Favors for wedding guests get personal, creativeThe wedding favor, that little thank-you-for-coming gift, has risen to new heights with the bride and groom giving guests a wide range of favors that are meaningful to them.
Jillian Mackey had seen wedding favors that seemed like an afterthought, and she knew she did not want to give one of those — an impractical trinket that would likely get tossed in the trash or thrown in a drawer.
So during her year-long engagement to Jason Simms, the couple picked blackberries, strawberries and rhubarb in Oregon, where they lived; gathered cactus pears in New Mexico, where he grew up; and plucked blueberries and apricots when they relocated to her home state, Connecticut. By the time they married on Aug. 2 in New Haven, Conn., the bride, who learned to make jam as a girl, had turned their bounty into dozens of jars of jam for their 135 wedding guests.
Homemade jam favors made by Jillian Simms for the guests at wedding of Jillian and Jason Simms. (AP Photo Super9Studios.com, Irene Liebler)
The idea was to create a favor that was personalized and different, "something I could really feel came from us as a couple, that we had actually put time and effort into," Jillian Simms said.
The wedding favor — that little thank-you-for-coming gift — has risen to new heights.
Wedding Tea Specials, a range of personalized products offered by The Tea Can Company, from left, Tall Tins, Organza bags and Mini Tins, for weddings and bridal showers. (AP Photo/The Tea Can Company)
"It's not just Jordan almonds and chocolate truffles anymore," said Jennifer Condon, wedding style and registry director for Brides magazine. "It's anything that's meaningful to the bride and groom. It's really anything goes with favors."
With so many choices, made even more numerous with personalization and online inspiration, favors have become more specific to the couple, their wedding theme or the venue.
"It used to be more tchotchke-type items — candles, bottle stoppers, picture frames — just really generic things that you can get in bulk easily without putting too much thought into it," said Amy Frugoli, a wedding planner in San Jose, Calif. "And now it's more personalized, well-thought-out and usable items."
Round Pond Estate Mini Estate Olive Oils and Vinegars 50ml each. The line of mini olive oils and vinegars includes Extra Virgin Estate Italian Varietal Olive Oil; Extra Virgin Estate Spanish Varietal Olive Oil, Estate Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, Merlot-Cabernet Estate Vinegar and Sangiovese-Nebbiolo Estate Vinegar. (AP Photo/Round Pond Estate)
Great favors nowadays include food and photos — things that guests can enjoy immediately and that aren't "going to clutter their house," said Frugoli, who also co-owns a sweets company.
When the party is over, guests can find bags and containers to fill with decorated cookies, candy from a colorful buffet, popcorn in fun flavors or the fixings for s'mores.
"It goes back to a nostalgia thing," said Frugoli. "People are looking for a lot of comfort food and fun things."
Baked goods — cake pops, pie pops and cupcakes — can be decorated to fit a theme or color scheme.
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