More and more brides realize that you don't have to spend a fortune to have a fabulous wedding. Here are a few great wedding favor ideas for money-conscious brides!
When you're planning a low-budget wedding, it's tempting to skip favors altogether. After all, when you're planning it all out in your head, favors seem so much less important than the cake or the dress.
But favors can be a lovely way to say "thank you" to your guests for making an effort to be there for your day. And inexpensive favors can be just as nice as overpriced ones.
Here are some ideas for easy-on-your-bank-account favors:
Food favors are incredibly popular, mostly because they're useful (nobody's going to throw away a free brownie, right?), and they can be taken home and eaten by guests later. They can also be made in bulk fairly easily, which makes them great for weddings with lots of guests.
For a fall wedding, jams or jellies can make great favors. Collect and save canning jars from yard sales or flea markets a couple of months beforehand, then make batches of a few different flavors of jam or jelly and decorate the jars with ribbons.
Baked goods make great favors, too. Homemade brownies, cookies, or candies are yummy and can be customized to fit your wedding theme or style.
Favors are especially fun when they can actually be used at the wedding! Bubble wands are popular favors these days since guests can use bubble-blowing as an eco-friendly alternative to throwing rice or confetti at the newly married couple. Just drop by a dollar store or pharmacy and pick up some cheap plastic bubble wands (usually sold in the children's toy section). Then you can either purchase a large jug of commercially made bubble soap, or you can make your own using an online recipe. Pour the soap into small ball jars or recycled glass bottles, and attach a plastic bubble wand to each jar using a nice ribbon or, for a more rustic look, some hemp twine.
Disposable cameras are also great favors, as they allow your guests to play photographer at the wedding. Lots of bridal stores sell cheap bridal-themed cameras; keep your eyes open for special seasonal sales and deals, especially since many bridal websites and stores will give you better prices if you buy in bulk. Your guests will have a great time taking pictures at the reception, and you can swipe their negatives and make your own copies of their photos. It's a cheap and easy way to turn every guest into your own professional photographer!
Why not use your own personal hobbies or talents to make wedding favors? For example, if you end up spending a lot of time choosing the music for the wedding, make mix CDs that include your favorite songs. If you have a small or intimate wedding where most of the guests are friends with one another or are related, you could make DVDs from home movies of times you all spent together. Just buy large numbers of CDs or DVDs at any mass-market retailer (like Wal-Mart or Target) and then use a CD or DVD burner (borrow one if you don't own one) to make your CDs or movies. If you're good at making crafty things, you could make bookmarks, jewelry, or small bags for everyone.
Favors aren't the most important part of the wedding, but they do serve a nice purpose, and they don't have to break the bank. Just be creative, flexible, and resourceful in your planning, and you'll have guests telling you, "I wish I'd thought of that myself!"