While any token of thanks from the bride and groom is bound to be appreciated by guests, unique favors can be a special reflection of your thoughtfulness and an expression of your individual style and imagination. Unique favors don't have to be elaborate or over the top to make a lasting, meaningful impression.
Unique favors - the live variety!
A wedding marks the beginning of a couple's new life together, and living things can be wonderful unique favors that will "bloom" with memories of the festivities for months to come. There's a wide variety of living things that could make great unique favors - bulbs, seeds, seedlings or seed cards, potted plants, fresh herbs - select one or mix and match several to create a garden of unique favors to distribute to guests. Put each blub, seed packet, etc. in a brightly colored ceramic or hand-decorated small terra cotta pot to enhance the presentation of these unique favors, which can also serve as table ornaments.
Couples having destination weddings can give local souvenirs as unique favors. And if you haven't traveled far to get married, look for hometown mementoes (easy for couples who live in big cities like Chicago, San Francisco or New York) that would make fun, unique favors.
Photographs are terrific keepsakes of special events, and instant pictures are unique favors that wedding guests will enjoy for a long time. Arrange for the wedding photographer to take photos of guests when they arrive at the reception, and have the prints ready and framed by the time they're leaving. Ceramic or plastic frames for these unique favors can be purchased inexpensively at discount, dollar and/or craft stores and can serve a dual purpose if also used as place card holders.
Silicone wristbands can be unique favors, ordered to match the wedding color palette and with custom text featuring the bride and groom's names and wedding date. Better yet, pair this wristband with a second one from a charity or other worthy cause that has special significance to you and make a donation in honor of your wedding guests. (Many organizations and issues are associated with specific wristband colors, such as pink for breast cancer, white for one.org or red for AIDS awareness.) The wristbands are inexpensive enough to fit most wedding budgets plus leave room for a generous contribution, creating meaningful and unique favors guests are certain to appreciate.
Unique Favors - get musical
Custom CDs are popular unique favors that give couples the opportunity to share their favorite music - or music featured during the wedding ceremony and reception - with guests. These unique favors are relatively easy to make on home computers - but bear in mind that duplicating and distributing recorded material without paying a licensing fee is technically considered a copyright violation. (Although it's unlikely that any bride or groom will get in trouble for giving out home-made CDs at their wedding, these unique favors are probably best suited for small weddings, since copyright violations are rarely if ever invoked when only a small number of copies have been made.)