Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Do Me a Favor!

Everyone likes to get gifts. Whether a plastic spoon with some chocolate kisses or a Tiffany frame, favors are gifts given by the bride and groom to their guests. They can range in prices from less than $2 to over $50. It is completely up to the bride and groom what they spend and what they give.

Favors for destination weddings are a little trickier than "normal" wedding favors. Surely, checking a box of glass ornaments can cause a bride to have heart palpitations during any sort of turbulance on the flight to the destination. Plus, depending on the amount of guests in attendance, another suitcase just for favors may have to be packed. That can incur more airport charges. Chocolate can melt. Glass can break. Metal can bend. What is a bride to do?

THINK LIGHTWEIGHT

You aren't going to be the only person carrying these favors on the plane. Your guests are going to have to bring home the favors as well. If it's something heavy, such as a paperweight, it is going to be a memorable favor for reasons other than you want them to be.

BE PRACTICAL
There are so many favors that you can give to guests at a destination wedding. Think about something that you might leave home on a trip... How about a personalized travel bag? One bride that I am working with is having totebags personalized with their names and wedding date, then filling it with necessities for a trip: tissues, lint roller, lip balm and so forth. Perhaps you would like to give a bottle of sunscreen. Why not personalize the label? There are plenty of companies that create personalized labels, or you can do it yourself on your computer, if you are handy.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Many couples agonize over what they should give as a favor for a destination wedding. Stop thinking about the favors that you have received at weddings you have attended in the past, and start thinking about something that you would like to get if you were attending a destination wedding. Many resorts offer souvenirs with the resort's name on it. Why not buy a bunch of them while you are at the resort and add a personalized ribbon? For all of the destination weddings that I book at Sandals and Beaches Resorts, I give the bide and groom as well as all of their guests a free 30 minute photo session and a free 5x7 photo, which is worth $116. I create a certificate for the favor with instructions on how to redeem it, as well as a note from the bride and groom so that it looks like it is from them instead of from my travel company.

GET HELP
You don't have to deal with the favor situation alone. Ask your Travel Agent for help. He or she should be able to recommend someone that they work with. If you ask the favor company, they may be able to ship your favors directly to the resort. (A great company that does this is Creative Edge Events.) Remember that, while this may be your first wedding, the people that you are working with have done this many times before. Have faith in that.

WAIT UNTIL YOU GET HOME
There is no rule that says you have to give wedding favors at the wedding. A more non-traditional approach is to give favors when you get back, as a "thank you for coming" gift. People understand, especially if your favors aren't conducive to travel. You can deliver them in person, or send them yourself. Either way, they will be appreciated.

Favors aren't mandatory for any wedding, especially for a destination wedding. They are certainly a nice touch, but often end up collecting dust on someone's shelf somewhere. Give your guests something you know that they will use and enjoy, not to mention something that will remind them of the wonderful vacation they took in order to celebrate your wedding.


Candice Cain is a Destination Wedding Expert and Certified Sandals Specialist, as well as the owner of the Candy Cain Travel Co. For help planning your destination wedding, please send Candice an email. Juliette Marotta is the owner and one of the designers of Creative Edge Events. For customized favors, please send Juliette an email.

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