Personalizing Your Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are as ancient a tradition as weddings themselves. As simple as candies or as elaborate as miniature golden carriages filled with rose petals, these token gifts for those who attend a wedding have become a big industry. These gifts, gestures, really, of appreciation to the guests from the marrying couple, are such a small detail, but can make such a large impact on those who receive them. In the past wedding favors were, on the whole, simpler objects, but as our cultures changed, so did all the things that comprise our culture…down to the details of wedding favors. Nowadays, there is an ever-growing range of wedding favors available for couples to give their guests, and it’s not just an American phenomenon: From country to country, wedding favors have become big business.

The concept of wedding favors has long been there in the human civilization and changes have occurred as times changed. The wedding favors in the older times were far simpler but they did have that unique touch to them which made the favor a special thing for the guests who attended the weddings. The wedding favors are a gesture of gratitude towards the guests, friends, and relatives who attend the wedding ceremonies and grace the occasion. Today there is a wide range of wedding favors available for couples to give to their guests and the sheer demand for them has given birth to the wedding favor industry in the world. Although the wedding favors vary from culture to culture, the idea behind it is common across all cultures.

The Tradition of Wedding Favors

The tradition of wedding favors dates at least as far back as the aristocracy of the Europeans in medieval times. These rich Europeans aristocrats lavished their guests with fancy wedding favors called bonbonnieres. Bonbonniere is a French word that means a bauble or a small box with attractive ornamentations on it, and this little box was generally made of porcelain, crystal, or even precious stones. The aristocracy would then place little gifts within these ornate boxes, often sugar cubes or other such confections.

Since sugar was a rare and expensive item in those times it symbolized the status of aristocracy. By giving a gift of sugar to their guests, the message was clear: We are well-off, look at what we can give away. Of course, as sugar become a common household commodity, it lost favor amongst the aristocrats, who then began favoring almonds and other expensive nuts. Later, confetti became popular. It’s interesting to note that modern weddings often make a nod to their aristocratic past by giving sugared almonds as a wedding favor.

If there’s one key difference between past and present wedding favors, it’s one of personalization. The aristocrats’ goal was to impress people with their wealth. The trend among modern couples, however, is the custom creation of gifts that bear the personal touch of the families and the couples. What better way to truly say thank you for thinking of us, than to give out thoughtful, meaningful gifts. It makes all the difference.

Personalized Wedding Favors

The centuries old tradition of the wedding favor has now been transformed into personalized, custom-made wedding favors. Although these personalized favors can be expensive, it’s not done to impress, but simply to show gratitude through personalization. First and foremost, these personalized wedding favors come with the name of the happy couple, often engraved somewhere. The date is also included, along with a short phrase summarizing the love of the couple, and their feelings for the guests. Inevitably, the gifts themselves are structured around a photo of themselves. Interesting to note, too, how many couples include their pets in the photo. A personal touch indeed!

These personalized wedding favors can reflect the wedding themes, for example the beach, or spring, as well as reflect the colors of the wedding itself. Couples can have wedding favors personalized for their beach wedding with products called Adirondack chairs, which feature tealite candles or a personalized heart-shaped bottles decorated with sand and seashells. Couples can also personalize their summer or spring wedding with favors that feature wild daisy flowers or cute flower hearts. Couples can also give edible wedding favors. Tiny bags of coffee or even chocolate bars can be personalized, now, as wedding favors. How about a wine bottle with personalized label? In that vein, glass wedding favors, or customized champagne chutes have also become a mainstay in personalized wedding favors.

Yes, personalizing one’s wedding favors can become an expensive ordeal, but when done right, the gifts can be a treasured memento.

Why Give Wedding Favors to Guests

Although the aristocrats gave wedding favors merely as symbols of their wealth and power, that isn’t to say that wedding favors today still can’t carry with them some symbolism. They do. There is, of course, the inherent symbol of gratitude that all gifts carry. But beyond that, wedding favors such as the giving of five Jordan almonds are symbolic of things like health, wealth, long life, fertility, and happiness which are the most important things in a happy marriage. Giving sugared almonds can be construed as recognizing that in marriage there can be bitterness and sweetness.

