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Making a Budget for Wedding Favors

Updated on April 4, 2011
Boxed wedding favor
Boxed wedding favor | Source

Making a budget that includes the cost of wedding favors is key to the successful planning of a beautiful wedding reception. Many couples skimp on the detail when it comes to financial plans for their wedding, leading to underestimated costs, and unpleasant surprises somewhere along the way. Things get especially hairy when the wedding includes a large number of guests, and the couple has forgotten to put aside funds to spend on wedding favors. Including wedding favors in the master wedding budget becomes easier when a couple has some ideas of what favors they want, as well as the pricing. And take heart – beautiful favors can be affordable.

The Overall Budget

One of the largest components of a wedding budget will be the rental fees for a banquet hall or other reception site. Additionally, food and alcohol, flowers and the photographer make up a substantial portion of the budget. However, many other details factor into creating a beautiful wedding event, including wedding favors. Favor costs add up as more guests are invited, so a bride who wants to give crystal-studded picture frames to each guest for $8 each will pay $1,600 just to give her 200 guests each a favor. This adds up quickly and eats up the overall wedding budget.

The Real Wedding Favor Count

The easy way to start a budget for the favors is to add up the number of guests expected to attend the event. This is different than the number of guests invited – no need to provide favors unless a guest is actually coming to the wedding. For brides who have an extended out-of-town family, these relatives may be invited out of courtesy even though they most likely will not attend, so should not be added to the headcount for favors. Additionally, some brides choose to give one nicer favor per couple, or provide less expensive, candy-type favors to children as a way to curb the overall expense.

Setting the Budget for Wedding Favors

Determine the total amount of the wedding budget that can be set aside for wedding favors. Divide this number by the number of guests expected to actually attend the wedding, to get to the amount of money budgeted per favor.  When choosing favors, though, do not forget to include every cost related to the favors – this means shipping, tax, tags or labels, added ribbon and favor bags or boxes.

Another way is to back into the budget. Couples can shop around and get an idea of what type of favors represent their personalities and the theme of their wedding. That will help them get a feel for the average price per favor that they want to spend, which then gets plugged into the budget and multiplied by the number of guests expected to attend.  It is helpful to do the budget in a spreadsheet, because numbers will change often as different decisions keep changing based on new information.

When the Budget is Not Enough

If the couple plans to have a very large wedding, certain tactics can help keep the cost of favors down while still providing guests with a meaningful token of thanks from the bride and groom. One way is to look for wedding favor retailers that offer discounts for buying in large quantities. Always ask; many distributors will give discounts if asked even though they do not advertise the discount. Another way is to scale down the favors to something simple and elegant that costs less. A couple can also consider making their own wedding favors or recruit family and friends to help, since handmade wedding favors can be more personal and meaningful many times than a wedding favor that was purchased. Other vendors for the wedding – the florist, the caterer, the invitation provider – may have wonderful ideas for low-cost favors, based on what they have seen other brides use; for example, the florist may be able to place a gorgeous rose on each dinner plate as a favor, for a very reasonable cost.

Make Cute Miniature Chocolate Favors


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