Post # 1
Quick question. In lieu of favors we decided that we wanted to place a card at each table/put something in the program to let guests know that we decided to make a donation in their name. My husband is a wounded veteran and works with many charities that helped him when he was first injured, and many of his friends are wounded vets as well. I know this can be a controversial subject, but I realized we are also planning on having a candy buffet/bar with little personalized baggies/containers for guests to fill up and take home – would that count as a favor so guests don’t feel like they’re leaving empty-handed/solve any kind of etiquette faux pas of not having a favor?
Post # 3
I think that sounds great!
Also, to your fiance: Thanks for your service. 🙂
Post # 4
I don’t think favors are necessary personally. We had no favors and no one missed them. Your idea is great though and so much better than a little twig or a baggie of m&ms with the couple’s faces on them or other favors I have received in the past.
Post # 5
@ErinC6: Favors are a gift and by no means necessary. That said, your candy buffet with bags to take candy home IS a favor.
Also, I’m crazy liberal and you better believe I would LOVE a ‘favor’ that said money went to organizations supporting wounded veterans! I would assume anyone going to the wedding of a wounded veteran would feel the same way. 🙂
Post # 6
@ErinC6: First of all, etiquette does not require you to give any kind of favour whatsoever. Favours are a fad, and a choice that you make to effect a certain style. So you are fine: no warrant will be issued by the etiquette police.
Well … maybe not. Because etiquette does say it is rude to taunt people, for example by saying “we were going to give you a present, but we decided to give it to someone more deserving — aren’t we great?” So by all means, make an offering to a wounded veterans’ charity in celebration of your marriage. In fact, during the toasts, make a toast to your country’s servicemen and their sacrifices, and to the charities in question. I’d even make it two toasts, one to each, and include in your programme the name and website of the charity that you are toasting just in case any other guests are inspired by your heartfelt toast to make a similar offering. But don’t mention your gift: that comes across as self-congratulatory.
As for favours, they derive from the tradition of guests’ taking home a tiny slice of wedding cake. Unmarried girls who put a slice of wedding cake under their pillow, it is said, will dream of their future husband. Of course, that works better with the old-world traditional dense fruit-cake than with the fluffy white American traditional cake, which is why in some American traditions stationers started producing little monogrammed boxes for guests to put their tiny slice of cake in, and in other American traditions the cake was supplemented by more durable take-aways like cookies and Jordan almonds. Your candy-bar is already fulfilling this role: so in this case Tradition and Etiquette stand together to approve of your dispensing with additional favours.
Post # 7
@ErinC6: First of all, thank you to your Fiance for his service.
Favors are completely optional. Your guests receive dinner and a wonderful evening as your thanks for attending the wedding.
The candy bar is more than adequate as a favor.
Now here comes the controversial part. I simply do not understand when couples feel the need to tell all their guests that they have made a charitable donation. It can be perceived as needing acknowledgement of their good deed. Most of us make charitable donations in our everyday lives, but we don’t post a sign telling people.
I understand that some couples feel the need to explain to their guests that they have chosen to spend their money on a donation- that they didn’t just forget or choose not to have a favor.
Post # 8
These two favor ideas do not actually offset one another.
I suggest you make the donation, don’t mention it, and don’t give out favors.
Donations “in lieu of” don’t offend because of a “hey, where’s my trinket?” mentality, but rather because a donation to your favorite charity is a gift to yourself, not to them, so it can be seen as rude to tell a person your gift to them is (donation to your favorite charity), even if you have “another” gift for them too (remember, gifts generally are replied-to with thanks. Should your guests feel like thanking you for donating to your favorite charity? That doesn’t make sense, right?)
On top of that, because it’s a charitable donation, it can be seen as bragging (Your guests may wonder, since thanks do not make sense, is praise what you are hoping for?). It’s generally better to donate more discreetly. If your charitable donations are to each guest’s favorite charity, that’s a wonderful gift (and definitely worth a thank-you!), but not generally feasable at most weddings.
Favors are unnecessary, I would just avoid offensive ones… skip ’em entirely!
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@MexiPino: Same here!
I’m a flaming liberal and pretty anti-war, but I would definitely support any favor that gives funds to help wounded vets. (I’m disgusted by how quickly our country will go to war but how little support returning vets get – but I’ll step off my soapbox.)
The candy bar is a great touch but not necessary if it’s too costly.
Post # 10
Ah, thank you all so much for the input. I’m definitely new to most of this wedding business, so I’m learning what is/isn’t an etiquette issue! Very good to know – I will definitely be keeping the candy buffet since I’ve always wanted that (lol) but I didn’t know that it wasn’t necessary to provide a favor, so letting guests know about the donation isn’t as necessary as I thought 🙂
Post # 11
@lolot: Me too. Totally anti-war but CRAZY pro-vet! One of my friends joined the army specifically to go to Iraq, which I was totally against, but I was sending that boy care packages every month while he was deployed all three times and I’m still looking out for him now that he’s disabled thanks to an IED.
Post # 12
@aspasia475: WOW! That is the best explained explanationa of wedding favors I’ve ever read!
Post # 13
I’m of a different opinion than some of the PPs – in my family/culture, favours are not a fad, and are not optional. However, if you put in a donation and had a candy buffet where I could take home some candy, personally I would be fine with that. I think my more liberal family would agree, and only the older/more traditional ones would take issue with it (but seriously, like they need yet another candy dish or set of salt and pepper shakers).
Post # 14
@ErinC6: The candy buffet a favor, the donation is not. While donations are nice, taking money that you would have spent on a guest and donating it instead really isn’t a gift for the guest, it’s a gift for the couple.
I would still make the donation, I just wouldn’t say anything about it. Or if you give a speech recognizing all military personal, you could mention that you made a donation in honor of them.
Post # 15
I’m also in the camp that favors aren’t necessary in the first place. And you’re giving two favors. So I can’t imagine anyone feeling slighted. And I like charitable donations!!!