Sometimes you're the peaceful bride whose wedding planning has gone off without a single hitch, and sometimes you're the chaotic bride running down the aisle of Michael's looking for favors 2 days before your wedding. Because seriously, how can you be expected to remember everything?
Let's start off by saying that the easiest favors involve you putting something in a bag or box. If you've forgotten about your wedding favors and you have started the wedding countdown clock, save yourself a headache and go with this simple idea. Above, a muslin bag is perfect for a rustic wedding and can be filled with candy, potpourri, trail mix, or peanuts. Below, for a tea party-themed wedding or shower, use a thinner muslin to tuck loose tea into.
Kraft paper bags are also really handy. If you have a couple of weeks, you can have them printed and personalized. Otherwise, just use a stamp or twine (and if you leave them completely plain, I promise there is no such thing as the Wedding Police to hunt you down). Below, these paper bags were used to wrap coffee beans from a bulk bag. There are few favors easier than buying whole bean coffee at Costco and filling paper bags.
I know it's hard to believe after that buffet dinner your guests just consumed, but edible favors are always a hit. Go to your local bakery and purchase pretty macarons (below) and wrap them in tiny white boxes. French macarons are super delicate, so bagging them will just lead to sad, smooshed cookies.
Serving a spicy dinner? Rescue your friends and families from garlic breath with a bucket full of mint candies and gum. Remember, you can just set a bowl full of things by the door--favors don't have to be at each individual place setting or have names on them.
Many hotel chains have learned that nothing charms an out-of-towner quite so well as a chocolate chip cookie. What we love about this particular favor (below) is its brilliant wrapping--old CD envelopes (you know you have a box of 100 sitting around your house somewhere...).
After a night of partying, your guests are going to go back and crash and probably not wake up feeling like a million bucks (reality, people). Save your guests from the horrors of trying to find something for breakfast in the hotel vending machine by passing out donut favors. This cutie example below is really creative, but might take more time than you have. Fill up a cup with donut holes, throw on a lid, and leave a sign. Your guests won't care about the missing straw flag and washi tape.
Another really easy idea is to wrap up glass bottles of Coca-Cola and hand them to people on their way out. You can also make little cocktail-to-go kits (below, right), but those will run you about $5-7 per favor, so it's probably a better idea for a smaller guest list.
If you have a week or more before the wedding and want to be a little more adventurous, fill jars with hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. This isn't just a good fit for winter weddings, it's also fun for those held at state parks or for camping themes.
With summer here, local bounty is a beautiful way to share your favorite place with your guests. Purchase jam favors from a farmers' market vendor (above, left) or little pints of berries (below). For a garden wedding, display seed favors in box planters or a dirt-filled wheelbarrow (above, right).
If your wedding decor involves balloons and you have plenty of extras, there's your favor! Fill a bag with a couple of balloons and confetti for them to stuff inside and it's a fun remembrance to take home!
Some favors are classic for a reason. And few are more popular than the koozie. While you might not have time to have them personalized, one with a cute design or quote guarantees that they will be used throughout the summer season, not just on "Anna & Eric's Big Day, June 1, 2015." See? There's always an upside to not planning ahead.
One of the trendiest favors right now is potted succulents. You don't have time for an afternoon gardening, though, so purchase them pre-potted. Do not spend the morning of your wedding day transferring succulents into pots to save money. Just don't.
A cute little box of matches is classic and affordable (below). Like the koozies, find one with a wedding-appropriate embellishment, and don't worry about personalization with your tight timeline.
Seasonal favors are also a no-brainer. Find pine cone fire starters at your local hardware or craft store (above) for a cold-weather wedding. For a December event, use ornaments as dual-purpose favors and escort cards (below, left). For a fall wedding, find ghost pumpkins and set them at each place setting.
Credits: Clementine Weddings | Haley Sheffield | Mavora | Frolic | Rachael Osborn Photography | HGTV | You Are My Fave | Jacolyn Murphy | Something Turquoise | Sunshine's Kitchen | Clean Plate Pictures | Jason and Anna Photography | Every Last Detail | Knot & Bow | Patti Murphy Boutique | She Wanders | Tea & Becky | Rustic Wedding Chic | Want That Wedding | Ryan Greenleaf Photography