14 Wedding Favors That'll Never Get Left Behind

Don't waste your money on favors they'll forget.
by Libby MacCarthy

Do not—we repeat, do not—overthink your wedding favors. They're a fun, extra wedding detail to show your guests how much you love and appreciate them for celebrating with you. Seriously, favors shouldn't consume your thoughts or push you into debt. For inspiration, think about your favorite local treats or personal hobbies. Love gardening? Give your guests cute packets of seeds. Take a look below and send your guests home with one of these foolproof wedding favor ideas that rarely get left behind.

  1. Potted Plants and Packets of Seeds

    Potted plants wedding favor
    Next Exit Photography

    Pot miniature succulents, cacti, air plants or fresh herbs in creative containers, like vintage teacups, tin pails or modern cement cases, for a playful touch that plays up your wedding's theme. Or give guests a packet of flower seeds—the same flowers you carried down the aisle.

  2. Local Treats

    Barbecue sauce wedding favor
    Sheaulee Ng

    Highlight local flavors with regional specialties or ones representative of your wedding locale. Send everyone home with a jar of your favorite Kansas City barbecue sauce, a bundle of sweet Maine maple candies or a bottle of California red wine.

  3. Late-Night Snacks

    Cookies wedding favor
    Kristen Taylor Photography

    A little snack is the perfect way to beat late-night hunger pangs. Offer up boxes of freshly baked cookies, jars of flavorful popcorn or you can even get a little fancy and bundle up gourmet treats (think: truffles, cheese, crackers and grapes) or comfort food favorites, like burgers, fries and a bottle of soda, for guests to take on the road. Take this idea up a notch and rent a food truck, stand or station for eats as well as an added wow-factor.

  4. A Candy Bar

    Candy bar wedding favor
    Clean Plate Pictures

    The candy bar is nothing new, but this smorgasbord of sweets makes for a fun treat and gives guests the chance to pick and choose their favorites. Dream up a theme for your bar for your own fun twist—whether it's your childhood favorites or desserts that complement your wedding colors.

  5. Your Favorite Homemade Recipe

    Homemade jam wedding favor
    Kate Headley

    If you're up for the challenge, whip up a bunch of your award-winning jam, to-die-for granola or those spicy pickles everyone loves. Edible favors are always a hit, but your guests will love them all the more knowing you made each and every one. One caveat: While favors are one detail you should DIY if you want to, consider going another route if you know taking on a project like this would be overwhelming (there's no shame in buying favors!).

  6. Temporary Tattoos

    Temporary tattoo wedding favor
    Little Bit of Life Photography by Tabitha Patrick

    Have your guests get inked with temporary tattoos. Hearts and flowers are fun, but you can also go custom or choose designs that speak to you as individuals and as a couple.

  7. Anything on a Stick

    Chocolate stick wedding favor
    Rustic White Photography

    You can't go wrong with edible favors served on a stick—not only are they super-cute, they're easy to eat too. For a chilly weather wedding, hot chocolate on a stick warms guests up without the mess, while delicious dessert pops (think: cake, cookies, pie or even faux ice cream cones) let them enjoy their after-dinner treats on the road.

  8. A Great Book or Poem

    Books wedding favor
    Julia Newman Photography

    Books make great gifts, and you can be sure they're something your guests will actually use. Wrap up your favorite or the latest best seller in kraft paper, tie with string and add a mock library checkout card for an extra touch. You can also order a variety of secondhand reads, bundle them up and let your guests choose their favorites.

  9. Give Back Instead

    Girls Not Brides

    Skip the favors altogether and make a donation to a cause you love instead. Pick a couple organizations you support and let guests choose their favorite. Make up signs describing each and then have them add a token to the organization's donation jar. Need philanthropy ideas? Donate to VOW, the charity campaign raising money for the Girls First Fund to end child marriage worldwide. Every year, 12 million girls are married before turning 18, cutting off their education and putting them at risk for violence and poverty. VOW funds local organizations all over the globe advocating girls’ rights and standing up against child marriage at the community level. (See how easy it is to link VOW to your retail registry though The Knot Gifts Back here.)

  10. Home Brews

    Homemade bitters wedding favor
    Dark Roux Photography

    Fancy yourself a bit of a brewmaster? Surprise your guests with bottles of your homemade brews or batches of bitters they can add to their home bars.

  11. Cocktails in a Box

    Skinny margarita cocktail box wedding favor
    Donna Von Bruening

    Put together a kit that lets your guests discover a new drink and master the art of mixing. You can keep it classic and bundle up all the makings for the perfect margarita or introduce guests to new concoctions with fun ingredients, like St-Germain, blood orange liqueur or honey simple syrup. Include a recipe card with instructions and additional cocktail ideas for a gift your guests are guaranteed to love.

  12. Weather-Appropriate Extras

    Blankets wedding favor
    James Christianson

    Anything that beats the heat or keeps your guests cozy isn't only practical, but thoughtful too. Pashminas, blankets or tins of tea are perfect for fall or winter weddings, while sunglasses, nautical beach totes and fans will get a lot of use with the hot summer sun.

  13. DIY Kits

    DIY food kit wedding favor
    Jen Huang Photography

    We love the idea of gifts that include an activity. Fill up jars or pretty bags with cookie, hot chocolate or scone ingredients and recipes your guests can use to whip up delicious treats when they get home. Custom cookie cutters or labels add an extra-special touch.

  14. Foodie-Approved Gifts

    Oil and spices wedding favor
    Clary Photo

    Awaken their inner foodie. Spice mixes, infused olive oil, bottles of wine from local vineyards or finishing salts are delicious gifts your guests won't want to leave behind.

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