First thing’s first: If you’re a guest at the Hammerhead wedding:
GIF via Gifrific
Seriously, scram. Thaaanks, love you!
I’m almost positive that we’ve all been to at least one wedding where we’ve gotten favors we don’t know what to do with. I know that I have definitely been to a few. I always take them, because I know the bride and groom meant well, but they usually end up in a box, because I don’t have anywhere else to put them.
Mr. Sea Monkey and I wanted to make sure our favors were unique and something our guests would love. I know you can’t exactly give them something useful, so we wanted them to at least want it. Some people suggest no favors, but I thought it was good to at least try to give them something nice since they were flying out to help us celebrate our big day.
I know a lot of guests like the homemade sauces, cookies, and cakes in jars, but most of our guests were going back on a plane. We didn’t want them getting stopped at security or to have to worry about the jars spilling in their suitcases.
I also felt like we owed them a tad more than a handful of wedding mints or a couple of Hershey’s Kisses. I don’t like nuts, so the almonds were out as well.
With our ceremony being on the beach, we thought it would be nice to give our guests fans on their seats to ward away the hot sun. I’ve always loved sandalwood fans, but I didn’t think they looked very pretty as-is. Somewhere along the way, I thought it would be a grand idea to paint them to match our wedding colors.
I’m so thankful for Mr. Sea Monkey, because he helped me paint them. I don’t think I could’ve done it without him. It took a long time to paint each fan, and we had to literally watch the paint dry before each step.
We made each fan different. Half of them were brown, and the other half were either light blue or teal. We did make a strip of the opposite color (blue got brown and brown got blue) on each fan, and then the sides were painted to make them look gilded.
OK, so we covered how I’m going to keep my feet comfortable at our wedding. But what about our guests?
I’ve often fallen victim to the “but heels are so prettyyyy” at other people’s weddings, only to end up limping around by dinnertime. So when I first heard about the trend of having flip-flops at your wedding for your guests, I thought it was genius. This was when FSIL was planning her wedding, and I snatched up my pair immediately after hobbling into their reception.
I knew I wanted to do the same for our guests. Relatively early on in the planning process, I heard about the Old Navy $1 flip-flop sale.* Apparently, this thing is notorious, to the point where people leave message after message on Old Navy Facebook pages across the country each summer asking when the sale is happening. So that weekend in late June, when Mr. Hammer and I headed for our local Old Navy, I was half-expecting a Running of the Brides situation, with rabid lines out the door, piles of mismatched flip-flops on the floor, and elbows being thrown left and right—and, if that were the case, I was prepared to turn right around and leave that all behind.
We surprisingly had more people come from out of town than we expected, which was AWESOME! Luckily most of our family is all pretty local, but we had a couple friends and some of my grandmother’s family even make the trek from Florida! So we had a total of 24 people not from the Metro Detroit area travel to our wedding. Having anyone travel out of state (some not being family) is such an honor, so I wanted our out of state guests to know that we appreciated them immensely.
All of our guests ended up booking their rooms at the hotel where we had our room block, which was perfect, since I was able to drop off the gifts and let the hotel hand them out accordingly. I immediately knew what I was going to put into the bags, so it was just a matter of running to Sam’s Club and picking up the items and getting them stuffed.
Initially, I was going to use gift bags, but I found these smaller re-usable bags on Amazon for $16.00 for a pack of 25—probably about equal to the price of paper gift bags.
Image via Amazon
All of the bags were stuffed with this post card created from a simple Vista print template. I believe I paid $5.00 (that’s including shipping) for these during one of the insane sales they had.
Since we were having so many out-of-town guests, we knew that we wanted to have welcome bags for them at the hotel. The hotel where we blocked rooms didn’t charge a fee for this service, so that solidified that we had to go for it.
I really wanted welcome baskets that would have a Charleston feel to them. So, I tried to pick some things that were specifically Charleston and supplement them with items that are just beach-y in general, to get everyone in the Charleston state of mind.
We decided to go with gift bags since they are inexpensive and disposable. I know that no one wants a tote bag with my face on it. Well, except maybe my mother, but that’s a different story. I ordered navy striped gift bags from Paper Mart. They came in packs of 25, so I ordered 50. We have a few left over. Mr. Coral also printed circle sticker labels with our wedding logo. I stuck a sticker on the outside of each bag as well as on each water bottle. This is a really low cost way to make things personalized. Plus, the stickers peel off pretty easily if anyone really wants to reuse the bags without the sticker!
