The Sweet Christian Bride

Do You Have To Give Favors to Your Guests?

by admin on June 25, 2013 in Gifts and Favors with No Comments

Guest favors are a great way to say thank you to your guests for taking the time and for spending the money to be at your wedding.  But do you have to give favors?  After all, guest favors are usually one of the last decisions in the wedding-planning process, which also means, one of the last expenses added. 

And of course, the bigger the wedding is, the higher the expenses for favors will be.  In addition to cost, the other major consideration for favors is desirability.  Usually wedding guests cover a wide spectrum of age and style, which means that finding a gift for all of them to enjoy will be undoubtedly difficult.  Would favors even be a desirable expense?

The point of a favor is generally two-fold: 1) to serve as a token of thanks for coming, and 2) to serve as a token of nostalgia for the event.  Guests feel cared for and celebrated by the thoughtfulness of the favors they receive.

You can, however, extend hospitality and thanks to your guests in other ways.  At one of Chris’ best friend’s weddings, nobody received favors, but it didn’t even dawn on me that something was “missing” until a few days after the wedding.  The bride and groom had spent so much energy on making each guest feel so special and thanked that the purpose of a favor was already met.  We didn’t need a present to secure that thought. 

The culture of favor-giving can be out of control.  With weddings, everyone already knows that a lot of money is spent on each guest, so simply by showing up, guests are being given the gift of food, entertainment, and ceremony. 

Additionally, everyone knows that the wedding celebration is primarily in honor of the bride and groom and not of the guests.  The bride and groom have graciously invited each guest to share a part of a most intimate and indescribable moment in their lives, which is one of the reasons why guests give gifts to the newlywed couple. 

All this to say, giving favors to your guests is not requisite. Despite what the wedding industry says, if you have no purpose to give a favor other than “because you should,” I would strongly suggest that you don’t give them.  Favors, like any other gift or thank you, should come cheerfully from the heart.

Chris and I went to a wedding that was on a very, very low budget, paid for entirely by the bride and groom themselves.  Rather than getting creative with the budget and expressing sentiments through their actions and words (which is free!!), they tried to stick to the “formula” of wedding planning, checking off every box on the planning list, even if the outcome was poor quality. 

The result was that they spent money on something because they had felt like “they should,” and deep down inside, as their guest, I wished they would have saved themselves the money and instead made it a point to thank each person face to face for coming.  Totally free and even more personal.

Whether you make or buy favors for your guests is up to you.  If you choose to do so, do it with purpose and quality.  If you choose not to, be intentional about finding other ways to send your guests a message of thanks.

Photo © John Yao, SimplyTwo Photography, featuring Carmen and David’s wedding

Article was originally published on April 22, 2011.

By Lindsay
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    Thursday, 26 July, 2012

    […] you do have it in your budget, however, to offer thank you gifts, they are deeply appreciated.  It can be a challenge to think of gifts that are both personal and […]

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