Beyond the purely symbolic level, wedding favors often have practicality to them. Whether its a bottle of wine, or a box of candles, these gifts are to be used, not just admired. Though there certainly are wedding favors which are purely decorational. Still, that’s a function, isn’t it? Couples have given beautiful framed pictures of the beach where they had their first date, or a vase from the glass-blower at the county fair where they first met. Wedding favors are ultimately about the memories.

Wedding favors are also a great ice-breaker. Often there are guests at a wedding who know only a few or even just one of the other guests. But a creative wedding favor can open people up, and have guests mingling. Imagine giving, say, five different photos to each person at the wedding. People would then approach one another excitedly, “Let me see the ones you got!” Or how about giving different candied nuts to the guests. People will mingle and share.

Truly the bottom line in wedding favors is to give a thoughtful Thank You to all the guests who took the trouble to attend your wedding. Give a touch of symbolism, a dash of practicality, a touch of personality and love, and your guests will remember your wedding for a lifetime.

How to Pick Your Wedding Official

To truly capture the spirit of your wedding day, you will need to find a pastor or a minister that represents your faith. And of course, you also want to choose someone that will do your ceremony justice and interact well with you as a couple.

How to make the choice

If you’re both from the same faith and parish, then you may be able to find someone quite quickly. It may be some that you’ve grown up with or someone that you’ve grown to respect in your spiritual life. This is an important decision for you and your spouse to make.

If you only have a few choices, then you may want to speak with each of them in order to get a sense of how you will interact on your wedding day. You want someone who will calm your nerves and keep a light tone throughout the proceedings. They’re your backup should you forget anything—your vows, your name, or what you need to do next.

Making the necessary preparations

In some faiths, you will need to take a series of marriage classes in order to be married in a particular church. So if your desired pastor is from that church, you may need to set up these dates. They are usually dealing with how to solve marriage problems and finding out more about your partner, so they’re very useful. At the end, the pastor will determine if he or she thinks that you are ready for marriage. If so, they will do your wedding.

Looking for an alternative

If you don’t have a particular faith, then you can look for a more secular choice. Many people can become a licensed minister by taking a few classes and paying a fee. You may even want one of your friends to preside over your wedding (not the drunk one), so they may opt to get certified so that the marriage will be legal.

A male or female minister choice doesn’t really matter so long as they are legally able to sign a marriage certificate.

When you’ve found a great minister, rabbi, etc you will have someone else looking out for you and your new spouse on your wedding day. They are presenting you as husband and wife to the crowd and making the vows legally binding. Make sure that the law will recognize the ceremony and you’re all set.

10 Perfect Bridal Shower Games

How much do you know about Bridal Shower Games?  It’s just not much of a shower without them.  They act as a fun way to get some of the wedding work out of the way while offering an icebreaker and bonding opportunity for the women at the party.  Whether you need ideas for your own party, or just want to know what all the fuss is about, we’ve got you covered.

Here Come the Games:

As an icebreaker,  the Name Tag Game encourages guests to mingle with the other guests. The hostess writes the name of each of the guests along with a word related to weddings such as veil, favors or groom on a name tag.  The rules of the game are that you are not allowed to say the word on your name tag or else you lose your name tag to the person who got you to say the word.  If you acquire one or more additional name tags you are tasked with not saying any of the words on either your name tag or any of the other tags.  If you say the word on your tag, you have to relinquish it to the person who got you to say the word and if you say the word on one of the other tags, you also have to give that person the tag plus you have to introduce them to the person from whom you had acquired the tag.  There is usually a pre-determined time limit for this game and the person with the most tags when time runs out is the winner.

