Sunday, April 17, 2011

Step 50 - Decide on Wedding Favors

(4 Months to 6 Months before the Wedding)
Wedding favors are small gifts given as a gesture of appreciation or gratitude to their guests from the bride and groom during a wedding ceremony or wedding reception. They should be well thought out using creativity and ingenuity as a memento from the grand occasion.Wedding favors, enhance the wedding reception look as they help decorate the reception tables matched to the color scheme and theme of the wedding.

The tradition of wedding favors dates back to the time of  European aristocrats and were known as bonbonnieres. A bonbonniere is a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, and/or precious stones. The contents of these precious boxes were sugar cubes or precious confections. As sugar gradually became more affordable and commonplace, bonbonneires were replaced with sugar coated almonds, and became known as confetti in the thirteenth century. Traditionally, five Jordan almonds are presented in a confection box or wrapped in elegant fabric representing fertility, longevity, wealth, health, and happiness.

Today's gifts to guests are commonly called wedding favors, as the tradition continues of sharing favors at weddings taking place in cultures worldwide. In the America wedding scene, presenting favors to the guests is part of the wedding planning process. Wedding favors are diverse and they are designed to help compliment the event and run the gamut of sweets and treats to little keepsakes as a reminder and memento of that special day.

There are hundreds of companies that offer wedding favors, many of these companies allow you to order wedding favors online over the internet and can assist you both in creating and decorating a beautiful favor that will enhance the beauty and look of your wedding reception. Gain ideas by looking at a number of wedding favor companies websites to see what wedding favors they have to offer. Brainstorm ideas with family and friends of what favors would work best with your budget, many items can even be engraved. To derive a per person favor amount just take the budgeted amount and divide that number by the guests you plan at having at the wedding.

When you are working up a figure, don't forget to take into consideration separate bridesmaid's and groomsmen gifts and you may need to consider wedding favor boxes, goody bags, decorative wrap, ribbons, yarn, string, or tags and deduct associated costs from your original budgeted figure. Wedding favors decorated using the wedding scheme of the wedding really leaves a lasting impression with each of your guests.

Here are a few tips if you decide to order wedding favors online. In recent years, hundreds of companies started offer wedding favors online, because of the amount of competition encountered you can very good bulk deals with a substantial savings for various favors. When you put "wedding favors" in a Google search, all the companies that you see are highly reputable companies else they would not be ranked so well. These companies have earned their ratings and are a very safe bet to order bulk favors from. Some wedding favor companies appear elsewhere in this blog.

Before you order online, check if there are any hidden costs, such as for packaging or delivery costs. You want to be sure there are no other hidden charges, before you order. It is recommended if a company shows no phone number on their website, avoid that company if possible, you want a customer service number in the event there are issues with an order such as, status on the shipment, you need more of the product, or if you have questions or problems with the order. Only use a company without a customer service phone number if that company has a very unique product and you are willing to take a risk. Check the Better Business Bureau or put the company name into Google to see if there are any scam complaints against them. Most online wedding companies though are pretty reputable, there are always a few bad apples that hurt any industry.

When you order online, make sure you order far in advance of the wedding. Identify what you are going to order fairly early in the wedding planning process, have the idea of what you are going to order early, but put the order in anytime after your guests have returned their RSVPs and up to two months (6 weeks at absolute minimum) before the wedding. This leaves enough time in advance should there be any shipping screw-ups, and time to prepare and wrap the favors.

Also with your online order, leave your proper email address. You want the company to be able to contact you if there are any issues, such as a shortage of product in inventory, or a delay in shipping, or slightly different color than the computer screen. If you are afraid to get on a spamming list, create a backup email address just for the wedding and give the company your backup email address. A big wedding is too important to worry about getting hit with spamming advertisement emails. Check the backup emails regularly during the wedding planning period, the backup email could be used for other wedding vendors too.

Although it's not possible in every case, you can sometimes negotiate further discounting favors even further than advertised when you buy in bulk. The company would rather sell you something with a low margin than lose you altogether to one of their competitors. Remember, you have the upper hand. Make sure you order favors that are good gifts, something the guest will keep as a keepsake, don't buy favors that easily break or can get lost as a knickknack. Bottom line, with wedding favors, don't order something because it's cheap, put a lot of thought and get a good wedding favor. Something, your guests will still have when you visit them five years down the road. Certain candies, treats, or mini wine bottles make great wedding favors too!

If you want to get crafty, you can create homemade wedding favors. You can create some type of scented candle holder or you make make a small birdhouse for each of your guests. Potted plants, greenery, or flowers can make a beautiful wedding reception table centerpiece and some lucky guests can take them home as a wedding favor. You can have a candy buffet at your wedding too, and with white sandwich bags guests can load up the goodies and help themselves from your candy buffet.

You can even engrave many of the wedding favor goodies too. Some messages can be engraved directly into the product or with favors in boxes or decorated bags you can print a text message on a strip of paper, along with a ribbon or you can put a message on a decorated tag or put a message on a card that goes with the favor.

Some customized text message ideas:

Your wedding date and new married name, along with a "Thank You".

"Your attendance means the world to us on our special day. Thank you for coming!".

"Thank you for sharing our special day!".

"Meant to be," with your wedding date and names.

"Thanks for being one of the folks!".

"There is no measure for the value of a true friend!".

"Live, laugh, love".

"A toast, here's wishing you a long and happy marriage!".

