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Wedding favours aren’t just another example of modern-day commercialism gone crazy. In fact, the idea goes all the way back to sixteenth century England when wedding guests were given lace and ribbon love knots symbolising the happy couple’s bond.

French aristocrats loved the idea so much they made it their own, filling jewelled encrusted trinket boxes called bonbonnieres, with sugar cubes (sugar being very expensive and very exclusive at the time).

When sugar became available to the masses, wealthy couples were determined not to be outdone and switched to sugared almonds instead. The trend gradually evolved until five sugared almonds representing fertility, longevity, health, wealth and happiness became the norm.

Fast forward a few hundred years and twenty-first century wedding favours often get a mixed reaction – after all, plastic bottles of washing up liquid bubbles are fine if you’re five but not quite as exciting at 35 (even if they have been personalised).

So, rather than wasting money on something your guests will cast aside or ditch at the earliest opportunity, here are some wedding favours they’ll actually look forward to getting:

  • Seeds, plants or herbs – personalised matchboxes or little bags of seeds never get boring, neither do mini pots filled with sweet smelling herbs, flowers or succulents. Not only are they lovely to look at, they’re enduring too. And, if you’re feeling sentimental, they’re the perfect way to illustrate the longevity of your relationship (all your guests need to do is keep them alive).
  • Sweets – edible favours always go down well, whether you opt for old fashioned boiled sweets, fudge, chocolate or even fortune cookies, few people will turn down something yummy while the speeches get under way. To make treats your own, why not personalise them with your names and the wedding date. For ideas, take a look at this selection from Not on the High Street.
  • Grown up culinary treats – for something edible but a bit more grown up, why not try flavoured olive oils, chutneys or jams? If you’re super organised and a dab hand in the kitchen, you could even make your own – we guarantee you’ll be the favour envy of all your friends.
  • Personalised tea light holder – small, practical and quirky enough to be kept on a shelf somewhere even if some of your guests aren’t fans of burning candles. Buy them personalised at source or have a go yourself – amazon.co.uk are currently selling packs of 12 for £9.99*.
  • Shot glasses – if candles are a bit boho, try shot glasses instead. For a little extra oomph, add a miniature vodka to get the wedding party really started.
  • Flip flops – best for summer weddings, tired dancing feet will welcome flip flops which also serve as a functional memento of your big day. Try amazon.co.uk or eBay for the best bulk deals.
  • Sunglasses – another summer wedding favourite, sunglasses mean guests don’t end up squinting all day.
  • Charity donation – if you’re feeling philanthropic, a donation on behalf of your guests to a good cause isn’t just selfless, everyone else will feel like they’ve done a good deed too.
  • Bespoke mini-tote bags – treat guests to a handy bag the perfect size for bits and bobs, hand printed bespoke designs mean you can create something beautiful and memorable. Visit Little Babbit Workshop for other unique gifts and inspiration.
  • Hand painted, personalised stones – a useful token of your wedding celebrations that can be used in all sorts of ways, from paperweights to doorstops.

The most important thing to remember about wedding favours is that they should be fun to give as well as receive so don’t get too hung up on splashing the cash or copying the latest Insta trend. With endless lists, seating plans and sorting out the song for your first dance, you’ll have more than enough to think about. We’re also pretty confident that the highlight for your guests is watching you get married rather than anticipating any table trinkets.

If you want some advice about wedding marquees, give us a call on 01638 663777 or send us an email at: info@hadleymarquees.com.

*Correct as of 18 July 2019