Monday, November 15

To Favor or Not to Favor: That is the Question

What do you think about party favors?

From little baggies filled with dime-store trinkets to mini bottles of champagne, party favors run the gamut from the mundane to the sublime, but are they always necessary?

Far too often at the end of a party I watch catering staff throw away all the leftover favors. And really, when it comes down to it, how often do you use that singular wine glass engraved with "Emily & Chris 9.12.09"? It's tucked away in the back of your cabinet until you give it to the really clumsy guest at your next huge party.

Don't get me wrong... I love myself a little schwag. New pair of flip flops? I'll take 'em. Pretty candle, sure. But I just adore the favor that is so cute, so personable and so meaningful to the hosts, that it adds style to the entire event. Here are some of my favorite ways of thanking your guests:

I love that these potted orchids are both the centerpiece and the favor. I think favors should almost always do double duty: centerpiece/favor, placecard/favor, etc.

Making a donation to a charity in lieu of a favor has long been a 'favor'ite idea of mine. I've recently read some negative comments about this idea that surprised me. Evidently, somewhere, some guest actually wants something physical to take home with him or her from an event (evidently a full stomach doesn't count). Yeah, I think those people are bunk. If you are afraid that guest is attending your event, you can tie a little note about the donation to a decorated cookie or a bag of Jordan Almonds.

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Lottery tickets. At a wedding, attach them to a placard that quotes Willa Sibert Cather: "Where there is great love, there are always miracles." For added fun, hide them under the charger plate for your guests to find when your first course is cleared.

So here's my two cents on favors:
Birthday parties for the elementary school set - yes, a favor is required. Even if it's the plastic bag full of dime store trinkets.
Adult parties - maybe.  They are a 'charming custom, but are in no way required or expected,' according to the Emily Post Institute. If you are going to favor, make sure it's a reflection of who you are, and your inherent style.

And maybe try to make it edible. Those always seem popular. 

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