Today we are happy to have Hannah from Green Soul Weddings, who will be joining us for a series on how to make your wedding sustainable, whilst still be as beautiful as you dreamed!
Favours, they might seem like such a small part of your day, but from experience they’re the big thing that us wedding planners are tidying away after the party has wound down and everyone is stumbling to their pillows. Unintentionally forgotten, we’re left wondering what to do with over 80 identical favour gifts …
Here I share 7 ideas for how to approach the traditional idea of wedding favours in a more eco-conscious way to ensure they don’t become an unfortunate waste product!
Don’t have them!
A controversial way to start the suggestions I know, but an important first point … you don’t have to provide favours! The first step towards making more eco-conscious wedding decisions is to take the time to think about each one. Why are you having favours? Is it because you want to share a gift with your guests, or is it just because you feel you have to?
If it’s the latter, my advice is, don’t! Have your wedding your way, and don’t feel you need to conform to the ‘done’ way of doing things. Favours are another item that eats into your budget and your guests won’t mind if you don’t provide them, honest! Have you been to a wedding where, now you think back, you realise you didn’t have favours? They’ll be having too much fun to worry about whether you provided a favour or not, and a gorgeous tablescape will still look gorgeous without them!
With the high volume of favours that end up making it to the bin, opting to go without can be a huge waste saver for your wedding day and it’s the option I’d recommend if you’re having them ‘just because’. If you want to show your appreciation and the idea of going without isn’t right for you, read on for lots of other ways to reduce the chance of your favours hitting the bin.
Gift your wedding décor
If you are purchasing or making decor items for your wedding and wondering what you’ll do with them all afterwards, how about making them dual purpose and gifting them as favours? For example, mini cacti can make a great style statement clustered on wedding tables and can suit many wedding styles … think boho, minimalist, bright fiesta’s, the list goes on. These could then be given new homes at the end of the night, providing each guest with a reminder of your wedding as they nurture their new addition.
If you feel your guests wouldn’t be comfortable helping themselves to your beautiful decor, ask your wedding planner to help! As your guests migrate to the dance floor they can carefully gather your decor favours to a beautifully styled and convenient location ready for your guests’ departure, ensuring none are left behind!
Gift food or drink
There’s probably little surprise when I say that food and drink make for the best favours! Seldom will you find that edible favours make it past the wedding breakfast, let alone being abandoned at the end of the night … we just can’t help ourselves but tuck in to delectable treats or share in a shot when we’re greeted with one as we settle at the wedding tables.
Maybe you both share a favourite tipple, are obsessed with a particular flavour of cookie, or have a special midnight snack that you both couldn’t live without? Edible favours that have a personal connection are always a winner, and if you can find a no-waste way to package or present them to your guests then even better!
Donate to charity
Wedding favours don’t have to be a tangible object! Charities are always so grateful of every penny of support they receive and making donations in place of favours can be a brilliant eco-friendly alternative. Are you a lifelong supporter of a particular cause, or maybe you wish to champion a charity that helped you or someone you love at a time of need? As well as your eco-wedding decisions, maybe you wish to spread your positive impact further by donating to an environmental charity?
Chat to your stationer about displaying a sign at your wedding detailing your chosen charity or popping a note on the bottom of your order of service. If you’re stuck selecting just one charity that you feel is most worthy, how about getting your guests involved in choosing with an interactive token voting idea similar to those you see in your local supermarkets.
Make your name cards dual purpose
If you’re having a formal seated meal you’ll be having name cards to assist with guest navigation, so why not make these necessary elements work a bit harder for you? Personalised favours can serve multiple functions – sitting beautifully atop a napkin or plate they can denote the space you’ve carved for each guest, as well as being a personalised keepsake from your day that no guest will leave behind!
You can get really creative with personalised name card favours, tying them into your wedding style or theme to really showcase your personality. How about a bookmark for the bookworm couples amongst you? How about an engraved wood slice coaster for your woodland styled wedding? How about you combine a few of our suggestions here and go for your favourite cookie iced with your guests’ names? The creative options are endless!
Make them personal to you
Your guests are more likely to notice, interact with, enjoy and remember their favours if they have a personal connection to you, the amazing soulmates they’re there to celebrate. Favours can be a great way to bring in cultures or heritages you identify with, such as a fortune cookie for a multi-cultural Japanese wedding. I’ve seen Slovakian sweet treats and symbolic Indian gifts used effectively as favours before … the cultural ideas are endless!
Go for homemade
My last suggestion links back to many of those I’ve already mentioned but gives you another way to approach it. Have you considered gifting homemade favours? If the idea of turning to arts and crafts terrifies you and you don’t think anyone would want your finished masterpieces then how about thinking beyond crafts … maybe you make an iconic homebrew you could serve in a mini bottle?
Alternatively, maybe your Nan is a dab hand with a needle and thread, after all homemade doesn’t mean it has to be made by your hands! How about supporting local with homemade pots of honey from your neighbours bee hives – look how cute this wedding table is with homemade honey and a honey dipper for each guest!
Making your own favours or opting for a local craftsmen means you can be in control of the carbon footprint they create and are more clued up on the process that’s gone into them, helping you to rest at ease knowing you’re making moves towards sustainability.
So, there you have it, 7 sustainable wedding favour ideas. With a bit of time and thought I’m sure you’ll come up with some fantastic sustainable ideas for your unique day. Remember, the more personal and meaningful your favours, the less likely they are to be discarded and add to your wedding waste. A little thought about the ideal favour for you and your guests can go a long way in making your wedding more eco-friendly.
What some great tips for making wedding favours work for you in a sustainable way!
Chat with Hannah from Green Soul Weddings for more advice for your big day.