The Wedding Favour: Ideas, where to buy, the history and do we really need them?

Updated: Sep 14


One small item on your wedding planning list which may not seem like a large task, but with all of the options out there, it can become a difficult choice of what to give your guests as a Wedding favour! The favour must match the tone and feel for the day, they are presented on the wedding breakfast tables for each guest so will be in your table scape photographs. As a gift for your guests to thank them for a being a part of your day, they will remember what was given to them, so gifting something that is outside the box, which will remind them of your day or which makes them feel good is always a great place to start.

We have a list of options for you today of what you can gift each guest, which style of wedding this will match and where you can purchase them in the UK.

Favours are just one of many wedding traditions many couples use today, but where did it all start?


History of Wedding favours

We spoke with Emily of Emily’s Lollies who provides luxury sugar lolly treats for favours, about the history of favours:

Favours have been a wedding tradition seen as far back as the 16th century where the Bride and Groom gave a small gift to their guests as a way of a thank you and a memory of their wedding day.

It is believed that the first wedding favour, common amongst European aristocrats, was known as a bonbonniere. This was a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, and/or precious stones. The contents of these precious boxes were generally sugar cubes or delicate confections, which symbolise wealth and royalty.

As sugar became more affordable, bonbonnieres were replaced with almonds. For centuries, almonds were commonly distributed to wedding guests to signify well wishes on the bridegroom’s new life.

Traditionally, five Jordan almonds are presented in a confection box or wrapped in elegant fabric to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. The bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the coated candy are a metaphor for the bitter sweetness of a marriage.

Edible wedding favours are still hugely popular today, many couples use favours as a way of adding their own personality to their day and they often make great table decoration too.

Do you need Wedding favours?

Wedding favours are a reminder to your guest of your day together and a thank you for those attending. They are a way of bringing your personality to your tables and if you make sure they look great, they will be a fantastic addition to your table scape! We are massive fans of favours but they aren't for everybody, so if you don't want them, don't have them!

Ideas for your Wedding favours:


Chocolate

Everybody loves chocolate, it makes you feel good, and if you pick the right chocolate, you can really add a touch of luxury to your day. If you plan on having a marquee on a potentially hot day, it may be best to avoid chocolate, or your wedding planner will ensure these go out at the last possible moment. Chocolate is very flexible as there are so many options out there which will match a range of styles of wedding. Here are some options below to really treat your guests:

Option 1 (image below)

Option 2

Option 3 (image below)



Alcohol

Another favourite for guests, and they are never left behind! Treat your guests to a miniature of each of your favourite drinks (one for the ladies and one for the men) or match the drink to the theme of your day; again, this another favour which will match any style of Wedding, depending on your choice of alcohol. A small vile of your favourite liquor like the option here could pretty much work with any style, whereas a bottle of locally brewed cider would work with a rustic, farm style Wedding. You could even purchase a local alcohol to the area your Wedding is in, for instance, Edinburgh Gin for a Wedding in Edinburgh. Gin is an ever so popular choice right now, just like the ones from Edinburgh Gin here! Small bottles of local wine would also work fantastically for a Vineyard Wedding.


Can’t decide between chocolate or gin and don’t have room to offer both as a gift? Hotel Chocolat produce a chocolate gin here!


Biscuits

Speak to your baker who may also offer Wedding themed biscuits for your guests. This will save looking for a second supplier and these can be personalised with your names and date of the Wedding, plus they are great to have with tea and coffee post Wedding breakfast. Biscuit favours work well with a classic, traditional Wedding. The Greenhouse Cakerie based in Northamptonshire offer these as favours here.



Charity Badges

If you are a charitable couple and work to help raising money for a charity that is close to your heart, this could be a great option to bring your personalities to your day. Instead of spending money on favours, either donate the money to charity and have a sign up to say you have done so, or purchase charity pin badges, one for each guest, so the profits then go to the charity of your choice. Cancer Research even have a wedding favour specific shop here!

Local Honey

Visit your local farm and purchase small pots of honey for all of your guests. This would work for a rustic, barn/farm style wedding. You can also find pots online here.






