Wedding favors are one part of the reception that really lets your personalities sing out. If it’s an elegant wedding, you might show your love for tradition with tulle bags filled with Jordan almonds. Or if it’s a casual, fun-loving wedding, your sense of whimsy might emerge in personalized bottles of barbecue sauce, or lottery tickets in glassine bags.
Many brides still want to stick with the white gown, the veil, and the giant four-tier cake. But favors? There, many of us are willing to go all-out to find something really unique. We want the favors that seem like they were invented just for our wedding … alone.
Unique wedding services. For example, hire an artist for the reception to draw caricatures of your guests. Or a photographer to snap pictures of the guests, in couple and family groupings. Or try renting a photo booth: it could be even more fun! (Expect to pay from $1500 to $2500 to rent a photo booth — but you can also expect it to stay busy all night).
More unique services. Hire a barista to whip up fresh espressos and cappuccinos for your guests on the spot. Rent a chocolate fountain (about $400 plus $3 per guest — pricey, but unforgettable. Make sure there are lots of cute cocktail napkins nearby to control drippage). Or rent a commercial cotton candy-making machine (avoid the smaller ones; they tend to malfunction more).
Or go with a fresh donut bar. Have caterers dole out these fresh sizzling treats next to trays of sugar (powdered, cinnamon) for dunking in. Set up delectable toppings like chocolate sauce, lemon sauce or raspberry jam.
Services verging on the bizarre. How about a cigar roller to roll fresh cigars(male guests may appreciate this the most). Or easier but just as thrilling, hand out personalized cigars. For an outrageous affair, have a henna artist apply intricate tattoos.
Customized sodas. Try here for a cool retro look, unusual flavors and good pricing. Or brew and bottle some of your own wedding ‘spirit’: private-label beer or wine favors. (Make sure your reception venue will let you serve homemade wine or beer.)
Personalized “Promotional” Items.
Want unique? Expand your vision way, way beyondthe ‘wedding favor’ marketplace and check out the sites the big boys use for personalized gifts. All you need is a monogram or an artistic friend who’ll make you one. Then you can order monogrammed electronic “BuzDice” (for a Las Vegas wedding), sparkling Fiber Wands (for a New Year’s wedding), bubblegum cigars, Slinkies®, golf tees or coffee mugs.
Mouse pads personalized with a photo of you-know-who.
Personalized match boxes tied up with a pretty ribbon and a small batch of sparklers. Lottery (affordable) or Broadway (extravagant) tickets in glassine bags.
Try temporary tattoos for weddings with the couples’ names and date. How very Brangelina.
Swizzle sticks of glittering rock candy (crystal-clear for the most elegance, or in colors matching your own), tied with a personalized ribbon, make for unique favors. Consider pairing these lovelies with Mikasa trinkets, if your budget permits.
Southern Belle? Your guests will sink their teeth into individually-wrapped moon pies.
Sports fan? Hand out personalized wooden bats(cheaper than you’d think, if you shop around!), or “can Koozies” sporting your favorite team’s logo.
Like to fish? Favors don’t get more unique than the “Miracle Fortune Teller Fish,” which come in cute little red packages. Place them in your palm and they twist and squirm from the heat; check the final shape against the package and learn your “fortune.”
“Cootie Catchers,” or Fortune Tellers. These oh-so-fashionable favors have been making a splash even at formal affairs. Print your own on heavyweight parchment, with an elegant script. Or do something brighter and wilder. Start with this template.
Weather: Personalized umbrellas for a rainy climate (fill the umbrellas with candy for a sweet surprise). Or flashlights if the ceremony’s outdoors and scheduled for evening. Personalized sunglasses are great for tropical destinations or outdoor weddings.
“S’more kit” in a designer favor box with s’more recipe attached. (A fun, easy and definitely unique favor.) Or cotton candy in pretty boxes, for a fairy tale
Krispy Kremes, Two to a Box. A unique favor with small risk of leftovers.
Silver pizza cutters.
A coupon for a popular store or restaurant, such as “one free ice cream at Baskin Robbins.”
Simple but extravagant ingredients in a bag or small bottle (alfalfa honey, macadamia nuts, olive oil, maple syrup) with gourmet recipe attached.
And Yet More Unique Wedding Favors
Gourmet-flavored popcorn balls in tulle are as unique as they are cheap.