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Homemade Wedding Favors for All Seasons

As a former bride-to-be, and mother of triplets, I had to find ways to cut costs when planning my wedding. I went through the normal routines of cutting people from the guest list, choosing to have a buffet style meal rather than a sit-down dinner, and even resorted to having my reception at a less costly place. With all of my changes to a wedding agenda, I found myself still in-debt. Although I managed to make arrangements for the major events of the wedding, I found myself wondering how I would pay for 200+ wedding favors. I knew that ordering these gifts from various companies would at least run me another $2000 (at the least), so I decided to be creative and make my own wedding favors. Creatively, I came up with various projects for weddings held in various seasons.

My wedding was held in December so I experimented with a few homemade projects. I decided to go with a Christmas theme for my party favors. My colors for my wedding were red and silver, so it coordinated well. What better way to celebrate Christmas than with Christmas tree bulbs! Although it may have been alot easier to buy a decorated bulb, it would be more expensive than if I were to create my own. I decided to price/buy 200 clear glass bulbs from a craft store. The secret to saving on this favor was that I purchased these bulbs after Christmas (the previous year to my wedding). I was able to get these bulbs 80% off from major craft stores. As mentioned above, I wanted decorated bulbs, so throughout the year, I would pick up silver and red glitter whenever I would see great bargains. My simple idea included only four items to create a fabulous bulb. Items included were the bulbs, glitter, glue, and water. By mixing the glue (regular elmers clear glue) with a little water it provide a nice liquid paste to help glitter stick to the inside of the bulbs. By inserting the glue mixture into the bulb, shaking the mixture around rapidly, and adding glitter (as much as you like) to the “shake”, it created these lovely sparkling wedding favors. Also, I decided to decorate half the bulbs with red glitter and the remainder with silver glitter. I repeatedly switched the colors to every other one on the place settings at the table. This made the scenery at the reception much more beautiful. Lastly, I personalized the bulbs with red and silver bows (through the hook) and inserted small pieces of fancy paper (through the ribbon) with our wedding date and names typed out from a fancy font. All in all, many people complimented the idea and thought that they were hand made by professionals.

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Total cost for 200 bulbs (on sale) = aproximately $70
Total cost for glitter (on sale) = approximately $20
Total cost for glue (on sale/in bulk) = approximately $25
Potential savings = approximately $1900

For my wedding, I also toyed around with the idea of wrapping small boxes (purchase through any wholesale company) which included red and silver hershey kisses or re-made versions of our engagement pictures. Although this was a cute idea, (because everyone loves to open presents), it was difficult to individually wrap 200 presents that actually looked presentable. Another idea I had was to buy 200 mini flower pots, paint them red, and plant the seeds of a fern. I thought I could put a saying like “thanks for watching us grow”, or something of that sort. Although I loved the idea, I thought it may become a little messy on the tables during the reception.

After my wedding, many of my friends seemed to follow my lead in making their own favors for their upcoming weddings. During the spring/Easter season, the idea of painting the pots seemed perfect for the outdoor weddings. Instead of planting the seeds of a fern, my best friend planted seeds of various easter flowers two months prior to her wedding in the small but quaint flower clay flower pots. She took care of over two hundred flowers, herself, and presented them as favors at her outdoor celebration. Warning: I do not recommend this project to anyone who does not have a “green thumb”. Needless to say, the cost of seeds are less expensive than the cost of a full grown plant. By growing the plants herself, my friend managed to save thousands of dollars as well.

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Other ideas to juggle around with during spring and summer months included wrapping pastel colored assortment of cookies and placing them in small baskets. You can do several things with cookies including personalizing them, coordinating colors with your theme wedding colors, or even packaging them in various types of themed bags. You can creatively make your own theme bags from scrapbooking designs or by gluing material structures in the form of various designs (such as wedding bells, holiday themes such as ducks or easter eggs, etc.) onto the bags. Adding buttons or other cute objects to material designs make the favors much more adorable.

Lastly, one of my bridesmaid had an upcoming wedding in the fall. She decided to actually buy boxes from the craft store that resembled the type of boxes which chinese food comes in. They were brown (almost like a paper bag material) and coordinated nicely with paint colors. She actually collected hundreds of leaves to help create her favors. After experimentation with various shapes and sizes, we were able to dip the leaves in fall colored water paints and press the leaves on the paper containers. This left faint, but classy leaf designs on each side of the containers. She filled the containers with fall colored hershey kisses and included replicas of her engagment pictures. One last step consisted of removing the metal handles and wrapping orange and yellow bows around the finished project.

Although many of these projects can be time consuming and require several hands to complete, the savings you will incur and the pride of creating a memorable favor are worth your efforts. Many people will follow your lead and compliment your ideas. Although I named only a few home-made favors, you can take some of these ideas and make them your own by creatively experimenting with different materials and “fillers. Just remember, you can always find ways to save, but must be willing to take the time and be creative with your shopping methods and designs.