By Jennifer Steffy Swanson
Remember how great party favors (a.k.a. goodie bags) were when you were a kid? Part of the reason they were so fabulous was because they were the ultimate score. You’d walk away with a little bag of treasures (bubbles, candy, little plastic toys or necklaces you’d use incessantly until they broke) and it wasn’t even your birthday.
How many times have you left a wedding with a favor that you felt obligated to take because it was there, but that you ended up throwing away as soon as you got home? It’s nothing personal against the couple who gave the favor. Oftentimes it’s just something you don’t need or want — something you could put on a shelf somewhere and allow to collect dust for a while to ease your conscience (and then throw away). Really, what do you give adults as wedding favors? A wedding is like the mother of all personal parties and choosing favors that won’t get tossed (and won’t sabotage your budget) isn’t easy. It’s like the ultimate Christmas nightmare: You have to pick a single stocking-stuffer-sized gift that will come across as thoughtful and useful to your entire guest list.
Before you stress, remember something: Favors are ways to express gratitude to guests for celebrating the day with you (the same concept as when you went to birthday parties in elementary school, but the audience is more grown up). Your guests aren’t there for the favor. They’re there to share your happiness. We love the idea of donating money, in lieu of a physical favor, to a cause in your guests’ names. Another idea we love (and something that won’t get tossed) are these fabulous magnets by local artist Suzanne Tanner of Tanner Glass (check out her website here and her Etsy site here).
It’s no secret that we at Engaged have a soft spot for local artists, but these are really great. The favors are available as sets of two, three or four magnets and the card (from the wording to the font type) is customizable. She has more than thirty in-stock designs to choose from or you can submit your own. Getting married in Newport? Request a nautical design. Did you meet at college? Go with a vintage map showing the location of your alma mater. Set them near your photo booth and encourage guests to take one home along with their photo souvenir. Favors done!