How to make sure your guests will eagerly snap up their favors (and ones from vacant seats, when no one is looking)? Make them edible, make them memorable, and maybe even make them yourself. Here are some ideas to get you going:
Consider your location. Don’t choose a generic favor that could have come from any wedding in any reception hall in any town. Getting married at the beach? Give boxes of saltwater taffy (preferably from a local purveyor) tied with ribbon in your wedding colors. For a barn wedding in the Berkshires, present your guests with jars of local jam or honey to echo your wedding theme.
Consider the season. Little bottles of locally-produced maple syrup are perfect mementoes of a spring wedding in New England. In the fall, caramel apples decorated with sprinkles in your wedding colors are hard to resist. For a winter wedding, a few teabags in a decorative box together with some elegant tea cookies will let your guests reminisce about your wedding as they relax by a roaring fire. Or a roaring TV. Either way—good memories.
Consider your budget, your talents, and your time. If you’re longer on creativity than on money, making your own edible favors is the way to go. If you enlist friends to help, an evening spent making favors produces gifts for guests and great memories for you. A word to the wise: avoid elaborate, highly perishable favors that must be packaged fresh. You do not want to spend the night before your wedding preparing two hundred tiny butter tarts with a pastry monogram cutout in the center of each.
Chocolate truffles are a classic for good reason: they’re easy, universally loved, and can be flavored with about anything imaginable. For a casual outdoor wedding, make s’more kits with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate bars. For something more upscale, make dipped biscotti. If you’re not a baker, keep it simple: make jars of herbed sea salt (with rosemary for remembrance, of course)! Anything made with love will leave a sweet taste in your guests’ mouths.
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