The Confusing World of Wedding Favour Etiquette!


Image courtesy of Studio60

One of the most frequently asked questions at Hattie Boo HQ involves the giving of Wedding Favours, and I could probably also add that it causes more Bridal Headaches than most other wedding elements put together.

What to give, whether they should bother or not, how much to spend if they do and whether they should be for all the guests or just the ladies!


Image courtesy of

A Great Big Headache or The Perfect Thank You Gift!

WEdding apple 1

Pretty hand-made lace and silk apples

Wedding apple 2

Images courtesy of Hattie Boo Designs

Basically there are two schools of thought on this.

The reality is that favours are not a necessary part of your day compared to the cake or the best man’s speech, however, they are an important way of thanking people for sharing your special day.

Today Wedding favours are given by the bride to acknowledge the friends and family that have come together to share her special day.  They are intended as a keepsake or a thank you gift.  Given that they are intended as a thank you for your guest, why do we get our knickers in such a twist when it comes to deciding how much to spend and what to choose.  A Wedding Favour certainly shouldn’t push you over your budget should it?


Image courtesy of Marie-Claire

However, if you didn’t have them at your wedding would anyone even notice?

When couples ask me if Favours are necessary, then my honest answer is no, but if your budget allows for them then please give them some thought, if only for the ladies.

Now I am a traditionalist at heart and I do believe that it is nice to offer Favours to your guests and with a little creative thinking, they really don’t have to break the bank.


Image courtesy of Wedding Bells

After all, many of your guests will have travelled to be with you on your special day, planned to spend new outfits and hats will have been bought so I do think it is an appropriate gesture to spend some thought on a gift to say thank you as a momento of your day.

I don’t believe that Wedding Favours are a modern notion, dreamt up by the Wedding Industry to make you part with even more money.

The fact is, they have been around for centuries and the notion of the Wedding Favour originated in that most romantic and stylish country, Italy.


Image courtesy of Louise Draper

Originally they were sugared almonds, given to wedding guests as a thank you  for attending and as a symbol for good luck.  The five sugared almonds each represent something different

Health, Wealth, Happiness, Fertility and Longevity.

Just as each almond has a significance, so does the number of them, five.  As an odd number it cannot be equally divided or split, just as the married couple should never be split!


Image courtesy of

2013 has definitely seen the return of the Sugared almond, beautiful silver or gold shining rocks, or Chocolate Dragees from Italy, elegantly presented to your guests.

It’s no wonder that Brides get into such a tizzy trying to decide what to give.  A quick internet search will open up a whole world of possibilities,  many of which are tacky, look cheap – yet cost a fortune, and will ruin the look of your Wedding breakfast table.

champagne chair

Image courtesy of Hattie Boo Designs

Instead of reaching for your credit card take a moment to stop and think about what you are buying and how you can encorporate it into your day.  Make your own interesting or charming gifts, collect the wire cages from Champagne bottles to make miniature chairs.  Make the favours work for you on the table, attach place cards or name tags.  If you have chosen small individual bottles containing your flowers, then you could choose to gift them to the ladies.

A good favour will get your guests chatting across the table.  Use them as an icebreaker! Go for something unique and interesting and please please please make sure that it makes your tables look fantastic!  Use your creativity as a couple to select the perfect favour that is not only beautiful but thoughful and meaningful to you as a couple.

Wedding Favour Etiquette!

Get planning and start thinking!

Finding a unique, personalised, creative and thoughtful favour will occupy more time than anyone pre-wedding planning could ever image!  A ridiculous amount of time and thought goes into them – and yes -they do seem to matter!

Decided whether you are giving favours to every guest, one to each family or simply the ladies, add names to use them as place settings or if space allows you can even create a favour station – (how very american of me!)  Set up a table with your gifts beautifully set out and displayed.  If there is one for everyone then add a sign to encourage guests to help themselves, or add labels so each family can  pick their up as they arrive at the recepiton  and or take them home at the end of the day.


Image courtesy of Aimee Armstrong

If your budget is tight and you are forced to abandon the idea of favours then you can spend some time instead by writing a hand written note to each guest thanking them for coming.  Add this to your escort table or tie them to the napkins.  Show your guests how much you appreciate their coming.

