One of the many decisions the happy couple will face during wedding planning is what to give guests as reception favors. Concerns such as budget, theme and "green" thinking may lead you toward nontraditional gift choices.
Figuring the Budget
"Gifts and tokens for gifts can really bite into the budget of your wedding," says Kathy J., a wedding planner in Dallas. "We recommend the souvenir be no more than 5 percent of the total costs." This may seem like a high number when considering the overall budget, but the cost of each souvenir must be multiplied by the total number of guests. This means giving away silver pens at a cost of, say, $10 each would mean a total of $3,000 for a wedding event with 300 guests. Small silver tins filled with candy would be a more budget-friendly alternative.
Consider the Theme
Your wedding theme sets the tone for the entire day, and your favors and gifts should reflect this theme. If you have a nontraditional theme, you will want to have gifts for your guests that are offbeat, such as personalized guitar picks for a rock-and-roll theme. If you have a high-tech theme with lots of monitors and video, provide imprinted flash drives as favors. If you are having a wedding by the ocean, give beach towels. For more traditional themes, consider providing small bottles of liquor in a color that will match your wedding colors.
Making small choices can have big effects on the environment. Using linens rather than disposable items keeps waste out of landfills. Recyclable plastic champagne glasses are more readily broken down than traditional glass. Continue the green theme by providing ecologically friendly gifts to your guests. Bamboo coasters or tote bags can make an earth-friendly statement on your big day.