Lollipops

Always hit the spot for any sweet tooth, can easily be placed into a bag to take home and look beautiful on the tables. You can choose your flavour, colours and designs, just like Emily offers here.

Perfect for a garden, bohemian or rustic style wedding.


Sugared Almonds

As mentioned at the start of the blog, sugared almonds were the original, traditional favour and many couples like to keep to tradition and opt for these classic gifts. You can now get them in a variety of colours, even metallic colours by Harvey Nichols (here) and Fortnum and Mason (here), to really stand out on your tables.


Sugared almonds work well with a classic, tradition styled Wedding or contemporary style if you want to keep with the traditions but use colours such as the metallic colours above.


Cacti/Succulents

If you are looking for a crisp white wedding with touches of foliage and greenery, the cactus and succulents loo amazing on the tables. Perfect for an outdoor/rustic style or garden Wedding. Also work really well if you are both outdoors people and want to bring the outdoors in. Ideas here.






Herbs/Seeds

Do you love cooking or gardening? Bring your personalities to your day with these gifts. For herbs, you can provide small pots for each guest, just like here, and a pack of seeds, or you can purchase the already grown herbs to put into the pots from a local supermarket. Make sure to put these into the pots prior to the Wedding so no soil is spilt on the cloth, and so the original brown pot isn’t in your photos!

Candles

Another very popular choice, and if you opt for a luxury, scented candle, such as a Jo Malone here, the smell of all of the favours together will be amazing – just ensure you choose one scent so there isn’t a mixture in the air! You could even choose this as the scent for your day, have candles lit around your venue in the same fragrance, so when guests get home, they will remember the smells from your day each time they light their own candle. Candles, like these from Fortnum and Mason here, work with a range of styles of wedding too.



Macaroons

Another popular edible choice, choose a colour which matches your day for your table settings. Work perfectly with a contemporary or French chateau Wedding. Ideas here and here.


Tea/Coffee

Everybody loves either tea of coffee, treat your guests to a tea or coffee gift that they can make use of at the end of the night or the morning after. Fortnum and Mason offer a variety of options here. Works well with a garden, rustic or classic style Wedding.


Cheese

One of our favourites – cheese and these ones here are amazing and the perfect size for a favour! Yum! You will need to be careful of when these are placed on the tables due to cheese only being able to be left out a certain amount of time, and if guests are taking these home, you will need to provide a place to chill them, but they are definitely outside the box and guests will love them! Why not provide crackers and chutney and ask guests to delve in as a fourth course?! Perfect for a rustic style Wedding.

Stones

Personal and perfect if you love the beach, a great gift for guests to be able to remember your day forever! Will match a beach style Wedding. Available here.

Olive Oil

Did you get engaged in Italy, maybe the Wedding is in Italy or it could just be your favourite place! A great addition to any Italian themed Wedding for foodies! Available here.


Spices

Spice your gifts up with these selections of spices, guests will love to be able to take these home and use in a dish of their choice! Perfect for any Wedding with an Indian twist, just like these ones here!


Things to remember:

Avoid chocolate if you are having a marquee on a hot day or ask them to be placed out just before guets arrive – refrigerate until then!

Speak to your cake baker – they may be able to combine and match favours to your cake, saves you looking for a second supplier (biscuits/cupcakes/cake pops)

Size – don’t forget that the favours go onto the wedding breakfast tables, make sure there is plenty of space and that the favour isn’t too large if you are short on space

Purchase something that guests will use there and then or will take away with them so the favours aren’t wasted

The gift is to thank your guests for joining in your celebrations, make sure to thank them in style!

Your favours are a part of your wedding day, and will be in your photographs, think about the presentation

Your Wedding is about the two of you, think of something that matches your personalities, something you enjoy doing or something about the two of you.


Finding, arranging, and purchasing favours is a service we offer as part of our full wedding planning. We also arrange these onto the tables on the day, more information of this service is here if you would like assistance! We look forward to hearing from you!

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