Make them look beautiful and add some fabulousness to your table!

Sewn apples

Image courtesy of Hattie Boo Designs

These Liberty Print apples are charmingly irresistable!

Wedding favours should add to your wedding and provide some extra interest to your tables or overall theme of your wedding.  Think about presentation, it is thought and creativity that make the most impact.


Image courtesy of The Painted Bench

Forget Me Not’s are pretty and will remind guests of your day year on year.


Image couresy of Andruloyd


Image courtesy of

Miniature plants in terracotta post add interest.  Herbs can be grown for a DIY option.

Seeds and plants are still bang on trend this year and how you present them makes all the difference.


Image courtesy of Not on the High Street


Not on the High Street

I have talked about succulents in other blog posts and here they are again.


Image courtesy of Live Eco


Image courtesy of Bespoke Bride


Image courtesy of Moon and Trees

Remember that you don’t just have to place the Favours on the tables!  Use them to decorate your escort table or as a creative alternative to a seating plan.  Make them do more than one job!


Image courtesy of Loverly


Image courtesy of One Fab Day

Flower seeds are still a popular choice – but be imaginative in your presentation and work them into the overall theme or feeling of your wedding.


Image courtesy of Wedbook

I love the idea of these sunglasses and the sign makes me smile!


Image courtesy of Trawler Girl

You couldn’t get more different than this one!  I’m sensing a Lego theme here but so much fun!


Image courtesy of Lillie Alex

All things retro and 1980’s here!  How many of your guests would even remember the trusty cassette?

One of the key wedding trends this year is still Birds and feathers.  This really does give you lots of scope to work it into your favours.


Image courtesy of Etsy

There are beautiful seed feeders to hang in your garden.


Image courtesy of 100 Layer Cake

Maybe you will stick to tradition and opt for an edible favour.  Chocolates perhaps or something that your guests can save for later as a midnight snack or morning pick-me-up, or dare I suggest as one bride mentioned a Hangover Survival Kit!


Image courtesy of Stacey Jayne

Perfect packaging is really the key to making this special!


Image courtesy of MPH

Perfect for a late night Hot-Chocolate.

Forget old fashioned etiquette – favours don’t have to be expensive, be creative instead and just let your inner Kirsty Alsopp break free!  Remember it’s the thought that counts! The true value of wedding favors is the inherent significance behind the gift and the lasting memory guests will have of the wedding.

Edible favours are always well received but please work them into your theme or make sure that they look and taste fabulous!


Image courtesy of Wedding Gawker

Home-made or locally sourced pots of jam or chutneys.


Image courtesy of One Fab Day

Pretty biscuits, cookies or cakes.


Image courtesy of Emma Line Bride

A Cupcake in a jar!


Image courtesy of Not on the High Street

Pretty Pop-corn parcels


Image courtesy of Pretty Chic Blog

Local fruit-farms can provide fresh punnets of locally sourced seasonal fruits.


Image courtesy of Dottie Creations

Or even something as simple as a Tea Bag with the right tag can bring pleasure to your guests

Get planning and start thinking!

If money is limited then consider a home-made gift but allow plenty of time to make enough.


Image courtesy of Michelle Manduvi

Painted pebbles with meaningful messages or wise words.


Image courtesy of Kathryn Deeley

Get clever with paper to make equisite Origami hearts.


Image courtesy of You and Your Wedding

Borrow your grandma’s sewing maching and collect lavender from the garden to fill these.


Image courtesy of Lolaaaalol

Print some paper to make Fortune tellers.


Image courtesy of Everything Fab

Source Vintage china from Charity shops and flea markets to make your own candles.


Image courtesy of Indy Getting Hitched

We used horseshoes for one of our brides adding place tags and Tartan bows.

I do love the thought that goes into these tiny details and after all the detail is what makes the wedding all about you!


Image courtesy of Not on the High Street

Badges can be personalised


Image courtesy of Hitched


Image courtesy of Super Weddings

As can coasters or even match boxes


Image courtesy of Bespoke Bride

If you really don’t want to have actual Wedding Favours then consider something that will add to your entertainment but also give guests a momento of your day.  Consider booking a caricaturist or hire a Photo Booth, so that your guests can keep a token.

Show your guests how much you appreciate their coming



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