Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Choosing Your Wedding Favours (& Why You Should Choose Charity Favours!)

Wedding favours can be a really cute and personal addition to the table layouts at your wedding breakfast. There is so much to choose from; from teacup candles and miniature bottles of booze to potted plants, jars of local honey and single-use cameras. I've known some couples to spend a few hundred pounds on their wedding favours, and I think they really say a lot about the bride and the groom as individuals.

My first idea was to look into Yankee Candle Wedding Day votives. I am a complete and utter candle addict and the fact that Yankee Candle had votives specific to wedding day favours seemed to make sense. The problem was that these retail at around £2 per candle and I had 85 guests; that's £170 on wedding favours. Secondly, they don't exactly look great on their own do they? I'd have to find some small glass votive holders or something to sit them in. Once the cost went over £250 I was pretty turned off to the idea.

I stumbled across the Cancer Research "Celebration Favours" page around an hour into the Googling operation and once I started thinking about this as an option I couldn't shake the gut feeling that I would much rather make a charitable donation than spend a couple of hundred pounds on candles that would be thrown in handbags or left on the tables at the end of the evening.

Charitable giving is a hugely personal subject and I think it's important to appreciate that most people will have a charity that really means something significant to them. I have 2; Cancer Research and Mind UK. Unfortunately, I have a few members of immediate family that are fighting cancer and so the impact of the work that Cancer Research does is something very tangible to me. I'm sure that other charities offer this service and I don't believe that there is a "correct" charity to pick, but the fact that you can make an impact on something that effects the lives of yourself and your family is a touching concept when you are planning a day that unites two families.

Cancer Research allow you to make a donation on behalf of your wedding guests online. They allow you to choose a pin or brooch that means something to you and there is a lovely selection to choose from (screenshot of the current ones below). We chose 85 of the Jenny Packham swallow pins and 85 personalised cards which were shipped to our home address for us to give to the venue to put out.

Cancer Research also offer the option of ordering a personalized printed card with each pin that lets your guests know that a donation has been made on their behalf, and also acts as a cute keepsake for your guests. Cancer Research do let you know the 'Suggested Donation' value for each type of pin (based on which ones cost them more to manufacture) but you are free to donate however much you choose. We donated a little extra for each pin to cover their shipping and printing costs and we still spent less than we would have done on the candles.

It was pretty heart warming to see my guests wearing the pins at the wedding breakfast and I enjoyed watching people reading about the donation that had been made. In a strange way, I felt like I had addressed an elephant in the room in quite a positive way and I'm really glad we decided to go ahead with the charity favours.

As I mentioned, charitable giving is an extremely personal topic. I don't want to belittle anybody who gives out gifts as favours because I think it's an equally wonderful gift, but I don't think enough people realise that charity favours exist as an option and I know that as a guest there is something very moving about being able to support a charity that is helping somebody in the room. I hope this helps you make a decision on your wedding favours, Merry Christmas!

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