Post # 1
I’m getting married at the end of the month and the last thing that I need to do are the wedding favors. I’m practical by nature, so the thought of spending hundreds of dollars on little mint containers that nobody wants bothers me. So, my fiance came up with the idea of raffling off a handful of bigger prizes, such as GPS or PS3, and giving each guest a ticket at their place setting. Thoughts?
Post # 3
I really don’t think that your guests will appreciate that. Your hosting a party to celebrate your marriage, not an auction. It isn’t really fair to single out one particular guest to thank them for coming (after all that’s what a favor is for).
I do agree that favors are totally unncessary so my suggestion is to just skip them entirely or make a donation to your charity of choice. Print up some small cards and frame them so guests are aware of your gesture. Two per table should be enough or if you have time, add a note to your program (if you are printing them), or put one framed card on your guest book table (if you are having one) instead of at the guest tables.
Post # 4
I agree with Habibi on the raffle. Similarly on the all or none approach.
Meanwhile, I think there are a ton of practical favors out there that could delight your guest such as: cookie cutters, pens, notepads, wine bottle caps.
I know my Fiance and I are doing memo mousepads, as we are very practical too.
Maybe some of the other girls will have some practical favor ideas.
Post # 5
Nix the raffle idea. That’s more like something people expect at the office Christmas party, not a wedding reception. I think it would be awkward for the winners as well. Just skip the favors – guests really don’t care. Or do a simple edible favor – those don’t go to waste.
Post # 6
I agree with the others on the raffle thing. It’s an interesting idea, but people who don’t win or get a dinky prize will feel left out and who knows if the winners would even like/use the prize which you would have spent a lot of money on.
I think the edible favor idea as surgie suggested is a good idea. I plan on doing a cookie buffet at my wedding instead of doing the traditional favors, but you could also do this with candy, cupcakes, brownies, etc. It’s cheaper than the mint containers and all that stuff and who doesn’t like some kind of treat? Plus, guests can choose what type of cookie or whatever they want so people are not forced to take something they don’t want.
Post # 7
I’m with Surgie – the idea of a raffle or door prize type of thing really smells like "Office Christmas Party" to me. Your guests are not coming to the wedding to get something from you (at least, I hope they aren’t). So you shouldn’t have to bribe them to come with the promise of a GPS for one lucky guest. If you have extra money in your budget, and don’t want to do favors, I would upgrade your wine or centerpieces.
If you’re mostly worried about a favor that nobody wants, there are great ideas for favors on this website. It’s not all customized mint boxes (a lot of the stuff they sell on The Knot seemed like a waste of money to me too). We did little boxes of chocolates from a local candy maker, and not only did they completely disappear, but we had so many guests comment that they just loved them. So you can actually provide favors that your guests don’t drop in the trash as soon as they remember to take them out of their car.
If it’s the time that you’re worried about, most things go faster than you think. We also had votive candles in our colors, wrapped in an organza circle and tied with a ribbon. It took my husband and I three evenings (in front of the television) to wrap and tie 200 candles – less than 6 hours total. For our wedding we had the chocolate maker package the candies, but I assembled preprinted boxes and packed chocolates for my sister’s wedding (150 boxes) and it took four of us about two hours. As long as you don’t pick something insanely time consuming, just the assembly shouldn’t kill you.
Post # 8
my friend made a charity donation instead of favors. She just put a little line in the program saying "instead of favors we have made a monitary donation to (insert charity name)
Post # 9
I agree with not doing the raffle idea. We did paper boxes with hershey kisses in them. It was inexpensive probably no more then $100 for 150+. It was easy. We got the boxes at Target and then me my mom and 2 other women sat and did them in on night took about 2 hours or so.
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2019 - Auberge du Soleil
I second the charity idea. That is what we did and just put a simple sign on the escort table. No favors, notecards etc. Good for the environment and the community too!
Post # 11
I’m with everyone else. The raffle is a creative idea, but seems somewhat inappropriate for a wedding. I think your guests would much rather have you spend the $2 per head to make upgrades to the food and drink that everyone can enjoy!
In My Humble Opinion, unless there is a specific, special favor that you really want to give to your guests, it is better to skip favors entirely. So many favors end up in the garbage, which is cringeworthy from both an environmental and a financial standpoint. Don’t let wedding magazines trick you into thinking favors are traditional or necessary, they are neither of those things!
Post # 12
Thanks for the input.
I didn’t realize that my opinion so far off from everybody else on this board. Personally, when I have attended weddings in the past, I have always either left the favor on the table or thrown it away shortly after leaving.
It’s not really a money issue (we are actually thinking of spending more on the prizes than we would have on the favors), but rather one of practicality. Putting on my guest hat, I would much rather have a chance at winning a PS3 than a bag of candy or almonds. And this way, the money would be spent on items that will end up being used by someone.
I didn’t think raffling off prizes was very different (tack wise) from randomly choosing the person who gets to take home the centerpiece, which I have seen at most weddings.
Post # 13
Hi Trinny –
While I half agree with the whole "tacky" thing, if your wedding is full of friends and "young" people, I think the raffle would be great! But, I would do more usable things like movie tickets and gift cards! I think by now, everyone has an iPod, Zune or some other MP3 player.
I say if you think it would be fun, then do it! I’m personally making 100 cookies or so and personalizing them all myself and putting them in little bags that I found on line – but that is because I’m a sick, sick woman and the idea of making 100 cookies, icing them, personalizing them and packaging them up seems like super fun right now – I’ll let you know how it all goes when I’m in my So-Cal kitchen in June with the oven on all day!
You have to do what is your thing – and maybe you can come up with some sort of creative raffle tickets that you could make yourself and explain what you are doing and why? Then people will get it and not feel anything more then just happy that they don’t have to pretend to want their favor!
Good luck and let me know what you decide!
Post # 14
I agree with MelissaB that the money would be better spent on uprading food/drinks. As a guest, I would rather have better food than have a chance to win a PS3, GPS, etc, but it definitely depends on the guests attending your wedding.
One idea that has been brought up a couple of times on this site is making CDs for everyone. Just a thought! Good luck deciding!
Post # 15
Trinny, I agree with you about most wedding favors. The sandalwood fans, plastic doves, and bags of forget-me-not seeds usually end up in the garbage can in my hotel room. So, why do favors at all? Why reinforce the idea that favors are necessary and something that "everyone" does by handing out raffle tickets?
If you think this raffle is a great idea and you have your heart set on it and think it’s perfect for your wedding, yours is the opinion that counts. But if you’re doing a raffle because some part of you thinks you "have" to do favors, ask yourself why you’re not just skipping them.
Another thing to think about: what if an out of town guest wins the PS3? Their prize might be tough to get home. I’ve taken a gaming system through security before and it’s not fun. You have to unpack the whole thing and put it through the scanner separately, and if you’re extra-unlucky (like me) they will make you plug it in and turn it on to prove it’s not something dangerous.
Post # 16
I want to do favors because I truly want to thank my guests for coming to the wedding. Some will travel at great personal expense in these hard economic times to share the day with us. If I could afford to give every guest something useful, I would.
Thanks for the precaution on taking electronics through security. I will definitely offer to ship the game system if the winner is from out of town.
I appreciate all of the favor ideas left on this board. A note on the CDs, though. While I think it’s a lovely idea, it’s technically copyright infringement–distributing unlicensed copies of ~10 songs to 250 guests. To do it legally and ethically, I would have to purchase the songs. At the going rate of .99 a song, that would be $2,500, more than I can afford to spend.