Do-it-yourself party favors for a more personal wedding
Wedding favors are a globally recognized essential of almost every wedding. They convey a message of thanks from the happy couple to family and friends.
These miniature offerings of gratitude are usually left on tables or at each place setting. At some receptions they perform double duties as decorations, ceremony additions or even as prizes for reception games.
The kind of favor couples choose to give can depend on the wedding theme, family traditions and budget.
In the 16th and 17th centuries couples in England gave love knots made out of lace ribbons. Russians and the Japanese have an old ritual of bestowing gifts to wedding guests, traditionally picture frames, bud vases or sachets. Malaysians offered painted eggs as a symbol of fertility. Gifts made of chocolate or candy with almonds or almond paste originated with the Italians. A Spanish tradition is for couples to place orange blossom stems in vases for the guests.
Jordan almonds coated in candy are prepared for Middle Eastern weddings. Since they are bittersweet they symbolize both shades of marriage. Five pieces of the candy, representing health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity are generally given. This is also a popular tradition in the Dutch culture.
In Victorian England, couples gave party crackers, which are decorated paper tubes filled with goodies. In order to retrieve the candy, a guest must break the paper tube, causing the loud "crack" it's named after.
Conveying thanks can be even more personal if the favors are home made. Below are some do-it-yourself ideas for wedding favors that can be altered to fit any theme.
SPICY MILK BATH:
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Select cobalt or amber colored glass to store the mixture. Mix all the ingredients together vigorously and pour into container.
Hand-write or print a label, list of ingredients and instructions for use. For a luxurious bath, add 2-4 tablespoons to running water pasted onto the bottle.
FLOWER SEED CARD:
Mini Ziploc bags
Packets of flower seeds
Paper with a preferred design
Take a piece of card stock and fold one-third of the paper over. On a computer or by hand, write a phrase on the inside top flap of the card. For example, "So that the joy of our day may linger in your garden. Thank you for coming." On the inside of the bottom flap, toward the edge of the card, write or print the couple's names with their wedding date. Take a mini Ziploc bag and fill with flower seeds. Staple onto the inside of the bottom card flap, just above the couple's names. Cut a small piece of ribbon and slide through the staple. Tie a small bow. Cut out a rectangle from the paper with the preferred design and glue onto the top outside flap of the card.
PLANT A TREE:
Peat pellets to fill box
Gravel to fill box
Potting soil to fill box
Seeds or seedling
In a wooden box, add potting soil. Plant seeds or seedling. Add peat pellets and gravel. Print or hand-write planting instructions for seeds or seedling on card stock. Punch hole in card stock. Tie ribbon around wooden box and make into a bow. Attach card stock directions to bow.
9 inch x 9 inch squares of fabric
Envelopes to fit fabric square and card stock
Write or print directions to your guests to decorate a quilt square however they wish to commemorate the wedding, and to mail it back to the couple by a certain date. Attach the directions to the quilt square with a safety pin. Insert directions and fabric square into envelope. Write the couple's address on the front of the envelope with complete postage for easy return. The fabric squares can be sewn them on pillowcases or tablecloths as well as quilts.
CANDLE RING CENTERPIECE:
Guests can take the centerpieces home as a wedding memento.
15 Hershey kisses.
15 Hershey kisses with almonds
Low-temperature hot glue gun
Clear cellophane wrap
1 package silk rose leaves, 1 1/4 inches long
3 yards, 1/4 inch-wide silver wired ribbon cut into six 6-inch pieces, curled
1 bunch baby's breath
1/4 yard silver sheer fabric
1 small bag plastic pearl beads
1 white pillar 3 inch candle 8 inches high
Spread glue on the bottom of one foil-wrapped kiss. Firmly press the bottom of an almond kiss to it. Insert a 3-inch floral wire into one pointed end of the double kisses. Wrap 4-inch square of clear cellophane around the double kisses, twisting tightly. At bottom of the rosette, place one silk rose leaf; wrap floral tape around the wire and leaf stem. Continue wrapping tape down the stem, adding second leaf approximately 1 inch below the first. Prepare 15 rosettes
Create three clusters of two rosettes each and three clusters of three rosettes each; tie together with one silk rose leaf and curled silver ribbon. Insert baby's breath into each. Cut fabric 12 inches wide by 20 inches long and roll lengthwise to form a 20-inch-long tube. To secure ends, tie with a small length of ribbon to form a ring. Tie silver wired ribbons around ring approximately 4 inches apart. Attach rosette clusters at each tied section. Glue pearl beads to outside of candle. Insert candle into fabric ring.
-Courtesy of Hershey's Chocolate