You are planning a fabulous bridal shower for your best friend. You have decided on the menu and the games; the invitations have been purchased and mailed. You're stuck on just one detail--the favors. You've scoured the party stores, only to find silly glow-in-the-dark necklaces and pink plastic slippers, neither which will fit the elegant ambiance you are trying to achieve. Besides, what does one do with those dust catchers when the shower is over?
You want to give your guests a little reminder of the fun they had at the shower. Why not give one of these less predictable--and more useful--favors?
1. Decorated champagne glasses filled with color coordinated candy
You can usually buy inexpensive champagne flutes at discount and dollar stores. Use glass paint to embellish them with flowers, vines or hearts. Then fill them with the bride's favorite small candy, such as jelly beans, mints or M&Ms. For an extra special touch, purchase candies in her wedding colors. You can purchase color coordinated jelly beans from Jelly Belly or designer colored M&Ms from the M&Ms Colorworks site.
2. Potpourri sachets
If you can tie a simple bow, you can make potpourri sachets! Purchase some tulle circles (available at craft and fabric stores) and fill them with potpourri. Gather the sides together and tie with a matching ribbon. You can also embellish them with tiny pearl sprays or ribbon flowers in the bride's favorite colors.
3. Heart shaped snowglobes
Take a polaroid photo of each guest with the bride during the shower. While everyone is playing games, sneak off and slip the photos into heart shaped snowglobes. Give one to each guest at the end of the shower. You can purchase heart shaped snowglobes from The Crafty PC.
4. A small clay pot with a blooming flower
These favors do "double duty"--use them as place cards and to decorate the table during the shower. Buy tiny pots of nearly-blooming flowers (for example, miniature roses or lavender) and small terracotta pots. Using a paint pen, draw a simple design and the guest's name on each terracotta pot. Replant the flowers into the terracotta pot. At the shower, place them around the table to indicate where you would like each guest to sit. Each person can take her blooming plant home at the end of the shower. (Note: you can also also use tulip or hyacinth bulbs for this project; start them 4-6 weeks in advance so they are just beginning to bloom on the day of the shower.)
5. Kitchen scoop filled with mints
Here's a cute favor for a kitchen themed shower! Purchase small kitchen scoops and fill them with candy. Wrap a piece of cellophane around the entire scoop and tie with matching ribbon near the handle. If you wish, go one step further and embellish the scoop by gluing on a tiny kitchen accessory such as a rolling pin, spatula or frying pan. You can find these tiny accessories in the doll house or miniature section of many craft stores.
6. Elegantly wrapped shower gel
Here's a super quick and simple favor. Best of all, it's useful, too! Use tulle to wrap a small bottle of shower gel. Tie with a matching ribbon and embellish with silk flowers. Use your computer and some specialty paper to make a little gift tag that includes a little poem, the bride's name and the date of the shower.
7. Gift box candle
If you hunt around a bit you can usually find votive candles packaged in square glass boxes. Wrap them up with a pretty ribbon and you have a useful and pretty favor! If you can't find square votives locally, check online party stores. Shindigz (www.shindigz.com) carries a square glass votive that can be imprinted with a special message.
8. Flower seeds in personalized packages
This would be an appropriate favor for a garden themed shower! Purchase packets of flower seeds at your local nursery. Then use your computer to make personalized labels that will slip over the packets. Personalize these custom designed packets with a nice poem about the bride and the date of the shower. You can download a seed packet template from Hewlett Packard's Printsville.
You've spent a lot of time and energy make your shower a memorable experience for the bride, her friends and family. These keepsake favors are a wonderful way to end that special day!
Cheryl Schroeder publishes the Creative Gift Giver, an online guide to imaginative gift giving. For a free subscription to her monthly Creative Gift Givers e-newsletter, send a blank e-mail to: email@example.com.
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