Wedding Favour Etiquette – 8 Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Sophie Edme on

At Sophie’s Barn, we’ve got your wedding favour questions covered. Check out the frequently asked questions below for the how, why, what, where, and when of wedding favours.



  1. What is a wedding favour for? A wedding favour has at least two important functions.

First of all, providing wedding favours demonstrate that you value your guests. It’s your big day and the focus will be on you, so a small gift to reflect the contribution of your guests showing up is often much appreciated. Secondly, a wedding favour can stand in for you to some extent. Depending on your guest list and how you have planned your day, you might not be able to greet everyone or thank everyone for coming. Even those with relatively small guest lists find that they get swept along on the day. People leave without them having a chance to interact. A wedding favour is a token of appreciation that shows you are thinking of your guests, despite a demanding schedule.



  1. Do you have to give wedding favours? I like to say: “Do you have to say please and thank you?” The answer is no, but it’s almost always much nicer when you do.
  2. Do you need to give favours at a bridal shower too and what’s the difference? Bridal shower favours are similar to wedding favours. The best are small keepsakes that show appreciation to those who join you. Since guests who come to a bridal shower are probably bringing a gift or making a donation to a charity of your choice, it’s nice to acknowledge this by giving a small token of appreciation.

  1. How many wedding favours do you need to give? As a rule of thumb, you should order ten percent more wedding favours than you have people on your guest list. So if you have 100 people coming, you’ll need at least 110 favours. Why? You should have one available for everyone, but, almost inevitably, some people lose theirs and take a replacement from elsewhere. Some people are likely to take more than one, full stop. And it’s good to have some on hand in case someone is feeling left out or you’ve forgotten someone. Sometimes people say they can’t make it, but then they turn up at the last minute. This is lovely and having a favour ready for them can make this extra special. Don’t forget any kids, who might like different favours to the adults, and do include wedding entertainers. If you’ve chosen your wedding favours wisely – beautifully-crafted, handmade soaps, for example – you’ll be able to give any remaining favours as wonderful gifts to anyone you choose. You may also want to save some for yourself. They’re lovely.


  1. Are wedding favours distributed per person or per couple? Like everything else, this is up to you. Some items work better per person than they do per couple. Individual, luxury truffles, for example, had better be per person rather than per couple, or expect to sow the seeds of divorce among your guests while you’re tying the knot. Ask yourself if most people would share your wedding favour. If you are giving favours per person, it’s very effective to present the gift at the place setting or incorporate it into the table centrepiece. For per couple or family favours, you should label them with the couple’s names or the family name and it’s typical -although not required - to leave these for pick up on entering the reception.

  1. How much should you spend on wedding favours? If you have a very large celebration, that increases the number of favours you require and that can affect the cost. Smaller weddings offer the opportunity to save money on favours, or to feature more elaborate gifts. None of this is set in stone.

The size of your budget and where you spend it is entirely up to you. Guests will appreciate a small token of appreciation for their visit. Attention to small details can make a big impact without leaving your piggy bank in pieces.

  1. Do all my wedding favours need to be the same? While some may be offended by others receiving better favours (“Hey, how come I’m the only one with a plastic tube of bubbles?”), it’s okay to have more elaborate favours or welcome gifts for VIPs, such as guests who have traveled from overseas to be with you. Wedding favours are wonderful when they are personalized, so custom favours for different people -adults and youngsters, men and women, for example – can be thoughtful and engaging.
  2. What makes a good wedding favour? It’s tempting to think about wedding favours from the perspective of a wedding planner or in terms of decoration, but I think it’s most useful to see them from the point of view of your guests. When you do this, you’ll probably agree that the best wedding favours are:
  • Mementos – they remind guests of the love that was shared and the great time had on your wedding day.
  • Usable – You won’t see guests holding them up to the light, upside down, and frowning. They will be something pleasant that can be readily enjoyed.
  • Easy to carry – If your wedding favours must be carried upright in case they spill or they come with heavy-duty harnesses, your generosity might go unappreciated. The favours might not go anywhere at all. The best wedding favours can be transported home easily.

Note that most women will have a small bag or purse, and men may only be equipped with pockets. The chance of things being misplaced and forgotten is pretty high during a busy wedding. Do your guests a favour and make their gift something they can tuck away and enjoy as you intended.


Finally, to choose a really great wedding favour, imagine that you’re in the function room after your wedding. Several people have forgotten to take their wedding favours with them. What are you thinking?


  1. a) “What the hell am I going to do with all these?” or
  2. b) “Great! More for me! And they’ll make fantastic gifts for ...!”



If your question is not on this list, get in touch for a personalized reply. Maybe it’s an issue I’ve not come across before, but I doubt it! Try me. If you drop me a line, I’ll give you the advice and the wedding favours that will take your wedding prep to the next level.


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