"Wedding day wishes, Fertility, Longevity, Wealth, Health, and Happiness!".

or Include lyrics of your favorite love song or inspirational quote.

Another idea, along with your wedding favors you could include Trivia Questions on some mini tags. Answers may be on back of the tag or in small print upside down or have the emcee rattle off the answers.

Trivia Questions examples:

          Where do we first meet?
          Where are we going on our honeymoon?
          How many children do we plan to have?
          What's our favorite movie?
          What date did we get engaged?
          How and where did he propose?
          What is our favorite restaurant?
          Where is her favorite place to shop?

The winner of the trivia contest can win a bottle of wine.

Or you can have a "Chinese Wedding Favor Auction". All the wedding favors need to be all different favors at each of the reception tables and all wrapped and are placed near the table reception centerpiece. All the guests at the table pick numbers from 1 to 8 if there are 8 seats. The numbers could be picked out of a hat or flower girl basket by each guest. An emcee runs the auction which could be the disc jockey or the best man. The emcee starts the auction off, tells all the tables at the reception tables, whoever has number 1 to pick any unwrapped favor and open it and shows it to the table.

It's now number 2's turn to go. Number 2 can either go and pick an unwrapped favor or steal number 1s favor if number 2 likes that favor. If number 1's favor is stolen he must choose and open another unwrapped favor. You are not allowed to take back a favor stolen from the last person who stole it.

It's now number 3's turn. Number 3 can either go and picked an unwrapped favor or can steal number 1s favor or steal number 2's favor. If Number 3 steals a favor from Number 1 or Number 2 that person's turn ensues and can steal a favor as long as it's not the favor just stolen or open an unwrapped favor. If the favor is stolen 3 times by a guest it's finally their favor to keep for good and announce it to the world and that favor is out of play.

The game gets interesting as Number 4 starts his play. They can go for an unwrapped favor or steal a favor form Number 1 or Number 2 or Number 3. Whose ever favor is stolen that player can steal another players favor or choose to open an unwrapped favor.

Play continues until all favors are picked by somebody. If a player is missing when it's their turn, another player can play for the missing players favor, for example a wife can play for the husband, if he is ordering a drink from the bar. This game is a great game at Christmas parties too and works well for up to around 50 people. This auction could be held at a house party after the wedding or held at a rehearsal dinner before the wedding too. This Chinese Wedding Favor Auction always is a hit and leads to a lot of fun and laughs. It's best when there are a couple of better gifts and a gag gift in each auction.

Wedding Idea Favors for the Wedding Ceremony or Reception

Personalized Playing Cards, Salt and Pepper Shakers, Personalized Mini Glass Jar, Lip Balm, Scented Candle and Candle Holder, Box of Chocolates, Unique Homemade Cookies, Engrave Bottle Opener, Designer Soap,  Asian Silk Hand Fans, Theme Name Tags, Luggage Tags, Champagne Flute Glasses, Photo Coasters, Personalized Picture Frames, Personalized Shot Glasses, Wedding Day Throwaway Cameras, Wedding Tin Mints, Decorated Measuring Spoons, Personalized Fortune Cookies, Heart Key Chain, Personalized Napkin Holders, Ceramic Coffee Mug, Engraved Candy Dish with Candies, and thousands of others.

Wedding Idea Favors for the Bridesmaids

Bridesmaid Tote Bag, Bridesmaid Duffel Bag, Bridesmaid Lunch Tote, Wedding Necklace and Earring Set, Personalized Bath Towel, Personalized Bath Robe, Personalized Beach Towel, Personalized Cosmetic bag loaded with Cosmetics, Toiletry Bag with Creams, Bath Oils, and Shower Gels, Engraved Wallet or Coin Purse, Pajamas or Nightgowns, Box of Rare Chocolates, Perfumes, Designer Boxes, Garden Kits, Figurines, IPhones, IPads, Blackberries, Kindle, Digital Camera, Digital Recorder, CDs with Original Music and gifts similar.

Wedding Idea Favors for the Groomsmen

Designer Cuff Links, Tux Tie, Designer Tie and Tie Clip, Men's Wallet or Money Clip, Pocket Watch, Engraved Flask, Engraved Lighters, Shaving Kits, Cologne and After Shave, Pocket Squares or Engraved Handkerchiefs, Manicure Sets, Pocket Knife, Pen Desk Set, Barbecue Tools, Bartender Supplies, Weekender Bag, Personalized Duffel Bag, Sports Stein or Mug, Wine or Liquor Gifts, Sporting Goods, Sports Shirt, Golf Supplies, Tennis Balls, Sports Shirt, IPhone, IPad, Blackberry, Kindle, CDs with Original Music and gifts similar.

Wedding Ideas for the Children at the Wedding

Coloring Books and Crayons, Storybooks, Blow Bubbles (Crayola has Colored Now), Non-messy Candies, Activity Books, Highlights Magazine, Jigsaw Puzzles, Playing Cards, Mini Stuffed Animals, Dolls, Paper Dolls, Card Games, Electronic Games, Stickers, Finger Puppets, Colored Pencil Set, Magic Tricks, Collector's Kit, Sporting Goods Ball, Jump Rope, Matchbox Cars, Kooz Ball, Art Supplies, Tube of Animals, Children's Music CD, and many others.

Presenting and decorating tour wedding reception with wedding favors just adds to a very special day and whenever guests see their wedding memento they will always think of you!

See you on the other side!    


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