While favors are by no means a wedding necessity, setting out a little something for your guests to take home at the end of the night is an extra opportunity to infuse your wedding with your personality. From Grandma's famous chocolate chip cookies to a hangover kit with Alka Seltzer and Advil, it continues the fun for a little while longer, and can be a super-sweet gesture your guests will love. But of course, not everyone will see your favors or remember to take one as they leave. So what should you do with the leftovers? Here are a few ideas from our experts.
The best way to deal with leftover wedding favors depends on the type of favors you're offering. If it's a late-night treat, like sliders and fries or fresh-from-the-oven cookies, encourage the stragglers to take a few with them to make a dent in your favor supply. Unfortunately, for the sake of freshness, whatever's left over can't really be saved. You can, however, ask your planner or the venue manager to distribute the treats amongst the staff that's arriving to break down and clean up once the lights come on. Don't let those tasty treats go to waste!
If it's an edible favor that's a little more shelf-stable (say, jars of local honey or decorated cookies with a slightly longer shelf life), encourage guests to take a few to share with their kids. Bring the leftovers to your morning-after brunch, or if they really will last a while, take them home and have them on-hand to share with visitors or to distribute at your first dinner party.
Those hangover kits don't have to go to the trash. You could either disassemble them and use those individual packs of ibuprofen to tuck into your purse or take with you on vacation, or stock your medicine cabinet for whenever the need arises. You could also keep the kits packed up and leave one or two on the bed in your guest room when friends or family come to visit. Sure, they might not be hungover, but it's always nice to have a few basic necessities available when you're staying in someone else's home!
Of course, there are also favors that are a little more branded and a little less useful when you have 20 of them. From shot glasses to bottle openers, coasters to bookmarks, save a few as mementos, then figure out the best way to donate or dispose of the rest. That may mean a trip to the dump or the recycling center, but keep in mind: If you don't want a whole bunch of tchotchkes with your own names on them, chances are a donation center won't want them either.