The Who Am I Game is another bridal shower game that encourages guests to interact with each other.  In this game, the host prints out pictures of characters from romantic books or movies and tapes one character to the back of each guests so that other guests can see the picture but the person wearing the picture cannot.  The point of the game is to ask other guests questions where the answer is either yes or no to try to determine who is on the picture on your back.  At the end of the party, each guest takes a guess at who is depicted in the photo on their back.

The Purse Game vindicates those of us who carry everything we can think of, “just in case.”  A hostess draws up a list of items likely to appear in a woman’s purse and assigns a point value to each item ranging from 1-5 depending on how unusual the item is.  For example car keys might be a 1 on the scale, a mirror a 3 and an eye lash curler a 5.  The hostess might also choose to allow 10 bonus points for the woman who can produce the most outrageous item from her purse.  The woman with the most points wins the game.  Another variation of this game is to have a list of items and call out the items one at a time.  The first woman to find each item and hand it to the person judging the game wins one point.  After the entire list has been completed, the woman with the most points is proclaimed the winner.

The Television Couple Game requires more outside knowledge.  In this game the hostess will read out the first names of a television couple and the guests try to guess the last name of the couple.  A few examples clues along with the answers are George and Jane – Jetson, Al and Peg – Bundy, Ward and June – Cleaver.  One point could be awarded for each correct answer or a point system could be established to award more points to more obscure references.  This game is also sometimes called the Famous Couple Game including references to celebrities or political figures and their real spouses such as Bill and Hillary – Clinton.

The Wedding Jumble requires the hostess to list words related to a wedding day. Next she scrambles each word so that the letters are out of order and provide each guest with a copy of the scrambled words.  The person who unscrambles the most words in a set amount of time wins.  If more than one person gets all of the words correct then the person who did so in the fastest time is the winner.

The Bridal Shower Memory Game is also very popular.  The typical way to play this game is to have a tray filled with various household items.  Bring out the tray and allow the guests to study the items for a few minutes and then take the tray away and ask questions about the items such as, where the spoon was and what color was the spatula.  Sometimes one of the guests brings the tray out and then leaves the room to take the tray away.  You could then catch the guests by surprise by asking questions about the person who carried the tray such as what color shirt were they wearing or on which finger was she wearing a ring instead of asking questions about the contents of the tray.

Bridal Shower Bingo is just like regular bingo.  Instead of using letters and numbers for the spaces, each space is filled with a word or words that relate to weddings, love or marriage such as wedding dress, favors, eternal, true, rings, etc.  The host creates a set of corresponding slips and places them in a container. During the game, the hostess will draw out a word and read it allowed and each participant will mark that square on their card.  The first person to complete an entire row, column or diagonal wins the game.

One game that can be a real benefit to the bride to be is a simple lottery drawing.  The hostess may purchase a few inexpensive gifts for the drawing and ask each participant to fill out an envelope with their name and address to enter the drawing.  The hostess then picks out a name for each prize.  While the participants have the fun of a chance to win a prize, it really helps out the guest of honor because she can use the envelopes to send out her thank you cards after the party.

The Wedding Day Obstacle Course is another game that can really help out the bride.  Each guest is timed individually on how fast they can complete a series of tasks such as wrapping a wedding favor, addressing envelopes, filling out a place card,  assembling a centerpiece, or other projects the bride has in progress.  This can be a lot of fun, but it also acts as a force multiplier for getting work done.  Though some detail oriented brides might feel compelled to re-do some of the less carefully executed tasks.
The Price is Right Game offers the hostess a way to kick a little extra in for the bride. For this game the hostess will purchase about 10 different items that will be useful for the couple: towels, soap dispensers, household cleaners, etc. and have the guests try to guess the price of either all the items combined or each item individually.  While this is fun for the guests, at the end of the game, all the items used can go to the bride herself.
All of these games are a lot of fun to play at a bridal shower and they encourage the guests to get to know each other in a casual atmosphere.  Some of these games even serve the purpose of helping to complete some of the bride’s last minute projects.  The fun of these games is that they help people to get to know each other better which is helpful especially if the bride and grooms’ families don’t know each other well.