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How to: Organising Your Wedding Bonbonniere
Every moment of your wedding day will leave a lasting impression on you, but your guests might need something a bit more tangible than touching vows and gorgeous music. Wedding favours not only give your guests a way to remember your wedding, but also serve as a small thank-you present for the effort they've made to support you on your special day. Bonbonnieres usually take up a portion of your ‘miscellaneous’ wedding budget (which should total 10% of your overall wedding funds), but are certainly not mandatory if you're on a tight wedding budget. They are, however, traditional, can help spice up your décor, and are guaranteed to leave your guests smiling as they exit your reception.
Keep the Bonbonnieres Consistent With Your Theme or Personality
There are no hard and fast rules about how your wedding favours need to look. Instead, try taking a few cues from your wedding colours and/ or theme and elements. For example, a beach wedding with orange and blue as its theme colours could opt for: a unisex body scrub to make your skin beach- ready (in line with the wedding theme); an orange and blue photo frame (corresponds with your wedding colours), or a pair of flip-flops handed out at the ceremony (on theme and functional).
Of course, if you've spent months looking at your wedding colors and theme, you might be completely over them. Instead of keeping your bonbonnieres too ‘on the nose’ with regard to your wedding theme, consider using your personality as a couple for inspiration. If you're a musician, why not put together a compilation CD or give out personalized guitar picks? Two animal lovers might distribute dog snacks or a gift certificate to the local pet store, while inveterate travelers might offer a goody bag filled with travel must-haves.
Narrowing Down Your Options
There are as many party favour varieties as are there are engaged couples. And while this gives you license to exercise all kinds of creativity, it can also be a bit overwhelming. Some questions to ask yourself when choosing your favours include:
- Is this something my guests will actually use? A pretty handkerchief is nice, but might not lend itself to much use in daily life.
- Does the bonbonniere have a personal or emotional meaning?
- Alternatively, do my wedding favours reflect my interests and personality? For example, if everyone knows you love writing, you might consider giving out journals engraved with your wedding date.
- Have I provided something all of my guests can use? If you can’t find a gift that you think is suitable for everyone, we suggest breaking your guests up into categories- such as ‘men and women’, or ‘those above and below thirty’, or anything that willl make your bonbonniere- choosing easier and more enjoyable for both you and your guests.
- Is this going to clutter up my guests' house? Decorations are lovely, but unless they're something that can fit into everyone's home and lifestyle, they might end up being re-gifted.
- Can I get something that is both inexpensive and practical? Some luxurious soap might not seem particularly exciting, but it can come to your guests' aid when they run out and are left in a bit of a sticky situation.
Some Fail-Safe Options
The sky is the limit in terms of what you choose, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- If you're having a destination wedding, try selecting favors that your guests can use on their vacation, such as sunscreen and sunglasses, a luggage tag, a cool umbrella, or a gift card to a local restaurant.
- If your wedding has a very specific theme, pick something that will bring back fond memories of your wedding day. For a sci-fi-themed wedding, you might give guests graphic novels or action figures, while a vintage wedding might call for an etiquette book or a vintage magazine.
- If you have a small wedding with only close friends and family, try something personalized. You might get every guest's name monogrammed onto a napkin or towel set.
- Anything sugary is a perennial favorite, and with the variety of sweets available today, they are anything but boring. Try getting sweets in your wedding colours from a gourmet shop, and consider offering several varieties. Set them up on a table with some takeaway boxes for your guests to use and enjoy later on.
- Get practical! Most weddings have drinks and dancing, so create a kit for sore feet (band-aids, a small bath bomb and foot- cream), or one made to help with your wedding hangover (powerade, Panadol, and an eye mask). Wrap it up with some beautiful ribbon for an elegant touch.
- Everyone loves technology, and not all technological devices have to be expensive. If you're a dedicated techie, your guests will love it if you incorporate this interest into your wedding. Try a wedding-themed memory stick or a keychain calculator.
The presentation of your wedding favours can make or break them. No matter how much you actually spent on them, your guests will, like a gourmet meal, ‘eat with their eyes’ first- and will ooh and ahh if they're packaged in a lovely way. Try putting small favours in tiny boxes wrapped with a ribbon containing your monogram, name, or wedding date. You might also add a note thanking your guests for attending to each wedding favor. For bonus points, try personalizing the note with a kind remark about each guest.
Lush tissue paper, elegant ribbons, and pretty stamps are your friends, and they don't have to cost a lot of money. Your local craft store can hook you up with elegant packaging, but if you have some serious cash to spend, packaging companies can personalize the boxes, bags, or pouches in which you place your favours.
Go the Extra Mile
To make a lasting impression, send out a little something extra with your thank you notes in the weeks following the wedding. These gifts should be small, light, and can be less in strict keeping with your wedding theme, and more about you as a couple or the guests themselves. This can include the traditional snap of your wedding photo (usually printed onto the thank-you note itself), or you can get more personal by sending in a photo of your guest(s) at the wedding. For just another fun way to say thanks, include some personalized or plain beautifully wrapped sweets.
No matter what favours you choose, remember that the most important goal is to make your guests feel appreciated. This doesn't necessarily take a lot of money or even planning. Instead, help your guests feel like their presence at your wedding really mattered, and let your creativity be your guide!