Liz Taylor is a wedding planner and hospitality consultant who has been planning spectacular weddings across the UK and Europe for 30 years. It’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about weddings – including how to breathe new life into the favours. Here she shares some of her best unique same-sex wedding favour ideas to help your guests remember the day.
“Wedding favours, otherwise known as bonbonnieres, were first introduced to weddings as a symbol of health and prosperity,” begins Liz.
“If you attended a wedding many years ago, you might have been gifted a sugar cube, which later evolved to a sugared almond – a sign of wealth because sugar was so expensive. Not so exciting in today’s world, but some couples are going retro!
“These days there so many brilliant favour ideas, but, for me, the best ones are always personal.”
Raise a glass (or a bottle)
Miniature spirits are popular same-sex wedding favours. And while it sounds fairly ordinary, there are many ways to take this simple idea and make it unique. To elevate your gift, hire a mixologist to visit each table and create a signature cocktail of your guest’s choice. Mix enough for two, serving one drink right away and bottling up the other to take home.
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Liqueurs are another great choice to take home. Gin, it seems, is still king, but rum is a close contender. Choose a bottle that can be personalised with the date of your big day. Or offer an engraved hip flask. Love potion, anyone? Pre-mixed cocktails in antique-style bottles with a luggage tag label. A gift with a gorgeous apothecary feel.
Pretty as a picture
Send your guests home with a memento of them enjoying your big day. A caricature or portrait artist amongst guests, creating candid sketches. Wedding favours and entertainment in one. It creates pockets of entertainment in any drinks reception and adds to the overall experience of the day.
Upgrade to a Victorian style portrait photography ‘booth’. Opt for the retro option – polaroid cameras. Give each guest a small frame as their favour and get them to fill it with their favourite snap from the day.
Or go bigger. Commission a hand painted backdrop of your favourite film, location or book – add photo props – and your guests can create fun photo mementos of the day.
Did you know you can get personalised Lego figures made in the image of any person? A wonderfully personal touch for guests of any age. Perfect for if you have a relatively small party and want to go the extra mile for the young ones!
In keeping with tradition, go with sweet favours. Well, who doesn’t love a sweet treat?
From personalised Cadbury’s chocolate bars and packets of love hearts to luxury, artisan chocolates. There are so many ideas to choose from, and for me, the key here, though, is to focus on the fun. For example, a pick and mix selection is a fabulous experiential idea. Give each guest a personalised bag and get them to visit the sweet shop. A trip down memory lane.
A growing trend is to serve up deconstructed recipes in a jar. You could send guests home with a miniature version of your wedding cake, recipe layered up in a Kilner jar and ready to bake at home. And if you have a lot of vegan or vegetarian guests – it’s easy to alter the recipe to suit. Add a pretty tag, and they also make unusual place markers.
Embracing the rainbow? Try a rainbow cake in a jar – a favour or a dessert. Either way, eat up the colour.
With sustainability firmly on the agenda for many couples, horticulturally themed gifts are in favour. I love the idea of switching out the traditional cut flower centrepieces with potted plants or troughs of scented herbs. This can be deconstructed and gifted to your guests.
A popular idea is a personalised cactus or succulent which doubles as a place setting. Easy to cultivate even for those without green fingers.
While many associate St Valentine with our public day of love, fewer know he is also the patron saint of beekeepers. Personalised wildflower seed packets help spread the beauty of your love beyond your wedding day, encouraging guests to plant seeds that help bees and other pollinating insects.
Or how about a chilli plant – hot stuff indeed!
Place name settings offer the perfect opportunity to integrate personalised unique wedding favours into your day. This will help to streamline your table décor and keeping it clutter free.
Depending on the style and theme of your wedding, there are lots of different handmade place settings to choose from in a variety of materials. For a rustic theme, choose hand-sanded wooden coasters individually engraved with a guest’s name. A small potted bay tree wrapped with a hessian bow and individual tag. Individual vintage tin cups with embossed names and filled with treats. Or miniature jars of homemade preserves or local honey. The sophistication is in the simplicity.
What better than a favour that doubles up as entertainment. Table games are a brilliant way to keep your guests amused. Go for miniature games, matchbox puzzles, or retro favourites like Jenga and Connect 4. You could even create a game of Guess Who with a miniature image of each of your wedding guests.
And don’t forget the kids. Colouring packs, personalised rubber ducks, individual boxes of Lego and a jar of coloured smarties. All make ideal wedding favours.
One idea that has proven popular for my wedding couples is a surprise ‘midnight snack’ wedding favour. A hot kebab wrapped in wedding branded paper as guests depart. Or a wedding cone of hot fish and chips for the Uber ride home. Not one will be left behind!
Liz Taylor is the founder and CEO of the Taylor Lynn Corporation and has been at the forefront of the UK event scene for over thirty years. During this time, she has planned a wealth of private and celebrity weddings, same-sex weddings and destination wedding events. Including that of Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Michelle Keegan and Mark Wright, Take That’s Howard Donald, Queen of the Jungle Jaqueline Jossa and football legend Gary Neville.
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