Your guests have cleared their schedules, gussied up and shared the most important day of your life with you. It’s important to thank them with a small token, one that’s meaningful but doesn’t break the bank. Do-it-yourself wedding favors are both the perfect solution for a bride on a budget and a fun project for the woman who wants to be involved in every aspect of her big day. Creating your own unique favor may be the ideal way to personalize your wedding, but keep in mind that DIY projects can be time consuming. Enlist the help of your bridesmaids, mom or soon-to-be mother-in-law and give yourself weeks—not days—to get the necessary supplies in order.
Here are our picks for the top do-it-yourself favor ideas to make your wedding—on any budget—a success.
Short on Time?
If you’ve got moments—not weeks—before your big day, one of the easiest favors to create is a simple bag of mixed nuts. “Purchase the nuts in bulk from a store like Costco and then repackage them in clear bags. Tie the bags closed with a colorful ribbon and attach a handwritten note thanking your guests for coming,” says Alison Hotchkiss of San Francisco-based Alison Events.
Take the Season into Account
Recall your childhood with homemade caramel apple favors for a fall wedding. The apples can be customized with a sprinkling of chopped nuts, candy sprinkles or a dash of sea salt. For a winter wedding, what better way to leave guests feeling cozy than with a hot cocoa and marshmallow favor? Purchase simple, inexpensive mugs at a bulk store, add an individual hot cocoa packet and some homemade marshmallows, and wrap everything up in a muslin bag. Spring weddings bring the season’s best blooms. Let your guests take home flower seed packets to remember your wedding all season long. Choose seeds from your favorite flower and place in a homemade envelope with a note or poem, plus instructions inside each packet. The summer brings back memories of languid days spent outdoors. Keep your guests buzzing about your wedding and send them home with a personalized jar of honey. Buy the honey in bulk and carefully pour into small jars that can be purchased at container or craft stores. Embellish the jars with a ribbon and a homemade name tag for each guest.
Give a Nod to your Heritage
Hotchkiss says that guests will love a bottle of homemade Irish cream—a mix of Irish whiskey, cream, coffee, vanilla and almond extract that can be made sans alcohol and presented in a little bottle. Consider baking up some of your mother’s famous chocolate chip cookies and presenting them in a package tied with a bow, or give your guests a small potted basil plant with the recipe for your Italian grandmother’s famous pesto.
The Traditional Favor but with a Twist
Jordan almond wedding favors have been a go-to for brides for years. Traditionally, five of the sugarcoated treats are given to represent five wishes for the couple—health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity. Give the favor a modern twist by placing blue, brown or white Jordan almonds in a miniature basket or on a tuft of raffia, wrap with tulle, and attach with a thin ribbon. A small bird-stamped thank-you note will seal the nesting favor.
Complement the Site of the Wedding with your Favor Choice
A wine country event is the perfect backdrop for a favor of hand-packaged olive oil and vinegar in simple cruets. A beach wedding calls for a bundle of saltwater taffy or collected shells kept safe in a sachet. An art gallery soiree is the choice setting for a creative favor such as colored pencils tied with a beautiful bow, while homemade luxury truffles take center stage at a black-tie affair.
Once you’ve created your perfect favor, you’re not done yet. You’ll need to decide how you want guests to receive it. The favor can be placed on a table with a framed sign instructing guests to take one, the waitstaff can hand each out individually, it can be prearranged at each place setting, or you can personally give each favor to guests as they leave the reception—this last option works best when guests are being picked up in a shuttle or when they all will be leaving at a set time. Whatever your choice, your guests are sure to love your unique and personalized thank-you gift.