Choosing Wedding Favors & Decoration Ideas

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  • 8/3/2019 Choosing Wedding Favors & Decoration Ideas


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    Table of Contents


    A Sweet Beginning.3

    In Favor of Favors ..4

    Ten Questions Every Bride Should Ask.4

    Consider the Four Cs5





    The Finances of Favors..14

    How to Save Money on Favors

    Do It Yourself Favor Ideas and Instructions

    The Handy Candy Calculator

    Wedding Favors for Kids23

    Favor-Shopping Timeline...23

    Seven Top Mistakes to Avoid..25

    Tips and Advice26

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    A Brides Guide to Finding the Favor of Her DreamsBy: Karen Sullen

    When did choosing the right wedding

    favor get so hard? I remember attendingweddings when I was much younger, and it seems

    that all the bride had to do was to coordinate the

    souvenir matchbook to the color of the wedding.

    Other than picking the foil design that was going to

    be on the cover, it was a no brainerunless, of

    course, you couldnt decide between that and the

    paper bookmark with the tassel on it or the

    imprinted cocktail napkin. Ah, yes, those were the


    Now, with the vast selection ofunique weddingfavorsavailable, the task of choosing which favor will

    best fit your style and budget and express your

    appreciation can easily become a big wedding-day

    worry for the bride and groom. Becoming more and

    more elaborate and essential to the wedding

    planning, wedding favors are no longer an

    afterthought but an integral part of the celebration

    that goes a long way to make the guests feel

    welcome and appreciated.

    A sweet beginning

    Matchbooks, bookmarks and napkins once ruled the modern-day wedding scene, but before

    that, brides had some very different choices. Many might be amazed to discover that it all

    began with a sugar cube! Yes, sugar cubes are thought to be the very first wedding favors given

    during medieval timesa gift shared among nobility. At the time, sugar was a rare commodity.

    So to present guests with this token of appreciation in a crystal bowl or ornate box was a sign of

    wealth and privilege.

    Later, almonds were used in place of the sugar as a symbol of the well wishes for the bride and

    grooms new life. Around the 13th century, sugar-coated almonds were introduced combiningthe two traditions of almonds and sugar into a single gift. The symbolism of this particular

    combination became associated with the bitter sweetness often found in marriage. These

    sugared almonds (also known as confetti, Jordan almonds and dragees) are usually presented in

    wedding favor boxesor fabric in sets of five to represent the five aspects of marriage that are

    wished for every couple:

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    It was not until much later that the custom of giving wedding favors was adopted by the masses,affording everyone the opportunity to give a small token, and it took even longer for it to

    become the tradition that we know today. Today, wedding favors come in all shapes, sizes, and

    materials, but they are still just as sweet as that very first sugar cube!

    In Favor of Favors

    In recent years, some well-meaning brides have opted to skip the favors altogether (gasp!) due

    to budget constraints or the idea that theyre just not necessary. Well, Id like to make my case

    in favor of favors. The choice whether or not to have wedding favors simply boils down to a

    matter of etiquette. Its one of those little courtesies that make life a little nicer. Would you

    enter a room where someone else is sitting and not speak? Would you see a person entering

    the building behind you and not hold the door? Would you receive a birthday gift from Uncle

    Joe and not say thank you? Well, you might, but it certainly wouldnt be nice.

    Given the fact that favors are a couples way of saying thank you for sharing in their day, it

    would almost seem impolite not to have themand that really has nothing to do with money

    because even a simple poem or scroll that says thanks is still a nice touch. Since many of your

    guests have provided a much larger gift for you, traveled from great distances to be there for

    your special day, encouraged you, helped you, given advice and a host of other things for your

    wedding and for your life in general, giving a wedding favor is a kind, heartfelt gesture that

    expresses those two simple words as eloquently, classically, whimsically, creatively or however

    else you choose to say Thank You!

