Do me a favour*

I am going to be pretty controversial here, so hold on to your hats. 

We won’t be having favours at our wedding.

Yep, that’s right, You read that right. Am I still even allowed to call myself a wedding blogger? Should I resign or something? Is there a a weddingfavour anonymous I should go to?
Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t a stance of ours from the moment we started planning the wedding. Although I have to say, before I started planning the wedding I had no idea that there were such things as ‘favours’. I’d seen nice things being left on the tables at weddings I’d been to, and taken some of them home even. But if you had asked me if we were having favours at our wedding I’d have probably looked blankly at you and been concerned that you were talking about something sexual.
But I digress. Once I’d worked out what favours were, we set about thinking what it was that we wanted to give our guests. We thought about all of the obvious. Chocolates. Mini bottles of alcohol. Soaps. Then following the lead of all of the US blogs I was reading, we tried to think outside of the box, and think of something that really MEANT something to us, or at least related to our life in someway. And we (rather astoundingly) had a creative moment, and thought of Matryoshka Dolls (you know, the little wooden dolls that all sit inside one another and if you were anything like me, you were obsessed with taking apart  and putting back together when you were a small child).

They seemed perfect. They were small enough to fit on the tables nicely, related to our life (if you’re new to the blog, this is explained here), and aesthetically, I quite like them. Result.

But something still wasn’t sitting right. So we talked about it, and spoke to friends, and then talked about it some more. 

Ultimately, after a lot of talking (because, hey, favours are important), we still weren’t happy. 

Because, lets be honest. Can you really remember any favours that you collected over your lifetime of wedding attending? And even if you do remember them, do you still have them? Could you put your hands on them right this minute? I couldn’t. I appreciated some them at the time. I ooohed over the fact that the stick of rock had the bride and groom’s name in the centre. I remember that one. Never ate it though and couldn’t tell you where it was now. The little picture frame, that was cute. But when you get it home you realise that it doesn’t actually fit any picture in because it is so bloody little.The chocolates with the pretty wrappers – well  the girls thought they looked pretty, and some of the men ate them, but after the three course meal, and several canapes, I didn’t really need anything else to eat.

If favours are important to you and you genuinely feel that they will bring something to your wedding, then I’m up for that. When I see weddings in the US, where the groom’s mum has made the age old family recipe beef jerky/salted caramel/insert some random American food here,  and wrapped it in a pretty piece of ribbon with a hand written label, I think that’s really cool. Me and the man just don’t have anything like that, in our families and even if we had, I just don’t have the time or energy to devote to that right now (I’m too busy trying to find something to wear - slightly more important I tend to think).

So internet, we won’t be having favours. No one will be going home with a little trinket with our initials on from our wedding. The wedding industry would like me to believe that I am defying some major etiquette rules by doing this. People will be travelling to our wedding to spend the day with us, and all we can be bothered to do is feed and water them all day, provide them with entertainment, and subsidise their accommodation. We are bad bad wedding providers.

I prefer to look on the positive side however, in that it gives us extra money to put behind the bar, Which is surely the best gift any wedding guest could get?

*I know, I know…it’s a bad title, but I couldn’t think of anything better….
Categories: Wedding Planning
14 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted July 30, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I wish I had thirty Texan aunts who would bake little pies, or an artistic San Franciscan grandfather who would hand-carve little love tokens from stones that he has found on the beach. But I don't :(

    Totally with you on the food – plus I don't really like nuts, or biscuits, or chocolates.

    Honestly re the dolls? I like that – sure, it's a knick-knack, but we all have a mantlepiece/window ledge where we put things that remind us of special occasions, and it's actually something pretty, so it serves a dual purpose.

    The things that I like best are the mundane and yet personal. Something like a mug or keyring is so dull, but people end up using them constantly and are reminded of your wedding day. That's nice :)

    The main issue is the cost. It's hard to find something that isn't either a) a bit crap, or b) really expensive. It definitely seems better to have nothing than to bust the budget or to see a load of discarded, forgotten favours on the tables at the end.

    We have gone with lottery tickets. It's corny, it's cheesy, but we'll be the ones laughing if somebody scoops the jackpot. I hope. Or they're not getting a thank you note.

  2. Posted July 30, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Definitely with you on the favours – that was one thing we dropped pretty early on in the wedding planning as there was nothing we could think of that fitted in with the wedding/didn't cost lots of money/and wasn't tacky (to us). And like you we thought we could better use the money elsewhere.

    In the end, we actually ended up doing something similar to favours but not at the dinner table. One of our closest friends passed away (from cancer) a few months before the wedding and so we wanted to do something to honour his memory – so we bought daffodil pins from Marie Curie Cancer Care. They were just going to be handed out during the day, but on the actual day our ushers put one on every chair in the ceremony room, which worked out really nicely. The bridal party were all wearing them already instead of the usual button holes, and then turning during the ceremony to notice that everyone in the room – men, women and children alike – were also wearing them was really very special.

    Sorry, this has turned into a bit of a ramble and taken it a bit off topic. But anyway, no one noticed that we didn't have anything on the tables – or if they did, they didn't say anything! – and I do think that unless you can come up with something that you both actually think "that's a great idea and not a waste of money" then there's no point. I wouldn't have been able to do the lottery ticket thing like Becca – I'm too selfish and would just spend the whole time worrying that someone other than me was going to end up winning a whole load of money!

