Wondering How Many Wedding Favors to Order? We've Got Answers

Everything you need to know about buying wedding favors is right here.
christin perry the knot
Christin Perry
christin perry the knot
Christin Perry
E-Commerce Contributor
  • Christin specializes in writing gift guides and shoppable articles for The Knot.
  • Christin is a freelance writer, also covering lifestyle, health, and parenting.
  • She has written for such publications as The Bump, Parents, VeryWell, Parade and LittleThings.
Updated Mar 19, 2023

Wedding favors may seem like a small detail, but for couples who choose to hand them out, they can really up the celebratory energy. Your wedding favors offer your guests a lasting impression of your wedding day, but how do you know how many wedding favors to order? You might think it's better to have extra than not enough, but if you're on a tight budget—or you're a particularly waste-conscious couple—you'll still want to nail down a number that's the best of both worlds. So, it pays to determine exactly how many you'll need.

In this article, we'll fill you in on everything you need to know about wedding favor etiquette. That includes how to decide whether each guest should get one, how that might change based on the type of favor you decide to give and what to do with extra wedding favors.

In this article:

Does every guest get a wedding favor?

Favors are intended to be a small gift you give to your guests to thank them for attending your celebration, so it's best to err on the side of getting one for every single guest. "Deciding who gets a favor is often dependent on what the favor is," says Stephanie Teague of Northern California-based wedding planning company Teague Events. "When figuring out how many favors to buy for a wedding, it is best to think about the practicality of whether each person needs one or if one per couple/family is sufficient."

For instance, if your unique wedding favor is a larger item like a bottle of wine or expensive candle, one per family or couple is probably sufficient, since these items are easily shared. Be aware, however, that this can get a little murky. For instance, what about a couple that attends together, but lives apart? Or a family with a grown child (who lives away at college) and several younger kids? Distributing wedding favors to a couple or family may definitely involve a bit more thought and strategy.

If you don't feel like parsing through each grouping of guests to determine how many favors to allot to each, choose a smaller goodie that would be less expensive to buy in large quantities and that would go over great with all attendees. Little personalized favors like bubbles or an edible item are easy to dole out to each individual guest, including kids and any plus-ones. Basically, the rule of thumb is when in doubt, hand one out.

Lastly, don't forget about your wedding party. They're VIP guests and a significant part of your nuptials. "The wedding party should be viewed as wedding guests and receive favors just like everyone else," Teague says. "Often, wedding party members are also given a separate gift from the couple prior to the wedding as an extra-special thank-you for being a part of the day."

Once you've figured out how many souvenirs to order, you'll need to decide how to display your favors. "When giving one per person, I recommend putting one (in beautiful packaging) at each place setting," says Jenny McDonough, a wedding planner based in Aspen, Colorado and owner of Stargazed Weddings and Events. "If giving one per couple, we generally station favors on an exit table or have a staff member pass them out as guests leave," she says.

How many wedding favors do you need per guest?

If you're wondering how many favors to buy for a wedding, here's your answer: No matter what size your budget is, one favor per guest is more than enough. While some couples might opt to give out more than one favor, there's really no need and your guests certainly won't be expecting it.

In a world that's becoming increasingly eco-conscious, many couples are choosing to eschew favors altogether. "Wedding favors are a great place to practice reducing your carbon footprint and not be wasteful," says McDonough. "In addition, how many hours did that couple spend lovingly tying on a ribbon and a thank-you tag only for it to end up in the landfill?" Instead, you could opt to give something edible, or even make a donation to a charity of your choice in lieu of handing out wedding favors, McDonough suggests.

What should you do with extra wedding favors?

Hopefully, we've given you a better sense of how many party favors you need for a wedding. But if you're wondering what to do with any extras you might have—whether you over-order or find a few stragglers at the reception—consider these ideas:

  • Ask guests to take multiple

  • Pass them out at the farewell brunch the next day

  • Donate them to a local charity or shelter

  • Hand them out to vendors and staff helping out with your wedding

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