One of the best ways to save money when planning a wedding is to do things yourself. Wedding magazines, Pinterest boards and crafting/cooking Web sites all offer various DIY projects to help you stay within your budget and have the things you really want for your wedding.
Here are five easy homemade wedding favors you can use at the rehearsal dinner or reception to treat your guests to delicious treats, add a personal touch to your wedding and keep your costs low. While some DIY projects seem tedious and tend to take up more of our time than we'd prefer, these homemade wedding favors are a cinch to put together. For any of these favors, add a personal note thanking your guests for attending the wedding.
5. Herbed Olive Oil
Turn plain olive oil into something of restaurant quality. You just need three ingredients -- herbs, olive oil and a bottle. Make as many herb-and-olive-oil combinations as you would like, then bottle them up into your choice of container. This TLC wedding favor looks like it took a lot of time to make, but really it took little effort. Simply choose the herbs you want in your oil, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage and basil, then wash and dry them, place a few pieces of your choice herbs into the bottle and pour in the olive oil. You can also attach crackers or crispy baguette slices for your guests to enjoy with the herbed olive oil. Add a tag that says which herbs are inside the olive oil as well.
4. Monogrammed Cookies
For my brother's wedding, my mom made brownie sugar cookies with fondant on top. The cookies were cut into squares with ruffled sides and the fondant had my brother's and his wife's initials painted on the fondant with food coloring. While the desserts for the rehearsal dinner looked complicated and difficult to make, they were not as hard as they seemed. If you're preparing for a rehearsal dinner with about 20-30 people, cookies are one of the easiest desserts because you make them in large batches. Rolling fondant is super easy, too. Roll out enough to cut out decorative shapes to place on top of the cookies, then use a stencil to trace letters or a design with food coloring. Everyone will think you spent days making these cookies, when really it took just a few hours. You can also package more up for guests to take home after the wedding or the rehearsal dinner.
3. Coffee Beans
Give your guests something to take home and enjoy after your wedding. Place your favorite blend of coffee beans into burlap bags, tie with a piece of string and label the bags with the type of coffee beans. You can also put your names and the date of your wedding on the tag to make the bag a keepsake from the reception. Your guests will love getting to take home a little bag of coffee beans.
2. Cookie/Candy/Snacks Buffet
Make your life so much easier by setting up a buffet filled with your favorite sweets and snacks and let your guests fill up their favor boxes however they choose. Pick a decorative box that matches the colors of your wedding, then choose snacks and candy you both love -- you can have a choice candy, cookie or snack from the bride and the groom. Letting the guests fill up their favor box saves you a lot of time and effort because all you have to do is choose the snacks, set up the station and let the guests do the rest.
A wonderful dessert to enjoy during a summer rehearsal dinner is a cupcake. Make this simple dessert a little extra special by placing it in a Mason jar with a plastic spoon attached to the side, like this blogger did. If you're having your rehearsal dinner outside, this is a great dessert to go along with the theme of the night. Of course, you don't have to make your cupcakes, but if you choose to do so, that just adds another personal touch (and saves you money).
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.