Do We Have to Give Guests Wedding Favors?

Face it: People probably don't want something with your monogram

Tote bag with towel hanging on a chair

Photo by Jillian Mitchell 

Ah, the wedding favor. Part sweet gesture, part knickknack your guests will feel sort of guilty throwing away in a few years. And while it doesn't have to be that way (edible wedding favors exist for a reason), it can still feel like a lot of money to spend on mementos that might not even be something your guests want. The question is, do you have to give out wedding favors at all? Our experts weigh in.

While giving guests wedding favors is a nice way to thank them for joining you for the celebration, they're not required. After all, you just served them a great dinner and spent the night on the dance floor—not to mention the bar—so much more of a thank you isn't required (beyond the handwritten thank-you cards, of course). Chances are your guests won't even notice that there isn't a table of monogrammed wine glasses or cutely packaged cookies waiting by the exit. And since you'll save money by skipping the favors, you've got hundreds of dollars, if not more, to put toward renting that photo booth you really wanted or having the band play for an extra hour—making memories your guests will really cherish.

If you really do want to send guests home with a little something but don't want to be left with dozens of bottle openers with your wedding date on them, a treat for the car ride home is just the thing. It could be cookies or candy, fresh scones and jam for the next morning, a Bloody Mary kit to cure their hangover or something more substantial, like a late-night burger and fries (especially good if your after-party will last until the wee hours). Work with your planner to figure out the correct number of portions to have available, since there's no chance your entire guest list will still be present at 2 a.m., and pick something you'll be happy to dig into once you've finally gotten those pins out of your hair.

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