The Favor of Your Presents

I’m a firm believer in the power of the edible favor. I’ve never been to a wedding with a non-perishable sendaway, and I’m not a fan (for us) of anything but. This is not to say I don’t love things such gifts as wildflower seeds, mixed CDs, recipe books and the like. Honestly, I just don’t want guests to leave their favors behind if I can’t eat the leftovers. I also don’t want to hand out anything that guests can’t easily transport back home on an airplane.

Favor Idea #1: Italian cookies

With all that in mind, I decided a few months back to purchase trays of Italian cookies from one of my favorite stores EVER — Mazzaro’s Italian market — and pack up three to five cookies per guest with a cute little note.

Photo via Mazzaro’s Italian Market

However, a couple of months ago, we had a site visit at our venue and decided all our rentals. And our rental budget thereby doubled. So we temporarily cut favors from the overall budget. But then, miraculously, a gracious wedding-industry friend offered to contact our rental company since she does a lot of work with them at her own venue — and we got a 25% friend-of-vendor discount. Favors were officially back on the table!

Favor Idea #2: Homemade fudge

But the Italian cookies had lost some of their luster. I wanted something a little more personal. So, to bring a bit of my mother’s memory into the event and produce something both super personal AND ultra yummy, I decided to make her fudge recipe. It shouldn’t be too difficult for roughly 60 people — and it’s damn delicious. I figured all I’d need to do is a quick trial run to see 1. How much fudge one pan makes, to calculate how much I’d need to bake the week of, and 2. How long the fudge “keeps” without getting funky (i.e., could I bake it three days in advance and it still be 100% edible).

Not my fudge, but yummy looking nonetheless — Image via soar2011girlseyeview/Photo by HD41117

I was excited about this plan for about 15 minutes, but then the idea of a trial run — even one with fudgy results — started to sound burdensome, no less buying a double boiler, finding tempered chocolate (I had a really sad incident melting chocolates this past Christmas that taught me the importance of both), and baking three or four pans of this stuff the week of.

Favor Idea #3: Double the cupcakes, double the fun

That’s when I was struck by inspiration: We’re already having cupcakes in lieu of traditional cake. Why not just order twice the number of cupcakes as guests, buy some takeout boxes, and encourage them to eat a cupcake now and take one home for later? It would cost less than the cookies; though it would cost more than the fudge, it would require much much less effort — a quick call to adjust quantity with our baker, and no wrapping of favor boxes or bags since guests would self-serve.

After a quick conversation with our caterer, we determined they could get us white takeout boxes for about $0.50 each and keep the cake counter stocked with them throughout the night. I whipped up a cute little sign directing guests to bring something sweet home with them. I thought up a cute little way to decorate the boxes.

Not like this — but still, aren’t these boxes adorable?/Image via My Wedding Reception Ideas

Then, I skidded once again. Decorations for the boxes? A cake table sign? I seem incapable of doing things with half measures, so this spelled a whole ‘nother full-fledged DIY project, and one that would likely not come cheaply, after the cost of the boxes, the paper, and more.

The current state of our favors

At the moment, then, the future of our favors are in limbo. I think the best contender at the moment are the cupcakes. I keep getting hung up, though, on how many people would actually take cupcakes with them. What if they didn’t even eat any at all? We’d be left with so many cupcakes, even we couldn’t finish them. Would it be just as good to get the same number of cupcakes we’d always planned and order a couple dozen takout boxes, sans decorations, in case people decided to take theirs home rather than eat them there? In other words, forgo favors altogether?

Did you always have a concrete favor plan? Did you abandon favors altogether as being wasteful, too expensive, too time-consuming, or none of the above? If you did them, what did you go with? And if you did self-serve takeaway favors, how did you display and organize the “taking away”?

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