  3. Posted July 30, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I'm with you! When we were first thinking about weddings it was the first thing to go – I'd rather spend the money on good food and wine. Even nice chocolates at the end of the meal but not in little boxes where the box was probably more expensive than the contents.

  4. Sarah
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    We ended up going for dual purpose place settings/favours. My husband and I are both rugby fans so we ordered mini stress rugby balls with our names and the wedding date printed on them and my dad wrote each guest's name on them. Practical but everybody took theirs home with them, so a success I think!

  5. Posted July 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    So it seems we're not the only ones who won't be having favours.

    Is it wrong that even the name I have a problem with. Something about 'favours' sounds so American (no offence to any Americans, but you know, we're British, surely we could come up with something less Americanised?).

    To the ladies who are having/had favours, I like your choices. They mean something to you (Marie Curie Badges), are useful (stress balls), or might actually benefit you (lottery tickets!)

    Fliss xx

  6. Posted July 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I am lucky that a friend has offered to make fudge – simple easy. No fancy wrappers or over use of bows. Just a bowl in the middle of table, whilst the speeches are taking place – and if guests want it great. If not, no massive loss!

  7. Kate
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    We're doing nspcc charity favours. Cause close to my and hubby to be. If we aren't doing them there would be no favours as the idea in general doesn't sit well with me.

  8. Posted July 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Totally with you Fliss! Some of the crap i've seen people waste money on just makes me think why bother? (i know, contraversial aren't i)

    I considered making gingerbread biscuits and wrapping them up nicely, but for some reason my gingerbread making abilities have gone to sh*t and every batch i made tasted like dirt! haha

    Putting the money behind the bar instead is very generous and thoughtful and is exactly what we're doing.

    love your blog x

  9. Anonymous
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm this post made me think.

    No favours for our wedding either although I do 'get it' and I do think some favours are bloody gorgeous/cool/quirky but I also think some are bits of naff crap that I wouldn't want to spend the time dusting/finding a place for.

    I have a general aversion to the idea we should give material evidence to our guests that, guess what, we like you enough to give you a present or donate to charity in your name on our wedding day. That does not a good wedding make.

    I get why people who want favours prefer to spend their money on charities instead, great, but it irks me to think people feel the need to show they have given to charity, as if it's better than another bride or groom who bought favours. But that's me, I think charity should be a private thing.

    The way I see it, its blindingly obvious we like our guests, they are at our bloody wedding – yay! So can't we all just have a lovely party instead and forget about everyone giving everyone gifts? It makes me think about thank you letters that thank people for their thank you letters, or is that just me?

    However, the thing that worries me is that I do find increasingly as the wedding approaches (eek less than a month to go!) that I have waves of guilt (ok, self induced because I love wedding blogs and I am addicted) but guilt that we don't have something to call an official 'favour'. Am I alone?! I have felt almost compelled to tell people when friends have asked us what we are having that umm our jars of flowers on the tables are favours, or the fact yes its a free bar all day and night and thats in lieu of favours. What the hell is wrong with me!?!? Can't we do these things without labelling it as a favour?

    Also, yes why do us Brits call them favours? It's a small token or a present for under a fiver, non?

    Lucy xx

    PS. Jennifer. I am also crap at gingerbread. Your reply made me laugh out loud.

    PPS. Sorry I have gone on a bit.

  10. Posted July 31, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Lol, Lucy! I know it's all a bit silly, but I just love the "thank you for the thank you letter" thing. It's like the excuse-me dance you do when you bump into a polite person on the street!

  11. Posted July 31, 2010 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    There is something rather special about the British sense of politeness isn't there.

    I sort of love that for the wedding we will send out invites asking people to come to our wedding and people will reply to sauthankyou for the invite. Then we will host the wedding and people will bring gifts to say thankyou to us for inviting them. We (should/could) then give gifts to thank people for their gift/for coming to the wedding. People will then write thankyou notes to say thankyou for the wedding, and then FINALLY we will send thank you cards to everyone for coming to the wedding and giving us a gift. That's a whole lot of thank yous!

    On a related note, I have also been known to say sorry to a lamppost that I bumped into…

  12. Anonymous
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Hehe! I said 'you're welcome' in response to a lady who thanked me for serving me at the till the other day. Why?!

    I don't know why I said it, I guess I'm used to people saying thankyou to me at work and me telling them they are welcome. The till lady kindly overlooked it.

    Needless to say I blushed quite a lot and then made a swift exit.

    Oh what it is to be british.

    Lucy xx

  13. Posted August 4, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Hey ladies, good on you favours can be a complete waste of time. If you want them thats fine its your wedding and you can do what you like. If you dont then good. Challenge the wedding industry!!! Your weddings will all have the personal details that your guests will notice. The extra money for favours can be spent on what you really want for your special day. Another idea is to save what you spent on favours and go our for dinner with your lovely husband to celebrate your one month anniversary!!
    Hope you all have the most fabulous weddings, the ones you want and not what the wedding industry tell you. Be individual and stick to your guns. sorry if i sound a bit drastic, I hate it when couples are pushed into thinking they have to have that item just because its always been like that. You ladies are different and that is proved by this blog!

  14. Posted August 17, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    We did have favours at our wedding; since it was Easter Saturday we had mini easter eggs in little boxes which I think most people ate after dinner during the speeches.

    I agree some favours can be a bit odd or useless which is why we went for food, but I still think its nice to have something, although not necessary at all.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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