Let's pour one out right now for all the personalized matchbooks and mesh-wrapped Jordan almonds of the world. They get left behind on wedding reception tables and probably tossed in the trash at the end of the night. Not what you had in mind for your gift to your guests, huh? Here are nine better ideas for wedding favors that your guests will love to take with them.
The most important thing when choosing wedding favors is this: Know your guests! It's impossible to find one thing that would thrill everyone at your wedding, but if you know a lot of your friends and family are foodies or beer drinkers or have green thumbs, use that to your advantage.
Tiny Potted Plants
Choose a cactus or something easy to take care of. Plant favors work best if your guests are local. Use a sticker or stencil to add your names and wedding date to the pot, like the tiny succulents above from Style Me Pretty.
The complete guide to modern weddings.
Coffee & Tea
Choose your favorite blends and package them up to take home. I love that the bride and groom each chose their favorite brews for this favor from Brides.
Two birds, one stone. Use them to serve drinks throughout the night, then invite guests to take them home. That's what I did at my wedding, pictured here.
Like a great Mexican restaurant, a household just can't have enough bottles of hot sauce lying around. This Ace Hotel wedding on Ruffled agrees.
Homemade or store-bought, just make sure they smell incredible. The couple in this Style Me Pretty wedding sourced theirs from Etsy.
Send 'em off with a little nightcap for later. The couple in this Texas wedding on Snippet and Ink included little recipe cards with each mini bottle of Tito's vodka.
If a majority of your guests are coming from out of town, treat them to some local flavor or a souvenir of their trip. Martha Stewart put together this crab kit perfect for a Maryland wedding.
A Midnight Snack
Nobody's going to pass up fries at 11:30. Nobody. That's why I love this detail from Ali's wedding, of A Dash of Details.
Nothing at All
Potentially unpopular opinion: I don't think you need to hand out wedding favors at all. It all comes back to knowing your guests: A list made up of urban dwellers with small spaces and minimalist tendencies will be happy just to celebrate your day with you without taking home a souvenir. Skip the favor and put the extra budget towards the open bar.
(Image credits: Cynthia Chung; Hannah Hudson; Paige Jones; OneLove Photography; Closer to Love Photography; Belathée; Raymond Hom; Elyse Hall)