how not to waste money on wedding favorsWhen I’m out-and-about in the wedding world—checking out forums to learn brides’ burning questions about party favors—I’ve noticed a common situation. It’s about the wedding favors.

A bride will ask the group: “What about (insert favor idea here)?” then describe her koozie (or spoon or wine glass or picture frame). I’ve seen this happen over and over again, because brides do not want to waste money on wedding favors that their guests will throw away.

The members of the group invariably take turns kindly (or not so kindly) telling the bride why her idea won’t work. And this happens because as brides, we’re just not thinking like guests. We’re starry-eyed and yes, I’ve been there. Sadly, this is almost guaranteed to end with you wasting money on your wedding favors.

So how do you choose wedding favors that your guests won’t throw away? Here are three tips:

1. Choose consumables.

chocolates-wedding-favorsAs in, food. Cookies, chocolates, candies, even jars of jam are favorites. Tiny bottles of champagne? Um, yes. If guests can snack on it at the reception (or enjoy back in the hotel later that night), it will never be wasted.

If you’re opposed to food, other consumables (think lip balms or candles) are also popular and won’t be left behind.

2. Make it easy to leave with—and live with.

If you are sharing a keepsake item, consider how far your guests have come and what their return trip is like. Will they carry a small plant (or sapling) on the plane? Bulky or awkward favors are more likely to be left behind, as are items (like plants) that require time and attention forever. These ideas fail the “easy to live with” test. So do overly-personalized favors, so remember to…

3. Personalize with care.

It was darling in 8th grade. I remember, because I was right there with you, writing “Dr. and Mrs. Ken Smith” in every notebook. You can have every blessed thing in your home monogrammed and embossed, I promise. But your guests don’t want that. What’re they gonna do with one single shot glass with your names on it? Or that solitary koozie?

For wedding favors, consider personalizing your packaging—a hang tag, a box, a handwritten note—and leaving the item itself plain and unadorned. This is a compromise, I know, but one that makes everyone happy.

At the end of the night, wouldn’t it be nice if your guests took (and enjoyed) all the wedding favors? To avoid wasting money on wedding favors no one wants, make sure you follow these tips and think like a wedding guest!

What do you think? What are some of your favorite wedding favors to receive? Do you prefer edibles, or keepsakes?