It’s Summer and what a more beautiful time for a wedding. Every bride (and groom) wants her (and his) day to be fabulous. Weddings can cost a fortune. The average wedding in the United States costs over $20,000 and that doesn’t include the rings or honeymoon.

Wedding favors don’t have to be expensive and can still be a lovely remembrance of your special day. Here are a few ideas for thoughtful wedding favors on a shoestring budget.

When displaying the wedding favors place several boxes on the table and cover with a cloth that matches the table cloth or carries out the color scheme. Place the favors on top of the boxes as well as on the table. Variety in height makes the favors seem more noticeable. All the favors laid out in rows all the same height is boring.

Place a package of flower seeds in a cellophane bag that has a bit of colored straw at the bottom. Tie with curly ribbon in your wedding colors and add a card that’s says “Watch Our Love Grow” with your names and date of the wedding. Starting several pots of the flowers is a nice touch and adds some color to the favor table as well. Guests will be able to see their gift in full bloom.

Candles are not expensive. Visit the dollar store or Goodwill store and buy an assortment of wine glasses, they don’t have to match. Tie a curly ribbon around the stem of the glass with a card that says “Light Up Love” with your names and date of the wedding. Place a votive candle in the wine glass. You can stabilize the candle with just a dab of hot glue.

Candy kisses can be placed in the wine glass. Covered with plastic wrap and then tied to the stem with curly ribbon so they don’t fall out. Order personalized M&M candies and do the same thing. Since the candies are not cheap, put a bit of crumpled colored tissue paper in the bottom of the glass and the candies on top. You’ll use less candies and the tissue adds color.

One very personal touch takes a little time and effort but not a lot of money. Have a friend with a digital camera follow the bride and groom as they greet each guest and snap a photo. Or have the amateur photographer snap each guest with the bride and groom as the guest goes down the receiving line. The photos are then printed at the reception and pinned to a cloth covered bulletin board. As each guest leaves they take their photo with them.

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