What Type of Favor Do You Favor?

Planning your wedding and can’t think of the best favor that will represent you and your big day? We spoke with three Pittsburgh-area couples to learn more about making the best and most personalized decision possible.


When planning a wedding, you have to keep in mind not only what the guests will experience while they are at your wedding, but also what they take with them once they leave.

Wedding favors often consist of candies or mints decoratively bagged with a tag containing the couple’s names and wedding date. But now, couples are moving away from the traditional favors and offering items that speak to the wedding theme and the character of the couple.

If you need some favor inspiration, check out these nontraditional examples from three Pittsburgh-area weddings.


Wining and Dining

Elizabeth Johnson and Jack Aldridge, who wed on Oct. 17, 2015, fell in love with Pittsburgh when they moved here about five years ago. So much so that they knew they wanted to get married here, even though none of their family members lived nearby. Since almost all of their wedding guests were traveling from out of town, Elizabeth and Jack wanted to have Pittsburgh-inspired touches to their wedding to show off their city.

“We wanted our wedding favors to reflect not only our style, but also something that we love about Pittsburgh,” says Elizabeth. She and her husband-to-be settled with miniature wine bottles from La Casa Narcissi in Gibsonia. The winery allowed them to customize their wine labels with engagement pictures and select the wines that they wanted to use.

“My parents enjoyed the process of picking out the wine favors so much that we even planned an excursion to the winery for some of our out-of-town family guests prior to the wedding so that they could see the winery too,” says Elizabeth.


For the Love of Pittsburgh

For Eleigha Marsonekb and Levi LaFleur, who also wed on Oct. 17, 2015, Pittsburgh pride ran strong through their wedding. Eleigha wanted to pay tribute to her grandfather, a Heinz employee for 44 years, who had passed away two years prior.

“What better way, we thought, than to give each of our guests a mini Heinz ketchup bottle in his memory,” says Eleigha. “We wanted our guests to remember him and to know how blessed we were to have him in our lives.” The favors were displayed in a basket at her grandfather’s memorial table, along with photographs of him working in the factory.

The couple also wanted to recognize their favorite Pittsburgh chocolatiers, Sarris Candy. A milk-chocolate candy bar in gold foil and gold ribbon, decorated to match the wedding color scheme, sat at each guest's place setting.


The Cookie Couple

Kira Bornak and Brant Waugaman, who wed on Sept. 26, 2015, didn’t want to go the traditional route for several aspects of their wedding. They settled on cookies as favors, but with a twist — the cookies were a caricature of themselves.

The couple ordered the cookies from Parkers’ Crazy Cookies in California and had them shipped to Pittsburgh. “They were very helpful and all turned out well,” says Kira. “I think only one arrived broken. I would definitely recommend this company.”

To continue on with their fun, nontraditional sentiment, Kara and Brant decided against the cookie table and went with another sweet treat — a donut-making bar. Their caterer offered a bar where they deep-fried miniature donuts in front of the guests and allowed them to choose their toppings.


Travel and Tradition

For Nicole Johnson and Ken Keaney, who wed on Oct. 24, 2015, travel and tradition were on their mind when they chose their favors. The couple decided to have two favors for their guests to choose from — airplane-shaped bottle openers or compass wine stoppers. The favors, representative of the travel theme of their wedding, were tied to a map-printed box that held Jordan almonds.

“My family is Greek and the almonds are a traditional wedding favor in our culture, given out in numbers that are indivisible to represent that the newlyweds are undivided,” says Nicole.

The couple wanted to have more than almonds to give as favors, though, and believed that the bottle openers and wine stoppers would complement their wedding — and their personalities — perfectly.

“My husband and I actually met at our favorite college bar, and both enjoy exploring new breweries and wineries, so bottle openers and wine stoppers not only tied into our theme but also represented us,” says Nicole.

Categories: Beyond the Cookie Table, Weddings