    10 Questions Every Bride Should Ask

    Finding that perfect little something wonderful to give at the end of the wedding isnt always

    easy. There are so many choices, styles, colors and trends; it could make your head spin. So,

    before you rush to the wedding favor store, there are a few questions you should ask yourself

    right up front. It will help you narrow your search and be smart about your options.

    1. What is my budget for favors?2. Do I have a wedding theme? If so, would I like the favors to match?3. What is the mood of the celebrationformal, casual, fun, etc.?4. What are the demographics of my guests (age, male/female ratio, etc.)?5. Do I want one favor for all or a different favor for women/men, adults/children, etc.?6. Do children need favors?7. Whats my personal styleromantic, traditional, quixotic, cutting-edge trendy?8. Would I prefer an "at the table" or "on the way out" location for my favors?

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    9. Edible, keepsake, useful, practical, whimsical or classicwhat kind of favor would Iprefer?

    10.Do I have the time, creativity and/or energy to make the favors myself?The answers to these important questions will help make sure that you have some kind of idea

    of what you would like before you get started, which will save you time and money. However, if

    you find that your favor selections arent quite hitting the mark, take a moment to look at your

    true personality. Many of us may thinkwere one way, when actually were another. If youre

    early in the process, it might be helpful to take one of those personality quizzes to find out what

    kind of bride you really are. Armed with that information, youll have better success at finding

    the right favor and planning the wedding of your dreams.

    Consider the Four Cs

    When purchasing diamonds, jewelers explain that the 4 Cs (cut, color, clarity, and carat) are

    important. But, when it comes to wedding favors, there are four slightly different Cs that you

    should consider:



    Container (Packaging)


    Concept (Theme)

    Like the cherry on top of a delicious sundae, a well-matched wedding favor can be the perfect

    finishing touch. Enhancing the theme down to the very last detail (literally, since its the last

    impression theyll get of your special day), its easy to complement your wedding theme withfavors. Here are some examples:

    Wine Wedding: Whether youre getting married at a charming vineyard or just have a love for

    wine, complement the theme withwine favors, like decorative bottle stoppers and pourers,

    corkscrews, personalized stemless wine glasses, cork and goblet place card holders, and

    anything with grapes!
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    Beach Wedding: When it comes to your wedding locale, sunny dispositions often lead to

    tropical destinations. Thats whybeach wedding favorsare so popular, even if youre not

    getting married with the sand between your toes. Its a beautiful accent for nautical weddings

    and those held in an aquarium. Consider shell soaps, lantern tea light holders, bottle openers,

    drink mixes, starfish bookmarks and bottle stoppers, mini Adirondack chairs, candles, coasters,

    luggage tags and personalized bottles of water all with a beach theme.

    Fairy Tale Wedding: Its your special day, and because your dreams are coming true, a fairy tale

    wedding might provide the happy ending (to the courtship) and beginning (the marriage) youve

    been looking for. If so, adding whimsicalfairy tale favors, like carriage favor boxes, enchanted

    place card holders and Cinderella slippers, will help capture the magical mood.

    Cultural Wedding: Celebrating your ethnicity is a wonderful theme for a wedding. From Asian,and Italian to Irish and African, there are plenty of culturally complementary favors to choose

    from. Red and gold are popular for Asian weddings, as well as those with the double happiness

    symbol. However, fans can be used for both Asian and Hispanic weddings. The same is true for

    elephants, which can be incorporated into both Indian and African weddings.
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    Seasonal Wedding: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, no matter which time of year you choose,

    theres a favor to match them all! Capturing the beauty of the season, favors that burst with

    flowers are perfect for spring and summer, while snowflakes and fall leaves are excellent

    choices for autumn and winter. These elements can be found on a variety of items, including

    bookmarks, ornaments, bottle stoppers, coasters, place card holders, picture frames, soaps,

    candles and unique favor boxes.

