Creative Party Favor Ideas

Bombardier wedding favor

Let me start by saying this: you by no means are required to give your guests a gift. You have invited people to your celebration and are already providing your guests with free food and drink, so swag is not necessary. That said, if you want to give your guests a token of appreciation for coming to your event, here is a near exhaustive list of creative party favor ideas.

Mini bottle of liquor wedding favor
Mini bottles of hooch from Meredith and Jonathan’s wedding

I have scoured the internet and come up with a pretty comprehensive list of guest favors that can be used for any type of celebration – be it a wedding, birthday party, or bridal shower. A lot of these items can be homemade, thus saving you a bit in your budget. If you are using the favors for a wedding, making your own favors is a great task to either delegate to a family member or to use as an event at your bridal shower. Get some champagne chilling, get your girls together, and then start baking some brownies or creating s’mores kits, etc. While I’m sure after a few bottles of bubbly the first group of favors may turn out better than the last, it’s the thought that counts.

The bottom line with all of these favors is to make a personal connection between you and the gift. If it is your birthday, think about giving away candy that was popular when you were a kid. If this is for a wedding, think about a gift that has a tie to you as a couple, such as a brand of cold brew coffee you both love or a mini bottle of booze that was used in the special cocktail served at your reception.

If you live in a unique location, think about a personal touch by highlighting your city or region with a local food product (honey, fruit, or BBQ sauce) or a quirky souvenir. One other option is to highlight your own local background with a favor that represents your nationality. In the case of the wedding I photographed this past weekend at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, the bride, Carolina, was Brazilian, and in her country it is a wedding custom to give away truffle-like candies. Showing your national pride in your gift favor is a fantastic idea especially if you haven’t gotten the chance to work your own background into the menu. In Carolina and Erich’s case, the catering was provided by the Loeb Boathouse. And while the food there is excellent, it is no Brazilian churrascaria. To make up for it, the little candies, called brigadeiro, were served during the coffee hour.

Brazilian brigadeiro wedding favors
Brazilian brigadeiro guest favors at Carolina and Erich’s wedding

Brazilian brigadeiro wedding favors

In terms of packaging, most anything and everything can be personalized now by way of Etsy. From getting cooking utensils personalized with the name of the bride and groom, to having bags with printed stickers for guests to bring home a handful of goodies, Etsy is a goldmine for getting just the look you want for your favors. Also, think outside the box when it comes to packaging. The mason jar is ubiquitous, but how about mismatched teacups for delivering mini succulents to your guests? Get lost in a dollar store or go find your local Chinatown for some interesting options.

Personalized spatula guest favor
Personalized spatulas for Jill’s bridal shower

So without further ado, here is a gigantic list of creative party favors:

  • Cookies, homemade or not
  • Mini pies – shout out to my favorite flavor, key lime!
  • Doughnuts
  • Brownies
  • Cake pops
  • Cookie or cake mix with cookie cutters
  • Macarons
  • Fortune cookies with a personalized message
  • S’mores kit (graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate)
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate – either candy bars with printed labels or mini pieces of chocolate
  • Customized candy such as M&Ms
  • Ice cream decorations, candy confetti, or colored sugar

Cookie wedding guest favors

  • Coffee and mug
  • Hot cocoa mix, with or without Bailey’s
  • Mulling spices
  • Tea, diffuser, and tea cup
  • Local soda pop with funky straws
  • Spice rub
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Homemade salts: siracha, chili-lime, citrus-rosemary, lavender, or even saffron-fennel
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Fruit
  • Jar of jam, honey, jelly
  • Spaghetti or BBQ sauce
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Popcorn (already popped or kernals with flavored salt)
  • High-end potato chips in different flavors
  • Cocktail creation kit: margaritas, mojitos with muddler
  • Mini bottle of liquor
  • Cider
  • Mini bottle of champagne
  • Homemade vodka, limoncello, moonshine
  • Bottle opener
  • Personalized koozie
  • Shot glasses
  • Hangover kit (eye mask, ear plugs, aspirin or ibuprofen, bottle of Gatorade or water, directions to a local diner for hangover food)
  • Flip flops
  • Shawls or scarves (perfect if your ceremony is outside on a breezy day)

Flip flop wedding guest favors

  • Personalized playing cards
  • Mini game – small puzzle, crosswords, Sudoku book
  • Flower vases (with flowers)
  • Plants: mini flower pot, succulents or herbs
  • Seeds with growing instructions
  • Birdseed

Herbs and seed packet guest favors at a bridal shower

  • Local souvenirs
  • Candles, soap, lotion, lip balm
  • Vintage hankerchief
  • Coasters or tiles
  • Magnets
  • Sunglasses (fantastic idea if you are hosting a summer wedding at the beach)
  • Water bottle
  • Tote bag
  • Mints
  • Mix tape of personal music on a flash drive or have it available online
  • Mini art—small canvas or art from an Art-o-Mat
  • Single-use cameras with instructions on where to get the photos developed (or have a place for collecting the cameras after the party)
  • Sketch book, journal, stationery
  • Colored pencils or art kit
  • Vintage postcards or local postcards
  • Books

Books as wedding guest favors

  • Lottery tickets – for richer or poorer, right?
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Luggage tags, especially if you are hosting a destination wedding
  • Charity donation

If you would like to view more images from my portfolio, please visit my website — www.KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com

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