tips:

  • Start early. Give yourself ample time for planning, shopping, assembly, and any errors. Rushing leads to stress.
  • Pick a simple design that matches your skills. Fancy favors look nice but can get complex. Focus on the idea more than perfection.
  • Buy supplies in bulk online to save money. Check reviews and order extras in case of mistakes.
  • Set up an assembly line with friends. Make it a fun event with music, drinks, and snacks. Many hands make light work.
  • Allow time for drying, cooling, and setting of glues, paints, and clay. Test timelines before mass production.
  • Print tags, labels, and packaging elements well ahead of assembly. One less thing to worry about last minute.
  • Store assembled favors properly to prevent damage. Use containers that stack for compact storage.
  • Budget more time and money than you think you’ll need. DIY often takes longer and costs more than expected.
  • Have an emergency backup plan, like buying similar favors if yours don’t work out.

The key is giving yourself plenty of time and having fun in the process. The personal touch of DIY is worth the effort.

Should You Have Favors at the Reception or Ceremony?

Deciding when to give wedding favors can be tricky. Here are some things to consider:

Ceremony favors are a nice gesture when guests are waiting for pre-wedding. It’s a cute way to kick things off. However, they can get left behind or create clutter during the ceremony.

Reception favors are more common and memorable. Guests can take them home after an evening of celebrating you. But they miss that initial “wow” factor of getting something right away.

If the budget allows, do both! Ceremony favors can be simple like fans or bubbles. Reception favors can be something nicer for guests to keep.

Another idea is to have one bigger favor given at the reception. Maybe forgo ceremony favors and put that budget towards upgraded reception ones.

There’s no right or wrong time for wedding favors. Think about your budget, guest experience, and what will work best for your wedding style.

The Bottom Line – Are Wedding Favors Worth It?

With so many details to plan and pay for, you may wonder if wedding favors are necessary. Here are some things to think about:

If having a favor at each place setting sparks joy for you, then go for it! It’s your day. Even simple DIY favors add a nice touch.

If you’re unsure, first check your budget. Favors $5 per guest or less won’t break the bank. Get creative with DIY projects to save money.

Forgoing favors altogether is fine too. Your guests will still have a wonderful time celebrating you. Use that money elsewhere or keep it in your pocket!

At the end of the day, favors are not a must. Focus on what makes you happiest. Don’t feel obligated either way.

If you want to thank guests in a meaningful way, heartfelt thank you notes later are always appreciated!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay not to have wedding favors?

Yes, it is perfectly acceptable not to have wedding favors at your wedding. Favors are optional and not a requirement. Focus your budget on elements more important to you.

Do you have to have favors at wedding?

No, you do not have to have wedding favors. Favors are a nice gesture but completely optional. Prioritize spending money on aspects of your wedding you deem more important.

Is it rude to skip wedding favors?

It is not considered rude to skip wedding favors. Your guests will understand if you opt out of providing favors, especially with today’s rising wedding costs. Do not feel obligated.

Do people still do favors at wedding?

Yes, many couples still choose to give wedding favors, though it is less expected today. Favors can be a thoughtful token of appreciation but are not a necessity. Focus on elements meaningful to you.


In summary, while wedding favors used to be a standard wedding tradition, they are now considered completely optional. With rising wedding costs, couples should feel no obligation or guilt about skipping favors. Your guests will not be offended or find it rude. Instead, focus your time and budget on aspects of your wedding that are most important to you and your partner. At the end of the day, your guests care more about celebrating your love than receiving a small token gift. The bottom line is, that you do not need wedding favors to have a beautiful, meaningful wedding.

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