Event Favors Guests Actually Keep

At my home, there is a drawer that resides in our kitchen – what we call the “catch-all” drawer. It’s likely you have a version of this as well. Amongst its inhabitants are old gift cards, USB cords, scotch tape, and random knick-knacks collected over the years, many of which were originally wedding and event favors.

Most favors are relatively forgettable. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually used even those favors I’ve held on to. But the few that are memorable are often truly cherished, particularly if they are personal and useful. Here, we at Revelr share some ideas for the best favors that stand the test of time.

1) Cookie Mix: Even if you’re not a baker, you can probably agree that there is nothing better than home-baked cookies. A few years ago, I went to the New England wedding of a dear friend, and I still fondly remember the cookie mix she offered to guests at the end of the night. Best of all it was packaged in a cute little mason jar. While I didn’t use it immediately, on a rainy Saturday a month or two later, I mixed up the contents of the mason jar with a little water and oil and enjoyed some of the most delicious cookies I had had in a while! A favor like this – particularly something regional – is thoughtful, delicious, and also gives guests something to enjoy even long after the big day.

2) Utility Items: Three favors that I’ve kept and continue to use are hugely utilitarian: a wine stopper, a bottle opener, and an envelope opener. All are hand-crafted, pretty, and, quite frankly, come in handy all the time. If your favor is something guests can use over and over again, it can end up being hugely useful to them while also serving as a nice reminder of the wedding itself. Even though it’s one of those things I would never think to purchase, I always use my hand-blown glass wine stopper whenever I have guests over, and even use it when my husband and I are at home just sipping wine and watching a bad movie.

3) T-Shirts: I repeatedly wear t-shirts from weddings provided they a) don’t have pictures of the couple on them and b) are soft. There is nothing better than having a comfortable t-shirt to wear over and over again when lounging about or working out. Custom t-shirts are a breeze to make these days, so even the most creatively inept can make something memorable and cute online.

4) Baseball Caps: At my wedding, I surprised my husband – a die-hard Boston sports fan – by giving out Red Sox hats to all our guests on the dance floor. We had waiters giving them out on trays while “Sweet Caroline” (the seventh-inning-stretch song for the Red Sox) played in the background. I thought people would like them, but I vastly underestimated how many people would actually wear them after the wedding. People still send me random pictures of themselves wearing them out and about.

5) Books: There is something really thoughtful about a couple sharing a few good books with their guests (I say “a few” in case some guests have already read some of the offered literature). Imagine leaving an event with a book for the airplane in hand – who wouldn’t love that?

There are certainly a myriad of other favors out there (take a look at Etsy to get inspired). Potted succulents, beach bags, and edible treats you can’t procure locally are always memorable and wonderful too. The main takeaway, however, is that a lot of wedding favors end up in the trash, so if you give something delicious, thoughtful, or useful, you’re likely to spend money on something people will keep. And remember that even the most thoughtful favors don’t have to break the bank. Our Wedding Budget Calculator will help you get a sense of how much to allot, no matter how big or small your overall budget.

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