budget wedding
Credit: Nicole Rich Wedding Photography with permission

The table layout of our guests table at our wedding.

Your wedding day can be considered one of the most expensive days of your life. Creating your own DIY  favors is a great way to reduce the costs.

I love going to weddings. They are always a very special and memorable event.  So much preparation goes into the event that is completely unseen by the guests attending. The couple getting married has to put plenty of thought into the finer details of their special day even if they are lucky to have a events planner. One of the items that every couple will have to decide on is what will their guests be receiving as a wedding favor. If your budget is already looking tight then creating your own DIY favors might be your answer.

DIY Wedding Favors - One Simple Way to Save on the Wedding BudgetCredit: Sudocream

A Crafty Re-Use of Purity Baby Food Jars

My fiancé and I decided to create our own DIY wedding favors in order to save money. Once we had finalized our wedding date the planning for our big day began. At the time we had ample supply of Purity baby food jars that we recycled locally. We thought about how to incorporate them into our wedding and toyed with putting cacti or tiny candies in them. Later we decided to turn them into vanilla scented candles which could be prepared months in advance. Having the favors already made is just one less thing to do in the chaotic week before your special day.

Block of wax to be cut and meltedCredit: Sudocream

We began the process of accumulating purity baby food jars.We tore off the paper label and washed the jars in the dishwasher. If you don’t have access to a baby eating machine, talk to one of your friends that have a baby, I am sure they would be more than happy to donate their empty Purity jars for your wedding. It did not take long, after a couple of months we had over a hundred small jars that could easily be used to create our vanilla scented candle wedding favors.

Double steam pot boilerCredit: Sudocream

We began the prep work of cleaning the jars by removing the glue residue left from the label with some paint thinners and washing liquid. We then cut the wicks to the right lengths to suit the jar height. A clothes peg is found very handy to hold the wick in the center of the jar. I had ordered two 5 kg blocks of wax from and online shop (much cheaper than local shops), which I melted down and added the vanilla scent as I progressed. We melted the wax down with a deep walled frying pan on top of a pot will boiling water. Unfortunately our setup could only hold about 1 liter of hot wax at a time so we had to repeat the process many times. The hot wax was carefully poured into a plastic jug with a spout which made it then a lot easier to pour the hot wax into the Purity jars. As you can see from the photos it was a mass production event and we completed them all in a single night. As the wax cools down you will notice that it shrinks, so its best to top off the wax with some more. I have since read that to prevent the uneven cooling down of the wax, you should heat up the jars with a hair dryer for a minute!

Baby jar wedding candlesCredit: Sudocream

Once the wax had cooled overnight, my fiancé trimmed the candle wicks, glued a decorative purple ribbon around the jar and added the ‘thank you’ tag. We chose to leave the wax in its natural state and accent the gift with a purple ribbon. We bought the inexpensive ribbon from a local craft store along with the ‘thank you tags’. Our weddings theme colors were mint green and purple so these candles fit the theme perfectly. We had also considered staining the glass with glass paints to add to the charm but thought they already looked amazing. The candle jar favors can be further customized to your taste by adding wax dye to color the wax to fit in with your weddings color theme. Another option is to select a different wax such as soy wax over the paraffin based wax we used. Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans and is completely renewable. I can proudly say that we had spent less than 1% of our total budget on these special mementos and our guests absolutely treasured them.

Where Did the Tradition of Wedding Favors begin?

Ever wondered where the idea of the guests receiving gifts or thank you mementos came from? It seems like quite a strange tradition because normally the bride and groom receive wedding gifts from their guests, and not the other way round. A bit of research on the subject reveals that tradition began in 16th century England. Newlywed couples used a wedding knot to symbolize there unbreakable pledge to each other. Coincidentally this is where the phrase ‘tie the knot’ originates, when the bride and groom tied their wrists with twine. What later developed from the wedding knot was the love knot, a small wedding gift representing the couples love bond. The love knots were made from ribbon and lace and given to the wedding guests as a special reminder of the day.

Wedding Favors in Modern Times

In today’s age it is almost an expectation that the guests receive a small yet significant memento that will be the only part of your wedding that will remind them of your special day. The wedding favor is normally representative of the couple getting married and often sports a motif and/or a message. Today they are found to be themed and blended into the décor of the wedding as was in the case of our wedding. I find it rather cool when you are able to take a piece of the wedding back home with you! The wedding souvenirs of today range wildly but it wise to decide on something that has long lasting value, and won’t be dumped at home by your guests.