I know that every single person reading this post has been to a wedding where the favor was candied almonds wrapped in tulle or a box of chocolate kisses.  Now let me ask you, and please, answer honestly: how special did that favor make you feel? If you are like my husband, the favor may have gone unnoticed all together.  If you are like me, you took it home and after it sat on the kitchen counter for a few weeks, you threw it out.  Of course favors these days are much nicer keepsakes than they were before (a mini picture frame, a stemless wineglass) but what I am finding is that many brides are ditching traditional wedding favors and instead putting that money towards enriching the overall wedding experience for their guests.

Here are a few examples of how couples are eliminating traditional favors and providing their guests with a memorable and fun experience:

1. Hiring an silhouette-ist or cartoonist.

I actually had a couple hire a silhouette-ist for their wedding recently and it was a HUGE hit with their guests.  Most of them had never had the experience of having their silhouette made and they all had a great time with it.  The only negative I saw was that there was only one silhouette-ist and the line was pretty long at times, which ended up taking away from the reception a little.  I would say this is best for a longer cocktail hour or for a more casual wedding.

2. Hire an expert.

Love wine?  Hiring a wine expert (aka sommelier) would be an entertaining and classy addition to you reception, with the added bonus that guests receive a bottle of wine!  Sign me up.  If wine isn’t your thing, you can find an expert on something that is.  Its your wedding; think outside the box.

3. Hire a magician.

Okay, okay…I realize you may have rolled your eyes just now and let out a little scoff.  Stay with me here.  This is not your 5 year old nephew’s birthday party magician that I’m talking about.  There are some really entertaining, amazing magicians out there and pretty much everyone loves to suspend reason and logic for the sake of a good magic trick.  Its also a great idea for loosening up guests during cocktail hour, especially if your family doesn’t know each other.  Love is magical, right?!

4. Make a donation.

Have a charity or cause that you are passionate about?  Your wedding would be a great time to share with your guests why you love this particular charity and that in lieu of favors you’ve opted to make a donation to help others.