By Guest Bride Blogger Madeleine Hill
Wedding favors express your appreciation to all of the guests that helped make your day special. Give a meaningful favor that represents your interests or wedding theme, and your friends and family will leave happy, with a memory of the celebration. From crafty DIY favors, to edible treats or monogrammed novelties, the resources for finding the perfect gift are endless. And with so many options out there, your favor doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming. After doing our own favor hunting, we came up with a few ideas that really fit our wedding.
We decided to give homemade pickles, pesto, jalapeno jelly, and rhubarb preserves as wedding favors for our summer wedding. Trying not to procrastinate, we got the process started and stocked up on fresh cucumbers and bushels of basil last weekend at St. Paul’s downtown farmers' market. When preserving edibles, make sure you properly sterilize the jars, keep your workspace clean, and follow the canning directions to guarantee a proper seal. For step-by-step instruction on preserving read the Ball Blue Book, a guide to preserving all types of produce from the foremost provider of canning supplies, or check out Ball’s Intro to Canning online resource.
We chose a simple dill pickle recipe from the Joy of Cooking and used fresh dill and cucumbers from the farmers' market. To make seven pints of pickles, the recipe calls for four pounds of cucumbers and a brine made from mixing three cups of white vinegar with three cups of water, 1/3 cup of pickling salt, peppercorns, and dill seed.
We also prepared a batch of lemon-basil pesto from a favorite recipe. You can't go wrong with a combination of basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts, olive oil, and lemon juice; it will surely be a crowd pleaser!
Custom Fortune Cookies:
Paul asked me to marry him last spring while we were on an extensive trip in Southeast Asia, so we wanted to incorporate our travels abroad into our wedding somehow. I found a Groupon for a fortune cookie bakery a few months ago that specialized in custom cookie messages and flavors, and thought it was a fun [and tasty!] way to share our engagement with our guests. For 70 cents a cookie, you can choose a flavor (lemon, cappuccino, vanilla, chocolate, etc) and up to five personalized messages or fortunes. One of our messages contained lyrics from the song we chose for our first dance, and the other four, quotes from our favorite authors. Check out Fancy Fortune Cookies for more ideas.
[Lemon and chocolate covered coconut cookies from Fancy Fortune Cookies]
Other ideas for creative favors:
Bake individual mini-loaves of zucchini [or banana] bread, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a pretty ribbon and a small thank you note. Packages of candies and cookies are also easy and affordable.
If your wedding falls near the Spring planting season, give your guests packets filled with flower seeds or bulbs.
Use your favors as centerpieces, for a fun, yet economical option. Potted plants, monogrammed candles, or fruit baskets could all be grouped on a table to double as an impressive table decoration and a thoughtful gift.
Your wedding favors can also help your favorite cause, make a donation to a local charity in your guests' honor.