Wedding expert Abby Larson, editor and founder of Style Me Pretty, is well-versed in all things bridal. And she's sharing her expertise with us this wedding season with a series of articles on tips and tricks for your big day! First, she helped us out with advice on recycling your wedding, and now she's back with ideas for sentimental wedding favors that will leave a lasting impression on your guests. Abby says, "Whether it's a token of gratitude chosen to represent who you are as a couple, a nod to your family roots, or it's something that truly gives back to the world, the gifts given with meaning will always be treasured the most." We couldn't agree more! Here are nine fun favors that give back, straight from Abby.
A simple and straightforward way to give back on your big day is to donate to a favorite charity that means something to you and your soon-to-be hubby in lieu of gifts. But don't forget to let your guests know. Abby says, "Gift each guest a note mentioning your donation and you will surely bring a sense of lovely to your day."
Abby recommends "paying the gift of yum forward" with sweet favors like homemade hot cocoa mix in a jar. "Bringing a smile and a bit of food love to your friends and family that they can enjoy after your wedding is a surefire way to spread the same happiness that they give to you every day," Abby adds.
Take an edible favor to the next, personalized level by gifting a family recipe along with it. Abby says, "A family recipe not only makes for a beautiful gift, it's also an incredible way to honor the ones you love, sharing their sweet and savory passions with those you adore."
Abby recommends skipping cut flowers in your decor, instead utilizing potted plants or herbs that your guests can take home after the send-off. "Not only are you giving the gift of green to our Earth, you're also providing a bit of yumminess to your guests' homes and the recipes that they craft," Abby adds.
One of the most heartwarming favor ideas that gives back are passed centerpieces. "Forgo the traditional cut-flower centerpieces and opt for the potted variety," says Abby. "Tie a note to each, encouraging guests to take — but instead of keeping, to deliver them to an area nursing home or hospital. You'll be surprised at how many guests will jump at the chance to spread your wedding joy to those who need a smile the most."
It's one thing to pass out seeds as favors, but Abby has an even more relational idea! She recommends gifting a variety of seeds to guests who live near each other, then encouraging them to start a community garden. "It's thoughtful, it's engaging, and it will bring a bit of beauty to the world," points out Abby. "If your guests are coming from near and far, a packet of seeds to start a window or a backyard garden captures the same sentiment. Just make sure to include a note with basic instructions or a great family recipe to take your gift up a notch."
Supporting locally driven farms and other small businesses is an incredible and easy way to give back with your favors — plus your guests will appreciate taking home a little bit of local flavor. Abby shares her ideas: "We are partial to jelly jars filled with jam, honey, or other sweet treats, though we've seen some pretty gorgeous olive oil, vinegar, and flavored sugar favors."
Abby points out that sometimes giving back simply means giving something wonderful to those who mean the most to you. "Whether it's through charity or thoughtful giving, it's the act of love that will always give back the most," says Abby. "And keeping your friends and family warm with cozy blankets that they can cuddle under for years to come is a perfect way to do just that."
If you've got the budget for it, gift a favor that supports one of your favorite organizations or charities with its proceeds. Abby says, "We love the yumminess at Baking For Good, where proceeds support the charity of your choice. And guests get a sweet treat to remember the day. It's a win/win!"
Photo courtesy of Baking For Good