Bridal magazines feature a heap of mass produced “personalized” wedding favors that cost a fortune once you multiply your gifts by fifty… or heck, even 300!

Now of course, the cheapest way to do wedding favors is not to do them at all, which is cool by us. No one here is saying you have to do favors if you’re not into the idea.

That said, for those who have chosen to do favors for their guests, here are some cunning ways I’ve found to source cheap gifts for your loved ones without resorting to taffeta bags of almonds…

  • Look into stores that are going out of business and ask for a discount price on the last of all of one stock. I recently found ninety mini plaques with inspiring quotes on them for $1.50 each — down from $10 a piece!
  • Buy in bulk from a wholesaler. Look for retail wholesale suppliers for bulk candy or chocolate and hotel suppliers for mini-soaps etc. You may be able to place a one-off order or find a friend who owns a cafe, restaurant or motel who can arrange the order for you.
  • Look on eBay/TradeMe or Etsy for bulk deals and end-of-lines from wholesalers and retailers. Be wary of trying to match colours you see on a computer screen to your fabric samples though — it seldom works! (spray paint does though…)
  • Head out after Christmas and look for sales. Look for discounted “gourmet” cookies. You can either use the cookies as-is on your table or pull them apart and repackage the presents. Last year I got twelve packs of Christmas crackers worth $35 for under $5 — that’s less than fifty cents per favor. Or look for cheap chocolates (check they don’t expire before the wedding date), candy and fudges.
  • Gift baskets are often on sale after January too. Look at the contents and see if you can pull the basket apart and repackage the gifts — mismatched favors wrapped in complementary wrapping paper (or wallpaper) make for a unique centrepiece too.
  • Cheap jewelry stores often have bargain bins full of out-of-season jewelry. Take to them with a set of pliers and you have some fabulous embellishments for centrepieces or favors.
  • Consider buying a whole roll of cellophane from a florist to wrap up your favors. It’s far cheaper than buying single sheets and you can use the cellophane for future Christmas and birthday presents too.
  • Instead of fancy handmade boxes, pick up some white paper sweet bagsfrom your local dairy or sweet shop and decorate them with stamps or preprinted stickers. You can seal them with a sticker, sealing wax or ribbon and they can double as name place tags too.