(Closed) wedding favours, does an open bar replace the favours?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1735 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’m just curious how you’d notify the guests that the open bar is their favor? I’m picturing little notes on the tables that say, “In lieu of favors, please enjoy getting wastey-faced at our open bar!” Which, to be honest, would be hilarious and awesome 🙂

All joking aside, I don’t think anyone will notice if you just don’t have any favors at all. What I’m doing is putting little cupcake boxes next to the dessert table (because we are having some tasty desserts). If guests want to take some desserts home, they can. We’re also having a photobooth and guests can take home the printed pictures if they like. So I’ve pretty much left it up to the guests if they want to take home a “favor” or not.

Post # 5
46612 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

An open bar doesn’t replace favours, but it doesn’t need to.

A bar is providing  beverages for your invited guests. You can choose what those beverages are, whether it’s beer, wine, non alcoholic drinks, punch, tea, coffee, etc  or an open bar.

A favour is a small token provided to guests as a takeaway. Most are a waste of money. Many are left at the reception. They are completely optional and you don’t owe anyone an explanation if you choose not to have a favour.

You can choose to make a donation to the charity of your choice instead of spending that money on favours, but you don’t need to tell your guests about it. It can come off as looking for a pat on the back. After all, we don’t normally broadcast to the world when we make charitable donations. Some people have strong feelings against certain charities and would not be pleased that a donation “was made in your name”. If you decide to donate, just do it in your own names. After all, you are the ones who will get the tax receipt.


Post # 6
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I never understood about favours either. I mean, weddings cost a fortune. You’re paying for their food, their entertainment, their booze (if you’re US, or else very generous), their clothes (UK bridal party)… and you’re expected to give them a gift as well?

Screw. That. When did this even become a thing? My parents never did this!

Post # 7
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

Just skip favors, no one will miss them.

Post # 9
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

As a guest, I’d choose the open bar 1000 times over favors of any sort.

I wouldn’t even mention it.

Although you can find SUPER cheap favors that won’t necessarily get left behind. We paid $100 for like 400 personalized matchboxes, and we had zero left over (we had 200 guests). 

Post # 10
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

no.but i went to the dollar store.they have a wedding section,i got the favor boxes filled them with candy,everyone loved them,spent $20 to $25 for 65 people 🙂

Post # 11
11271 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

an open bar does not replace favours.  don’t even try to insinuate this at your wedding.  it may come off the wrong way.


favours are not necessary.  i personally only like the edible ones.  if you don’t have them, i’m sure they won’t be missed.  if they are in the budget, great, if not, skip them.  i’m sure most guests will enjoy the open bar more.


Post # 12
3267 posts
Sugar bee

@Purple_Bride:  The open bar is a part of properly hosting your guests. It is no more a favour to them then providing a surf and turf dinner over chicken.

It would be very bizzare to get a card at the place setting saying in lieu of favours we got better centre pieces or a better dinner, or an 4 piece instead of 2 piece band.

The favour is a non-necessary take away item.

A charitable donation is lovely, but not something one should brag about, or do in someone’s name without knowing if they support the cause. It’s easy to think Canadian Cancer Society who likes Cancer? But there are people against every charity. 

My other personal beef with the donation in lieu of favors, is that it’s never something that is cut like less flowers, or bride not getting new shoes, and donating that money, it’s the guest favour (the one thing that doesn’t affect the “vision”) that’s cut.



Post # 13
765 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

NO! Favors are thank you gifts. An open bar–if you choose to have one–is simply part of the catering. Providing food and drink is part of being a good hostess…it’s not an extra. 

Besides, what if one of your guests is sober? That would be a really terrible favor for them. 

If you can’t afford favors, just don’t do them! My sister didn’t do favors, and no one even noticed. 

Post # 14
481 posts
Helper bee

3 gin & tonics > handful of jordan almonds.


Post # 15
596 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Repeating what other bees said – but an open bar can’t be considered a favor.

That being said, I wouldn’t really care if there weren’t favors at a wedding, I’d be happy with food, music, and and open bar!

The best favors I have had have been edible/drinkable.

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