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Make Them Smile Fondly with Fun, Fantastic Party Favors

Centuries ago, Europeans started a tradition of giving bonbonieres: sweets to celebrate a birthday, christening, or wedding. These party favors were presented in fancy boxes or tins and provided the perfect memento to remember the occasion by. Today, this thoughtful tradition continues, as does the giving of party favors - for a wide variety of parties and celebrations.

An Abundance of Party Favors

These days, party guests rarely leave empty-handed. The party favor is a gift in reverse - a 'thank you' to those invited for attending your event. They range from candy tins to photo frames, candles to photo cookies. Indeed, the abundance of choices available is part of the party-planning fun.

Above all, you want your favor to reflect your event, be it casual or formal, for a child or a couple. Remember, the party favor is just one more piece to the party puzzle and should 'fit' the theme and style of your party.

Kids Birthday Parties

With kids, you definitely want to capture fun. It's a special day for them and you want all their friends to remember it as a great celebration. Thematically, you can go with characters, colors, or concepts like sports or fairy princesses. Kids love to open things, so a goodie-bag of small items like rings, stickers, pens, bracelets, and sweets is always fun.

Idea: If you're throwing a boy's birthday party, you could fill a basket with chocolate bars, each covered with a personalized candy wrapper featuring a design like trains and a simple message like 'Thank You.' Put the basket by the front door for exiting guests, and they will leave with the sweet memory of an afternoon well spent. Reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, who can resist a chocolate bar made just for them?

Adult Birthdays

For birthdays, it depends on the honoree - their age, their style. Milestone birthday's, like the 40th, lend themselves well to 'Over the Hill' themes. For those a bit younger, a get together with friends for music, drinks and parties is just the thing.

Idea: Cakes featuring a photo can be made using a childhood photo or maybe something a little more embarrassing. Photo cookies are a terrific favor that always inspires conversation. Individually wrappers in clear cellophane bags, they are very easy to display on a table and hand out later.

Bridal Showers

At bridal showers, favors typically carry themes that reflect marriage, a life spent together. Examples include candleholders, pear-shaped items, and love notes. As always, you want to tie in the spirit of the event. This is another good choice for sweets and of course, chocolate never fails.

Idea: Use a photo of the couple, adding their wedding date, on a photo cookie or photo brownie. They are individually wrapped so they are easy to set out. The full color image is impressive....and so is the taste. You'll be impressed.

Baby Showers

Baby showers really bring the creativity out in people and as you'll find, there are countless ways to convey 'best wishes' for a mother-to-be. From candy jars to scented sachets, coasters to candles. It's really the perfect occasion for sweets too like the bonboniere.

Idea: Use a photo of the sonogram on a photo graham cracker. If they've picked out name options, add those to. Nathan? Or Michelle?

Retirement, Graduation, Anniversary or other Occasions

Retirements, graduations, and anniversaries are also a good time to give away small gifts to guests. The most important element is again to make the favors match the event.

Idea: For a graduation party, think fun balloons one a personalized candy bar wrapper. Or use a photo of the new grad on a cake. For an anniversary party, use a photo of the happy couple from their wedding day all those years ago.

Something to Remember

Keep in mind that many occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, graduations - are times to reflect on a life or journey spent; and any favor that incorporates photos or images is a safe bet to make everyone in attendance smile and recall many great memories.

As with the Europeans and their bonbonieres, party favors enable you to express thanks, gratitude and best wishes. It's the final touch for any celebration and a final remembrance for guests to take with them. Make it special. Make it stand out!

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