Classic wedding favours that we want to see make a comeback
New spins on kitschy keepsakes of the past that your guests will love
While we're not putting down the donut wall, or the chocolate box (we love an edible parting gift) we think that some of the classic wedding favours of decades past are perhaps the most fun way to thank your friends and family for hanging with you on your big day. Sure, some of them are a little obsolete now. We're looking at you, CD-playlists-turned-Spotify-links, but fear not. We've got lots of suggestions that we wholeheartedly suggest turning your attention to, along with ideas to help them make a successful comeback. Hear us out.
Jordan almond bonbonieres
My first introduction to Jordan almonds wrapped in tulle was at the many Filipino debuts I attended in high school — I emmassed quite a collection of the sugary-scented, seemingly non-perishable giveaways, always tied off with a ribbon and tag imprinted with the host's name and the event date, just like a wedding bonboniere would be. I caught a glimpse of one in someone's Instagram story recently, actually as a wedding giveaway! And regardless of whether it was a sincere gesture or a fun, ironic touch, it made me so nostalgic. It would make many nostalgic, I think, reason enough to bring them back. Plus, so cute. And literally sweet. Fine, just bring them back to be ironic if that's the only way you'd consider it.
Sugared Almonds Wedding Favour/Bonbonniere with Custom Tag, from $4.27, Etsy
Tulle Circle Favour Bonbonniere Scalloped Edge (pack of 50), $11.99, weddingstar
-Yasmin Seneviratne, producer, CBC Life
Cake serving sets
I remember cake serving sets from a time of big fat Greek weddings in my family, where parents would throw lavish receptions to encourage the older generations to gift the new couple with what would end up being a nice little nest egg. Everyone would walk away with a cake serving set (or some other token of a certain gravitas) as their gift-with-subscription to the couple's future happiness. Many a childhood birthday cake did I dissect with Spyros and Vickie's fancy silver plated set with the cut glass handles. They're truly a keepsake. As traditions and trends change, I'm against people spending too much money on their own wedding and going into any kind of debt. But you can scour the internet for a bulk deal on something etched and engraved, or for low cost versions that your friends will find cute and sweet enough to pull out whenever it's cake time.
Luvax Wedding Cake Knife and Server Set, $5.98, Amazon
Small Gold Cake or Pie Server, $9.99, weddingstar
-Jamey Ordolis, senior producer, CBC Life
I remember sometime in the late '90s/early 2000s it was hip to give wedding guests an evergreen tree in a compostable pot. It was a sweet gesture then and even more fitting now that humans are killing the Earth and we need to plant more trees than ever. If you insist on getting married (and no doubt creating a lot of waste in the process), the gift of a living tree, ready to plant, seems like the most forward-thinking favour. But take it a step further — insist your guests send you a photo of the tree, planted, so you can sleep soundly knowing that it was not thrown onto the garbage heap of forgotten wedding favours.
Tree Seedlings, starting at $1.50, Evergreen Memories
-Portia Corman, executive producer, CBC Life
Personalized dessert plates
I always loved the personalized dessert plates. I went to a wedding when I was a little lady and they had small plates with the couple's initials and date of marriage on them in gold. I'm a big fan of bone china and have been collecting for years so I've always thought this would make a great comeback wedding favour. Plus, there are really simple waterslide transfers for adding photos onto ceramics that make this totally doable. How cute would it be to have a photo of the couple on a plate? Think British Royals vibe!
Hayes Paper Waterslide Decal Paper Inkjet Clear (20 Sheets), $25.90, Amazon
-Lady Hayes, designer, photographer and mama, and CBC Life contributor
Call me a picky guest, but the last thing I want out of a wedding favour is a keepsake that's more ornamental than functional. I may love you and your partner, but that doesn't mean I'm itching for a coffee table knick knack with your names etched on it. That's why I'm partial to a specific 'ol faithful favour: the matchbox. Not only can these tiny tokens be easily personalized to fit the theme of your big day (or even evoke some old world flair), matches are one of those handy items you never know you need until you find yourself desperately raiding all your drawers. They're cost-effective and can be easily popped into a guest's purse or pocket, meaning you're way less likely to be left with a pile of unclaimed gifts at the end of the night. Sweeten the pot by including a scented candle or some tea lights — then you'll know for sure that the matchbox will go to good use.
Personalized Matchbox, $0.89, weddingstar
-Sam White, associate producer, CBC Life
Mini photo frames
In my opinion, photos still have a place beyond social media, especially where weddings are concerned. One of the most thoughtful wedding favours I ever received was at a friend's camp wedding outside of North Bay. The couple gathered dozens of tiny vintage picture frames and filled each one with a shot of each guest captured with either the bride or the groom. My friends must have spent hours combing through old photo albums and Facebook accounts to source all the shots, but the result was a wedding favour that truly made every single guest feel special. These mini framed photos sat at each place setting in lieu of typical place cards and definitely served as conversation starters throughout the night. If vintage finds don't fit the vibe of your wedding and tacky bulk silver frames also won't do, go the modern route with Instax photos displayed in glitter-filled crystals or cool acrylic frames.
Instax Mini Glitter Picture Frame, $6, Urban Outfitters
Instax Mini Crystal Glitter Picture Frame, $6, Urban Outfitters
-Jen O'Brien, editor and freelance writer, and CBC Life contributor
Engraved wine glasses
One of my most prized possessions is a dusty rose coloured wine glass engraved with the words "Gary & Barb Florida 1977" (pictured above). And, you bet, there's a palm tree on there, too. I purchased this while antiquing and, therefore, do not know Gary and Barb. But I imagine getting a fun, etched glass to commemorate the wedding of people I actually know would make for a very special, and memorable favour. I think the key to bringing back these personalized parting gifts is to embrace the OTT nature of them, and go all out with design. Along with names, I want to see fun colours, a glamorous font and maybe even a motif that has a special meaning for the happy couple. Because let's face it, no one is going to take a solitary glass with someone else's name on it that does not match anything else in their cupboards seriously. So have some fun with this one. And if this gift doesn't quite go with the understated decor of your reception, put it in a plain gift box and tie it with a pretty bow.
Small Stemless Wine Glass Gift Box With Clear Window, $0.99, weddingstar
-Brittany Toole, CBC Life contributor