How to save money

Hands on

Draw guests out of their chairs with a candy buffet or bakery cart. These interactive stations allow guests to fill favor bags (or pastry boxes) with the treats of their choice.

Doubly duty

Choose favors that also serve as place cards, or even centerpieces, to save money. Think small wrapped boxes of chocolate that you can stack as centerpieces, or labeled Champagne bottles that double as place cards.

Classic favorite

Cookies. Think cutouts that match a blossom in your bouquet. In many cases, these sweet bites can be designed by your confectioner.

Bridal bucks

Give your guests one more reason to be thankful for your friendship—slip lottery tickets into customized envelopes placed at each table setting.

Eco-friendly

Choose a favor that will help the environment. Think evergreen-tree seedlings. Visit greenworldproject.net to place your order.

Family bonding

Bake cookies with mom, enlist bridesmaids to help fill clear boxes with Jordan almonds, or craft Christmas stockings with grandma.

Win-win favors

You can never go wrong with chocolate. But don't forget less traditional (and less expensive) sweets that can make a lasting impression, such as taffy sticks or caramels. Buy the sweet stuff at candywarehouse.com.

Musical memories

Share your love of music by making customized CDs for each guest. (Download music from iTunes, itunes.com)

Dashboard departures

Ask the valet to place a rose on the dashboard of each guest's car with an attached thank-you note from you and your groom. This parting gift doubles as a favor.

Home cooking

What's better than mom's signature apple pie? Give each guest mini pies for a tasty treat.

Green thumb

Give guests a growing favor, such as potted herbs, to cook with at home.

Practical present

Shield guests from the sun, if you're marrying outdoors, with pretty parasols that they'll be able to use long after your wedding day.

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