Gowns and Guests
Wedding favors on a table with roses and thank-you notes
Adobe Stock

Are Wedding Favors Really Necessary?

You want every aspect of your wedding to be a beautiful, magical experience… but achieving that while sticking to a budget is pretty much impossible. If you’re looking for items to cross off, have you considered whether wedding favors are truly necessary?

Traditional Favors

Wedding favors have evolved a lot over the past few decades. Long gone are the days of organza bags filled with pastel Jordan almonds. Wedding favors are supposed to be a small gift that thanks the guests for attending your nuptials–you know, in addition to the free food, alcohol, and everything else you’ve provided.

Wedding favors aren’t a new custom; in fact, the modern tradition is based on the Renaissance exchange of bonbonnieres. These small boxes, which could be made out of anything from hand-painted porcelain to precious metals, usually contained some kind of sweet treat–including sugar-dipped almonds. Sugar was one of the most valuable commodities in the world throughout much of history, and these trinkets were a way for wealthy families to impress their guests.

Modern Wedding Favor Trends

These days, trendy wedding favors can be divided into two categories. Those with the budget–or simply the determination to impress–are opting for luxe gift bags that treat their guests like royalty. These swag bags wouldn’t be out of place at the Academy Awards, and they’re sure to wow your guests and put a sizeable dent in your bank account.

On the other end of the spectrum, some couples are opting for smaller, more eco-conscious gifts. Most weddings have trended away from cheap trinkets stamped with the couple’s names and the date of their wedding. After all, who needs a drink coozy with their cousin’s face on it?

Offering something that the guests can enjoy right away, such as a late-night treat at the end of the reception, is never a bad idea. Working with local, independent businesses is also a great way to give conscientious gifts with meaning. And most wedding experts recommend that you ditch the monograms or at least keep the personalization to a minimum for gifts that are meant to last longer.

Is It Poor Etiquette to Skip the Favors?

It’s an increasingly popular trend to offer no gifts at all! Think that makes you stingy? Not at all. A mass-produced tchotchke that most guests will lose or discard within a month or two isn’t really worth the cost. Instead, consider skipping the favors entirely or making a donation to a meaningful charity in each person’s name.

You’re not obligated to give out gifts to your guests. If you want to treat them and can afford to do it, then go ahead. But eliminating favors from your budget is totally acceptable at a modern wedding, too.

Add comment