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Are gifts for guests a must? A reader puts the question to us
I hope you could shed some light on wedding favors. Several people have discouraged me from purchasing them, while others feel they are mandatory tokens of appreciation for guests.Question: I hope you could shed some light on wedding favors. Several people have discouraged me from purchasing them, while others feel they are mandatory tokens of appreciation for guests. As a compromise, I planned on donating to a local charity and mentioning that in the program so guests know they had been honored, but I’ve received backlash because some believe guests need a tangible gift. Am I wrong? Or should I throw caution to the wind and do what I feel is right, even at the risk of possibly offending my guests? Kind regards, Unfavorable Conditions Answer: We showcase favors because they are part of many modern weddings, and we’re all about giving readers ideas. But we never forget a wedding is first about uniting a couple; the reception, fringe events, and trappings merely celebrate that act. Thus, if a couple wants to give favors, great, if not, fine. The Emily Post Institute agrees, and states on its website: “There seems to be some confusion between wedding customs—such as giving favors—and wedding etiquette—such as the wording of an invitation or the seating order in the church.... Wedding favors are a charming custom but are in no way required or expected. If giving favors is meaningful to your family heritage and if it is not adding a financial burden to what the bride’s family is already providing, then go ahead. After all, it’s your wedding!” Well put, Miss Post. Now, if you’re on the fence and have the time, gather up the pro-favor folks and throw a craft party where everyone makes or packages treats for favors. These treats become more about your gesture and shared time together than the gift itself. We’ve seen pots of apple butter, baggies of sweets, stacks of handmade cards, packets of flower seeds, and more come out of such get-togethers. Or as you mentioned, you can give a gift to a charity. For great local causes, please visit www.charlestonweddingsmag.com. We’ve worked with the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina (www.ccfgives.org) to compile an exhaustive list of worthy organizations. Whatever you choose, let it bear the imprint of you and your husband-to-be, and your love for your guests, too.