Planning a wedding (or any event) isn’t easy. Details that might seem inconsequential in every day life can turn into seemingly insurmountable issues when they turn up in the planning for an event. And on top of that, most of the time you will be planning with a fairly tight budget, so it will be important to have every penny count.
Wedding guests have come to expect to leave the reception with a small favor, something that they can take home with them as a remembrance of the day. Favors can be as simple as a printed card or as intricate as a hand-carved jigsaw puzzle. sign holder Small organza bags filled with candy, custom imprinted napkins or matchbooks, engraved lobster forks, laminated photo placemats, picture frames, all these items and more have seen use as wedding favors at one point or another.
But… traditionally, wedding favors are also, let’s be honest, useless in many cases. That custom printed napkin that you had to buy 5000 of to get a discount? Chances are that they got used at the wedding and thrown out. Your mother may keep one for sentiment’s sake, but it’s almost guaranteed that no one else will. If they do, it’s in a drawer somewhere far out of sight. The candy gets eaten, the matches get used and the empty book chucked in the trash, the laminated placemat never sees the light of day… you get the idea.
But never fear, there are options! With a little creativity, your wedding favors can be something both useful and, as a bonus, relatively inexpensive. Depending on your reception style, place-card settings can make a wonderful favor to give to your guests, and most of the time, they were an item you were going to need to buy or rent anyway. Buying these little items one by one at a regular store, however, is going to add up quickly. Why not buy where the professionals do, and save money?
Everyone has seen those little cardholders that restaurants and bars use on tables to advertise their specials. You may not realize it, but these make nearly perfect little individual place-card holders for events. They also are wonderful for use at home or work as photo displays or stands to hold coupons or business cards. Place card holders are a truly multi-functional item that, once their work at the reception or event is done, can have a long, useful future doing duty as picture stands or memo holders.
The nice part about using these cardholders as take-home favors is that there are so many styles and types of these small tabletop advertising displays available that it’s a relatively simple matter to find one that fits the style or “feel” of your reception or other event. Instead of buying them individually from a “regular” retail outlet, find a signage store (there are many online display shops, or you can check for local specialty stores in your area) and buy in bulk for savings.
Once you’ve bought them, the creativity element comes into play. Instead of paying extra to have these items custom-printed or engraved, which would in all likelihood be prohibitively expensive and difficult to boot, take a moment to come up with a creative personalization method that is uniquely “you.” Look at the shape and construction of the stand and think of your event, the color scheme, the overall “feel,” and find a way to turn these bulk-purchased items into very special gifts for your guests. Here are a few ideas as examples:
For items with a shaped base (hearts, stars, squares, etc.), consider using a fine-tipped permanent metallic marker in a color that matches your decorating scheme, and hand-writing the date and, if appropriate, names on the base. If you don’t feel like writing that many times, find a model that can take a sticker that you print out. Clear stickers can look like custom printing, depending on the finish and color of the item being stuck.
Round or oval items can be personalized around the edge, again with permanent marker or stickers. This can create a more subtle look, making the favors suitable for your guests to take to work for future use. Sign stands with larger bases can be personalized on the bottom of the item, as well.
If your place card holder has an oddly shaped base, consider combining it with something else to create a truly unique stand. A silver spiral stand-style bottom can be hot-glued to a plain coaster in heavy paper or even leather to create a unique presentation stand. You can print or hand-write on the coasters in pen or colored marker as appropriate to commemorate the occasion or the day.
Even if your event doesn’t have “formal-style” seating with assigned places, these little holders still make great favors with a very personal touch. Group them around the wedding cake, or on a side table, or even put a single flower in each one for a small tabletop bouquet! Alternatively, you would add hand-written notes on them for a creative takeaway idea that people will use at home or work for years to come.
As we said at the start, planning a wedding (or any event) isn’t easy. But when you find ways to creatively combine what you need with what you would like to have, the result can save both money and worry, while ensuring that your guests leave with a reminder of your special day that they will see – and use – for many years to come.