Guest Entertainment and Favor Ideas (that don’t suck)

Hey y’all! How’s it going?? Holy crap, it’s been a minute! This year has kicked off in full gear, and excuses, excuses, I haven’t been very good at sitting down to write! Life is good though, and today I made it to the computer finally.  I’ve helped get two brides through a successful and pretty darn close to perfect wedding day since my last blog post! I’m definitely making it a goal to include a “wedding recap,” if you will, in future blog posts! Seeing as how I have at least 3 currently waiting to be written, I guess I best not take any more writing breaks for a hot minute.  More content to come, y’all!

This post I thought we’d take a beat to talk those lovely, hard to choose wedding favors, and guest entertainment that’s on trend now! So many really cool things on the horizon, y’all.  And no need to fret over wedding favors: there’s so many better options today.  Used to be, wedding favors were some type of small trinkety something that either got throw into the trash or tossed into a drawer and forgotten.  Considering the fact that you have to spend money on those items times however many are on your guest list: make it something memorable, useful, or so darn cute it’s just unforgettable.  Even tasty.  Just not those terrible little plastic containers of bubbles.  Or mints.  Ugh.  

First up, let’s start with some of the cool guest entertainment ideas going on now! First up, I think its probably most obvious, and the one that’s been around for a minute: the photo guest book! Not only is it something fun to do to help keep your guests busy while you’re off taking pictures, it’s so much better than just an old book full of dusty signatures! What are you really going to do with that book anyway?? The photo signing book also offers a sweet segway into a cool photo wall space: you can rent through a company and have a great back drop and props for your guests to take pictures with! Of course, you can make sure your wedding hashtag is posted nearby so everyone can tag you in the pictures! For the photo signing book: Polaroid cameras on Amazon, film and Sharpies: and somewhere for guests to place the signed photos, whether a bulletin board or a specific container to keep them all together. Y’all will have a blast going through those later, and remembering all the fun moments that went by so so fast!

Want to do the photo wall, but not the photo signing book?? Here’s some other cool ideas I’ve seen! Music lovers? Have a record player with a special record to the two of you. Provide some white paint pens/white Sharpies and have your guests leave their mark! You can frame it later to hang in your home. Big travelers? Go to Hobby Lobby or a local home decor store and find a globe that you both love, and will look good in your home. Put some Sharpies next to it and let your guests sign something you’ll be able to look at daily and remember all the love and fun. Love playing games together? Get a set of Jenga (large or small!) Once again, Sharpies, and let your guests sign game pieces for a set you can keep and play for years to come. Big on art? A cool print that means something to the two of you, or grab a big canvas from your local art store and paint a background of colors that match your vibe: guests can Sharpie their signatures right on the canvas and you have a new piece of art for your home. Know you’re going to hang a gorgeous wedding photo somewhere?? Pick a frame and a (fairly large) matte: guests can sign the matte to frame one of your favorite wedding photos in the middle. Ok, ok, I digress. Get on Pinterest for more, there’s seriously like a million ideas! We’ve got more ground to cover…

Next cool little trending topic puts a pretty flair onto your exit from the evening! Of course, the amazing sparkler exit still holds strong.  It makes for some really amazing photos! Ellie and I chose a sparkler exit for our own wedding, and the photos are some of our favorites for sure.  We did, however, make some adjustments to the whole exit thing, to compensate for some obvious “not-so-great” facts about the exit.  The way it was explained to me, really is best: beautiful once in a lifetime dress + lit sparklers + alcohol = not great things! We opted to “stage” our exit for earlier in the festivities, but when it was still dark outside.  At first, I felt like it could be a little weird to stage the exit and not really leave, but it actually turned out great! All of the guests understood what was going on, they had a blast participating and we got some great photos. And, bonus, nobody caught either bride (or themselves) on fire! 

