Wedding favours aren’t an essential part of a couple’s big day, but they can be a lovely addition to your guests’ overall experience. Traditionally, wedding favours consisted of five colourful, sugar-coated almonds wrapped in elegant pouches of netting and ribbon. They were called Jordan almonds and represented the five pillars of marriage; happiness, health, longevity, wealth, and fertility. A bride and groom would gift them to their wedding guests as a token of their gratitude.
Since then, things have changed. Wedding favours nowadays can be anything from plastic keyrings containing a photo of the couple; to matchboxes inscribed with the couple's names. They're less popular than they used to be, with some couples describing them as a waste of money, others saying they're tacky. Realistically, your guests aren't going to use a keyring with your face on it. Don't spend money on something that will inevitably end up in a drawer (surrounded by other wedding keyrings and the odd 'Lanzarote' one).
But, if done properly, wedding favours can be meaningful and tack-free. Here are five ideas worth considering:
A charitable donation
Making a donation to charity in lieu of wedding favours is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland. So much so, charities around the country have started supplying special favour cards on their websites. The couple can choose a charity and donation of their choice before the card is printed with the phrase, "Thank you for sharing this day with us. A donation has been made in your honour to [charity's name]. All our love, Joe and Jane."
Photo: Arthritis Ireland
We all know Irish weddings turn into night-long hoolies. By 11 pm, guests are often peckish and in need of a pick-me-up. Depending on your own tastes and the theme of your wedding, consider making party bags for everyone. Some people stock a brown paper bag with two slices of Brennan's Bread; a packet of Tayto cheese & onion; a plastic knife; a square of Dairygold butter, and a can of Coke. Others leave fancy chocolates at each guest's table. Either way, a late night wedding snack is always appreciated.
Photo: Carolyn’s Sweets
These kits are very affordable to buy online, or they can be made easily at home. Fill the bags with a bottle of water, minty chewing gum, a packet of crisps, Alka-Seltzer and a Berocca Boost. Your little gesture will make your guests feel so much better when morning rolls around.
Rather than leaving individual favours at everyone's table, you can set up a Polaroid station in the corner of the room. Hang a sign reading, 'Jane and John are delighted to share their day with you. Take a photo to remember this day forever', next to a table with a Polaroid camera and film.
Photo: Camera Centre
When you factor in spending money on an outfit, a gift and drinks on the night, weddings can be very expensive for guests. Scratchcards are a fun way to give back. Leave one at each person's seat with a note that says, "we feel so lucky to be able to share our day with you. We hope our luck will catch on; happy scratching."
Photo: National Lottery
Top photo: Natalie Thornley, Unsplash
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