Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sustainable wedding favors

Sustainable wedding favors

Unique, handmade, recycled and low-impact gifts will send your guests home with something useful and planet-friendly.

From Mother Nature Network

A green, eco wedding favor made of plants and ribbon. Photo: Shawn Campbell/Flickr
European aristocrats were probably among the first to give wedding favors, which are small thank-you gifts of appreciation for attending guests. The "Bonbonniere" likely contained something sugary (since the sweet stuff was once a very expensive and coveted substance) contained in a handmade porcelain or crystal box.
Today, brides and grooms still give an edible sweet (cookies, sugar-coated almonds and cupcakes are all popular ways to start a marriage off on a "sweet" foot) as a take-away treat from the wedding, but most give a non-food gift, and more often than not, it's something relatively useless (and therefore wasteful). Because so much of a wedding involves waste that can't really be controlled — from food to fuel — reducing where you can is a thoughtful way to go. 
The first rule is to make sure that whatever you are giving as a favor is something people will really use. While your parents might love a mug or champagne glass that's emblazoned with your name and nuptials date, chances are that most of the other guests will send this kind of item packing to Goodwill the week after the wedding.
So before you start, think of things that people wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves (see suggestions below), and keep packaging to a minimum. A bag filled with paper, ribbons and sparkles can look pretty, but it's going to be trashed minutes after your reception is over. So think of gifts that can be slipped in a bag or pocket.

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