Not so sure you want to brave the flames?? There’s a new option that I totally love! I guess it’s a little nod to today’s attempts to be a little more earth friendly, but wherever it came from, I’m all the way here for it. Tossing flower petals, or dried lavender/other herbs has become a trendy new way to shower the couple with some good vibes. Whether you opt to swap them for the sparklers in your exit, or allow guests to toss them during your recessional from the ceremony, it’s a gorgeous touch. I will say, depending on the time of your event, I really favor the recessional option. Sparklers are great for lighting up the night, but if you’re throwing pretty flower petals or herbs you want to actually be able to see them! The photos would be much more epic if you chose to let them fly during your first walk as a married couple! Pinterest is just overrun with awesome ideas of how to distribute/package the petals or herbs for your guests, and of course awesome ways to display them.

Oooohhh this one is super cool y’all I just love it! Have a caricature artist at your reception! They can treat your guests to a fun piece of art, and let’s be honest: that’s some pretty great entertainment all around.  On that same note: it’s not solely guest entertainment but it is to an extent and it’s still really cool: a lot of couples are opting to have a professional artists live painting a portrait during the wedding. Not only do you get a beautiful, one of a kind portrait of your wedding day, but the guests can watch the image come to life at their leisure.  It’s a pretty cool experience, and you get a pretty amazing personalized piece of art out of it too! 

Let’s switch gears and talk about some awesome wedding favors for a minute! Gone (almost) are the days of little bottles of bubbles, a tin of mints with a monogrammed sticker, and, dare I say it: maybe even the coozie?? (I don’t know…part of me thinks we could hang on to that one.  Do you really ever have enough coozies??) And, if we’re speaking honestly, thank God for it! These days there’s a little more effort put into selecting favors guests will actually like and enjoy.  Not just throw in the trash or the junk drawer.  Cause, seriously, it ain’t cheap! We’re gonna breeze right through some of the new staples in the wedding favor game.

First up, let’s just start with my favorite. Coffee. Yup. As in, a cute little bag of one of your favorite ground coffee or coffee beans. I just love it: I would be a happy guest! You could provide a small variety like dark roast, light roast and decaf, display it and let guests take their pick. Another big one on trend right now: plants! Baby succulents most often. During Covid and “the Great Shutdown” so many of us discovered we had green thumbs: I was definitely one of those! It brought about a pretty major boom in the plant industry that is trickling down into other trends, and this one I’ll always be happy to see! Guests get to take home something that can actually grow, stay alive, and bring a little joy when it’s needed. That one won’t end up in the trash/junk drawer! Of course, candles still make the list of tride and true. These days I think the biggest change in the trend is display and decor of the candle itself. If you’re super crafty you could opt to pour and label them yourself (and probably cut some costs pretty decently) OR, if you’re not so crafty, find the right candle and have some label stickers created for your day: minimal assembly and still a personal touch. Of course, the airplane bottle will never go out of style (but it CAN go out of budget…depends on your guest list and how much you have to spend!) Aaaannddddd if there’s a decent number of under 21 guests you’ll need a backup option for them. BUT, if you can check all the boxes it’s still a sure-fire winner on the guest front.

Well, there ya have it y’all! A nice, neat little list of some of the trends happening right now. I’m just going to finish it up with my own little personal side-note on the topic! Either do it all the way, or opt to not do it at all.  Some couples feel that they are paying for the meal and the drinks of their guests, and that is thank you enough.  That’s totally ok if you feel that way! However, if you don’t feel that way, don’t let your favors be an after-thought.  Put some love and intention into them: it’s a small way to say thank you to your guests and let them know it means a lot that they were there to celebrate with y’all.  You know your guests and friend group best: make a choice that fits into that vibe.  You don’t have to make everyone happy: they may not all love what you select, but most will.  And you don’t have to break the bank.  Guests aren’t there for the favors, or at least they shouldn’t be! They should just be a tiny little bit of icing on the cake. 

Happy planning y’all!


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