    Eco-friendly Wedding: Your concern for Mother Earth shouldnt end with the ceremony. Let it

    continue to bloom at the reception. Looking for every possible way to conserve and protect,

    choosing biodegradable, eco-friendly wedding favors, like seeded paper note cards, reusableshopping bags, seed packs and bamboo coasters, can make a world of difference in our world.

    In addition to choosing a theme that is based on your wedding, you can also select a theme

    based on its symbolism. Exploring the deep meaning behind some of the more popular wedding

    elements and themes, youll discover a lot more than what meets the eye.

    Concept (Symbolism)

    Weve discussed the profound symbolism of the Jordan almonds, but there are quite a few

    other wedding favors that hold special meaning, too. Understanding and incorporating the

    symbolism of these items may help you choose a wedding favor thats more meaningful.

    Elephants: Whether you use a picture, a wood carving

    or some other type of image, elephants, generally with

    a raised trunk, are a symbol of good luck and are often

    used, although not exclusively, as Indian, African and

    Asian wedding favors. A Thai legend has it that a

    marriage is like an elephant-- the husband is the front
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    legs, that choose the direction, and the wife the back legs, providing the power as they work

    toward a common goal! A symbol of power and strength, long life, patience, wisdom and good

    fortune, the elephant brings good luck to both you and your wedding guests.

    Fleur-de-Lis: French for the flower of the lily, this

    elegant flower brings much more than just its beauty

    to your wedding. Lilies are associated with the Virgin

    Mary, and as a result the fleur-de-lis is closely

    associated with Mary and her virtues. Suggestive of

    the Holy Trinity, the three spikes have come to

    represent a common trio of Christian values: faith,

    wisdom, and chastity. A symbol of purity and Christian

    faith, it also represents royalty. Around the 1200s, the

    fleur-de-lis was adopted as a symbol by French

    nobility, enforcing the idea that the French royalty

    embodied the virtues suggested by the fleur-de-lis and that they were empowered by God. The

    symbol also appears on crests from many other nations, including England and Scotland.

    Hearts: When it comes to longstanding symbols of love,

    romance and affection, the heart reigns supreme and is

    the most common symbol used in weddings. Often

    referring to the very core of humankind, the heart

    continues to be used poetically to refer to the soul, and

    stylized depictions of hearts are extremely prevalent


    Braided Knot (We Tied the

    Knot): It isn't clear whether this expression derives from an actual

    knot used in marriage ceremonies or whether the knot is merelysymbolic of a lasting unity, but the braided knot usually symbolizes

    unbreakable pledges and dates back to the 13th century. Steadfast in

    your love and commitment to each other, the knot has been used in

    many marriage ceremonies, including the tradition of tying the wrists

    of the bride and groom with twine or placing sashes over the couple's


    Calla Lily: The calla lily is symbolic of marriage and purity because of its white color and its

    trumpet-like shape, which is said to be similar to a woman's shape (go figure!) It is also the

    symbol of rebirth and resurrectionappropriate since, in marriage, your individual lives fade

    away as you begin your new life as one.

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    Cherry Blossom: In addition to being a beautiful flower that covers the Asian landscape,

    Japanese cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse and

    are an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life. Forever fleeting, the blossoms come

    and go quickly, reminding us to live each moment to the fullest. A beautiful addition to Asian

    weddings, they are very popular spring wedding favors because of their simple beauty, which

    transcends all cultures.

    Butterfly: Overwhelmingly, cultural myth and lore honor the

    butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive

    process of metamorphosis. Similar to the calla lily, it can also

    represent the rebirth of your union and your new life in marriage,

    and makes a lovelyspring wedding favor.

    Lovebirds/ Turtle Doves: Full of whimsy and romance, lovebirds

    are colorful little birds that sit closely together in pairsassweethearts often do. It is commonly believed that these birds

    cannot live without their mates. Mimicking the happy couple (or

    vice versa), these inseparable doves are wonderful...