Are you giving party favors to your guests? Far from mandatory, favors convey a wish to go above and beyond a host's duties. It's a way of thanking your guests for their presence. The one rule in favor-giving is to offer gifts you would be excited to receive. Avoid throwaway trinkets and try to find something meaningful that guests will enjoy for a long time … and their memories of your event with it!

In order to find the perfect favors, think about how the item relates to the theme of your celebration. You can match your décor colors. For example, a red-and-white wedding might give red and white candies to guests, or small bottles of red and white wine. Your favors can also echo the cause for the celebration. A fundraiser party for a zoo might give plush animals or free passes to the zoo.

Edibles are always popular favor options. Grab bags of small jam jars, jelly beans, chocolate truffles, or candy bar canisters are usually a hit with any crowd. You can order customized labels so your event will be remembered each time the treats are opened. Reusable containers, like water canteens, ensure that your guests' memories will be jogged every time they use them.

Party favors don’t have to be objects. Certificates to restaurants, spas, and other services are equally meaningful and very likely to be appreciated by your guests. You can also customize favors to be personalized for each guest. The fewer guests you've invited, the more lavish your favors can be.

Many events, especially weddings, are choosing to skip tangible favors in favor of charitable donations in the guest's name. This is seen as a lovely gesture, but be sure the charity you choose is in line with your guests' ideals.

The impact of a perfect favor has nothing to do with how much it costs. Favors can be as little as a few cents each, or as much as you choose to spend. This is one instance where it really is the thought that counts. Meaningful and personal gifts will be appreciated no matter the price. You can also save money by giving favors to couples or families, rather than individuals.

To give favors at an event with a seated dinner, wrap them and place them next to each table setting. At a mingling event, you can place favors on a table near the entrance with guests' names on them, or you can hand them to each guest personally. You may wish to have a separate children's table with kid-friendly favors if many young guests will be attending.

Choosing Decorations


Even simple decorations can dramatically improve your party's atmosphere. There are options for every budget, ranging from balloon centerpieces to custom-painted signs and film-quality backdrops. Whether you have unlimited funding or you are relying on pure creativity, a little decoration effort goes a long way.

Think about what guests will see when they first enter the room. What kind of event are you hosting and what kind of mood do you want to convey? A ballroom wedding might have guests enter under arches of white balloons and bouquets of lilies. An outdoor patio might be transformed with dozens of hanging candles and lanterns. A corporate event might greet attendees with an oversized logo under their feet. Direct the majority of your décor budget to the items that will stand out the most.

When choosing decorations, think about what will complement and enhance your event's theme. A spring wedding, for example, can make use of delicate violets and pale yellow candles, while a Halloween wedding can make use of pumpkins and playful "scary" props. A birthday party can use the guest of honor's portrait or name to make playful decals or centerpieces. A company party can use something more dignified, like black and white table linens and chair dressings.

Should you buy decorations online? As with using any website, it pays to research first. Look for customer reviews and decide if they seem reputable. If you can call and speak to a live representative, there is a better chance of the company responding if something goes wrong with your order. The safest route is to use a company that someone you know can recommend.

Before you buy decorations, check with your venue. Some venues have many types of decorations in storage, ready to be pulled out for any party theme. Also, you'll want to ask about your venue's restrictions. It isn't pleasant to purchase fifty vinyl decals only to discover you're not allowed to attach anything to the walls.

If you can't decorate your venue for safety reasons, you can still influence the experience your guests will have. Direct your energy to decorating the space immediately around your guests, like table dressings, centerpieces, and flower arrangements.

Remember, the favors and decorations you choose will not only complement the theme and mood of your event; they will enhance it. Take the time to look through all your options and choose favors and decorations that convey exactly the right sentiment. Your guests will appreciate that you went the extra mile to set the scene for them, and they will treasure the chance to take something meaningful away. 

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Tara Davis | Report Abuse

I'm not sure if we're doing favors. It seems like we could save money by skipping them.

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