Favors are simply small gifts given as a gesture of appreciation to guests for coming from the couple at a vow renewal. They can be as simple and inexpensive or as luxurious and expensive as you like. Most important, they should reflect the two of you as a couple and the style of your vow renewal. Favors can be anything that you want; don’t limit yourself to only things marketed as “favors.” The most important thing is to not break your budget!

Budget and Quantity
It’s pretty hard to get started brainstorming without knowing how much money you have to spend on the favors and how many you are going to need. After all, you wouldn’t want to fall in love with an idea that is way out of your budget. Once you have a total budget figured out, divide it by the number of guests you have attending. What may seem like a very large favor budget may come with pretty big limits when you do the math. A budget of $500 for 225 guests comes to $2.22 each. If you’re budget, it tight to start with, say $100 for 150 guests, you’re going to need to be exceptionally creative. Make sure you factor in tax and potential shipping charges when looking at favors. These extra charges could mean the difference between staying on budget or breaking it.

The Search for Ideas
Do some brainstorming and research to come up with a few possible ideas. Take a look at the ideas in our Favors section of the site, bridal and craft magazines, party stores, and your favorite hobby supply store. Favors can be edible or inedible, such as cookies, cupcakes, candies, soda, picture frames, flower seed packets, and so on. Either take a quick photo with your camera of the items as you find them (cell phones are great for this!) or tear out the magazine page and put it in your planning folder.

When looking at favors, you can play with your budget a little by deciding if the favor is appropriate for giving to all guests, only couples, or to families. For instance, if you want to do with a miniature gift basket, you would only need one per family, so its price could be a factor of the average number of guests per family. Or if you want to give out bottles of wine as your favor, you would only need to get enough for the adult couples, but might also want to get something else for minors. Finally, if you going with edible favors, like candy buffet or cupcakes, you should allow for extra in case some people decide to eat some while at the reception.

Think Theme
A great way to take advantage of your theme is with your favors. Themes can spark fabulous and fun favor ideas that are uniquely yours. For a spring garden theme, packets of flower seeds in your colors or little potted flowers would be perfect. For a ceremony on a ship, goldfish crackers in netting are a fun nautical snack. For a 50’s theme, a custom CD of oldies would be a great reminder of your celebration. For a winter wonderland theme, snowflake ornaments would be lovely. If you’re having a photo booth at the reception, little picture frames would be cute. For a summer wedding in orange and yellow, bottles of orange and lemon soda with custom labels would be fun and refreshing.

Custom Touch
Your favors will be more meaningful, no matter their price if they have a custom touch. Customizing your favors doesn’t have to be either expensive or time intensive. It can be as simple as adding a personalized label; a mini card, a hang tag or a sticker label. You can also do things like making your own candles by filling seashells with beeswax and a wick, embossing paper packets filled with flower seeds, or tie ribbons to holiday ornaments.

Another great way to customize your favors is with their packaging or wrapping. There are so many creative options to select from including tiny lace sacks, velvet pouches, cupcake liners tied with ribbons, cellophane bags tied with raffia, and the always perfect little white box tied with ribbon or topped with a flower. Make sure you add the costs of these custom touches to your favor budget! One way to keep costs under control is to do the wrapping or customizing yourself.

If you are planning an intimate small vow renewal, many online favor stores have minimum quantities, so be aware of these restrictions. If your favors need to be delivered on the wedding day itself (such as cupcakes or other desserts), make sure the vendor can deliver them.