Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Valentine's Presents (or "Favors" If You're Planning a Wedding)

I did a terrible job with holiday cards and presents for friends and colleagues this year. By "terrible," I mean that I basically skipped them all together.

But better late than never, right? I figure Valentine's Day is the perfect day to shower my friends and colleagues with love.

The best sources for ideas are most certainly wedding blogs and the posts that focus on wedding favors.

Let me digress for a moment to talk about my love/hate relationship with wedding favors. On the one hand, making little presents for your guests can be a wonderful way to pour your love into something tangible. They can be sweet tokens of appreciation. Matt and I certainly had fun making our cilantro seed packets. Matt designed the stamp and printed all the cards. I sewed the seeds into the packet. On the front, we included directions about how to grow your own cilantro seeds, and on the back we included our personal recipe for guacamole (which we served at the reception).

The "hate" part comes into the equation when I see wedding magazines, blogs, or books talk about favors as a "must-do," "must-have," or "must-buy" in order to have a "Once-in-a-Lifetime Perfect Day."


From that perspective, wedding favors can quickly become a burden. Another thing on the endless wedding checklist. Another line in the budget. Another thing to obsess and worry about.

Although we enjoyed making our favors, they ended up being pretty useless. Not everyone even took theirs. We made only enough for each person to have one, and we ended up with lots left over.

And when I think back to the countless weddings I've been to, I can only remember a handful of items that were provided as favors.

So, when I write a whole post about how I'm going to make Valentine's gifts for my friends and colleagues and share some ideas you might want to use for wedding favors, my intent is not to pressure you (overtly or subliminally) to worry about wedding favors (or lack thereof) for your wedding. If you want them, fine. If not, more power to you!

Okay, with that preface under my belt, I am going to return to waxing DIY.

Valentine's presents. Hmm...

First and foremost, I have to make and write cards. I think there is nothing more powerful than sincere words of affirmation (maybe that's because my Language of Love is "words of affirmation?"). And I'll definitely have to use materials I have on hand. No sense in buying more stuff when I have a closet full of crafting materials.

Maybe I'll use the security envelopes I've been stashing away for a special occasion?

Maybe I'll make a stamp.

As for the gift, here are some ideas I have:
Maybe Matt and I could make something together to give to our friends and colleagues. It would be a cool Valentine's tradition to spend time together figuring out how to dole out love to other people.

Still thinking...

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megan said...

I'm just doing candy related to our theme in satin baggies. It ended up coming out to about $1 a person. My soon to be SIL did a candy bar at her reception and it was a big hit; they hardly had anything left over at the end.

Just not everyone wants a wedding cake card/picture holder, or could use a $3/piece wine cork. Something universal will probably go a lot further...

miss fancy pants (the bride) said...

Amen to that! For many of the reasons you listed, we knew we didn't want our guest favors to be something to stress over. There is no way I want to spend the next 5 months worrying about jordan almonds.
Thankfully, we love the idea of a candy buffet and while it's not a stress-free process (we still need to take the time to buy containers, glass vases for display and the candy itself) it's not high on the DIY scale. We probably could have done something more unique, but my to-do list is already overflowing, haha.

Anonymous said...

Love your ideas and I think that doing something like the wrapped up piece of pound cake that you gave to your friend in a recent post would also make a great Valentine gift!
I'm not sure what I'll do this year, but last year I designed and carved a block and everyone got little prints.

Carrie said...

I totally agree. Little gifts like these are only good if they're something you truly enjoy making, not something you feel like you HAVE to do.

For this reason, we're making a donation to a marriage equality organization in lieu of tangible favors. That's where our hearts, and our guests' hearts, are (yes, I know that our guests want marriage equality). I know I wouldn't enjoy crafting a bunch of wedding favors; if I did it, it would be out of a sense of obligation, not because it was truly me.

But even though it's not what I want to do, I enjoy reading about your DIY projects. You clearly do enjoy it, and that's fun to see :)

Color Me Green said...

i recently read Julia Child's My Life in France, and instead of sending holiday cards because they were inevitably too busy they instead had a tradition of sending out adorable homemade valentines day cards like this one http://innumerablegoods.typepad.com. thought it might inspire you! /innumerable_goods/2009/07/julia-child.html

Brittany said...

Love this!!!

Laura said...

Thanks so much for this post! It gave me an idea for "favors" for my upcoming wedding. I'm planning a small wedding, with only the nearest and dearest in attendance. So, I think I may make cards for them all, and write them a note about how much they mean to me/have had an influence on my life.

Antoinette@wiseweddingstyles.com said...

I think many brides agree with you on the whole favor thing. That's why so many are choosing to do candy buffets - it's something fun, guests actually enjoy and remember it. And it can be fun to tie colors, certain candies, etc. into your wedding theme.

kitchen table said...

I like your ideas for this week. The pound cake was great and this one looks lovely.Thanks for sharing.

Eva Carper said...

I'm giving away a Tungsten wedding ring!! That's a way to save on a budget!!


Action Jackson x 4 said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE The pound cake idea!! What a thoughtful friend you are!! Thanks so much for the post!

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