I'm throwing rice at the girl that I love
After she just said "I do"
Another part of a wedding that can really hurt the pocketbook: favors. They can be outrageous if you order them pre-made from party stores or companies that make favors. But you don't want to leave your guests empty-handed, right? Part of the fun of going to a wedding is to see what neat favors they have. So I had to do some thinking.
I had plenty of tulle - I bought a bolt of it, much cheaper than buying it in the small packages. I knew I didn't want those little bottles of bubbles. Rice was out. I did find heart-shaped rice at Michael's for less than $20. One bag was enough to make 100 favors. I put a scoop of rice into a circle of tulle, tied it up with a bow (10-cent spool of narrow satin ribbon, on clearance from Hobby Lobby), and presto - a favor!
I wanted more, though. I looked online for ideas and found that people were giving away packets of flower seeds as favors. Neat, I thought. However, to buy these pre-made packet favors from seed companies was going to cost a fortune - at least $2.50 per favor! Ouch! So, I made my own.
I found little white paper bags at Michael's for about 50 cents for 50 bags, and they were about the size of a small seed packet. I also found a rubber stamp that had a very pretty "Thank You" design on it, and picked up a pad of coordinating blue ink. I then found a bunch of self adhesive tiny blue satin bows at The Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, a dollar. Woo Hoo! Lastly, I went to Wal-Mart and picked up a big bag of mixed wildflower seed mix.
I stamped each paper bag with the Thank You stamp and stuck a bow on it. Filled each bag with a scoop of the wildflower seeds and sealed the bag shut with a return address label that I had printed on my computer with our monogram and the wedding date. TA-DA, another favor done! Each seed packet cost me just a few pennies to make, as opposed to a few dollars to buy!
Of course, you've gotta have candy. My first thought was to tie up some Jordan almonds in tulle, but those almonds are expensive - like $7 a pound! I thought I'd skip the almonds. I then considered getting colorworks M&M candies, but they were expensive, too. Then, I remembered some coupons I had... for Dove promises chocolates. Yeah! I bought enough bags to put three chocolates per favor - I got Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Caramel.
The packaging for these favors was different, though. I found some hexagon-shaped favor boxes on clearance at Michael's and I cleaned them out. I also found some silver sealing wax and a wax stamper there with our initial.
Here's how I decorated the favor boxes: I took a small length of narrow satin ribbon and looped it like the ribbons people wear for various causes (you know, like the pink ribbons and such) and taped it to the lid of the box. Next, I dripped a little of the hot wax onto the middle of the loop and quickly stamped the initial stamper into the seal. PRESTO, instant monogrammed favor box. I put three chocolates into each box and everybody said that they were really elegant looking. It cost less than a dollar per favor to make.
Lastly, because we were having an outdoor wedding in June, I wanted to make sure the guests were comfortable. One way to keep cool - paper fans! I thought something bright and colorful would be a lot of fun. I found a novelty company that was selling paper hand fans for less than 20 cents apiece. Everybody loved them and they added a real festive feel to the reception.
And that's how I did the favors. The great thing was that I didn't have to buy everything all at once. I could buy things a little at a time and make the favors over time. I spent about four months making favors.