Favors have been one of the aspects of our wedding that we have wavered on. I knew that I wanted to do something edible (take-home glasses with someone else’s name on it end up in the Goodwill bin at our house, and I can’t imagine that they sell well at Goodwill). Our initial plan was to fill mini jars with cork stoppers with Charleston Crab Dip mix. It’s so delicious and a real crowd-pleaser. We bought the jars one at a time (Michaels never stocked more than one) with a coupon. We ended up with eight boxes of jars stacked in our guest room when I started having second thoughts.
If you were traveling, would you want to take a glass jar with a cork lid full of a powder, put it in your purse, take it to the after party, travel home with it the next day, then hope that you eventually remember to make it? I started thinking that the favor might be more trouble than it’s worth.
So, we decided not to do a favor. They aren’t exactly mandatory. But then, I changed my mind again. We made delicious pecan pralines at Christmastime, and I decided that they would be the perfect taste of Charleston to send home with our guests.
Bonus: We decided to wrap them in simple plastic bags so the guests could eat them on the spot, or later that night, and then throw away all of the packaging. Easy, breezy, delicious.
Coming to a decision on our favours was a long process. I have been to enough weddings to hit some of the popular trends out there (edibles, engraved, donations in lieu of, and photo-booth photos).
I knew I wanted something that thought of our guests and fit into our wedding.
I honestly thought I had it figured out right away. Mr. Narwhal and I love coffee. As I write this post I have my favourite coffee brewing. Mr. Narwhal drinks more cups of coffee than he’d like to admit in a day. Huntsville is also home to Muskoka Roastery, which roasts some seriously good coffee (favourites are Lumberjack and Black Bear). We both felt that a package of coffee for our guests would be a cute little favour that represented us well.
Muskoka Roastery’s wedding favour / Image from Muskoka Roastery
Mr. Pin Cushion and I couldn’t have discussed wedding favors more than once or twice during our entire planning process. They were never a high priority and very easily could have gone the way of out-of-town guest bags (as in, never thought to make them and never did). With that sentiment, when we did finally discuss what our favors should be, neither of us wanted to spend much of our budget on them.
I wanted something edible, and Mr. PC wanted something more long lasting. We found something that fit both our criteria when my mom suggested strawberry plants.
Hey bees! We know you’re always looking for ways to customize your wedding and make it feel like “you.” Having a gorgeous, uber-personalized wedding isn’t only for DIY queens: with Zazzle’s new Wedding Ideas marketplace, you can make your wedding really YOU without breaking the bank. The marketplace is full of ri-DON-culous finds—they’ve got everything you need to make your wedding day perfect!
For starters, the Pretty Bouquet invitation set offers a huge selection of different matching items, and you can pick and choose which ones you want! Just take a look at the image below to see the RSVP cards, table numbers, stamps, and stickers in action!
Zazzle offers everything from bridal party gifts…
…to beautiful on-trend invitations.
Zazzle makes it so easy for you to match your entire wedding stationery suite. For example, their Modern Floral Hearts invitation set has invitations, address labels, RSVP cards, save the dates, menus, napkins, stickers, favor boxes, and MORE! (Um, can you say edible favors?! Brownies, cake pops, and Oreos, oh my!) You can have the customized wedding of your dreams without burning yourself on the hot glue gun or turning your bridesmaids into a DIY assembly line.
Don’t see anything you’re head over heels for in their Wedding Invitations Collection? No worries! We’re equally enamored with their custom invitations, which allow you to build your own invites from scratch! Their invitation editor makes it super easy, too! So if you’re jonesing for a luxe custom invite but don’t have the $$ to pay a high end designer, Zazzle can make your invite dreams come true. And you don’t have to learn how to operate any fancy software! Get started here, where you can upload your own images and add custom text, then change the layout to your little heart’s content.
Zazzle is a marketplace where you can buy and make anything customized from invitations to tote bags. Zazzle’s proprietary technology enables individuals, artists, brands, and makers to create and offer billions of unique products for customers worldwide. Based in the Bay Area, Zazzle is making products to order, typically within 24 hours.
Let us know, bees…what’s your favorite item from Zazzle’s wedding shop?
This post was sponsored by Zazzle.