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Make your wedding favor a keepsake to last forever 

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Legend has it that the first wedding favor—the small gift given as a gesture of appreciation for attending a wedding reception—was known as a bonbonniere, a small trinket box of crystal or ceramic filled with sugar cubes or confections. Even today it's common at weddings for guests to receive a tiny fabric bag of sweets or potpourri, wrapped up with a little bow. That's nice, but come on! Do you want me to remember your wedding or not!

The best wedding favors are ones you can use again and again, items that immediately trigger a memory of the people who gave them. Some recently popular gifts have been compilation CDs of the bride and groom's favorite music, a framed photo of the newly minted couple, or an etched wine glass. That's cool and all, but what if your music sucks? And really, you think I'm going to hang your photo somewhere? And trust me, my clumsiness guarantees your wine glass is as good as broken.

Nope, in my book, the best wedding favors are practical, universal, and perhaps even personalized items.

click to enlarge YOUR DRINK HERE New Times Editor Camillia Lanham uses this coaster she got at a cousin's wedding every day. It's on her nightstand. - PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • Photo By Glen Starkey
  • YOUR DRINK HERE New Times Editor Camillia Lanham uses this coaster she got at a cousin's wedding every day. It's on her nightstand.

New Times Editor Camillia Lanham has a stone coaster from her cousin's wedding that sits on her nightstand. The white and gray faux-marble hexagon has "CAMILLIA" stamped and embossed in black. She sees it and uses it every day.

click to enlarge KEY TO HER HEART My wife loves her hand-tooled leather key fob she got at Brian and David's wedding. It turns her keys into a weapon! - PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • Photo By Glen Starkey
  • KEY TO HER HEART My wife loves her hand-tooled leather key fob she got at Brian and David's wedding. It turns her keys into a weapon!

My wife, Anna, has a leather key fob with her name hand-stamped into it. It's got handsome brass hardware, and not only does it organize all her keys, it also offer a sturdy handle in case she needs to whack someone. Best of all, it also reminds her of Brian and David's wedding. David, whose hobby is leatherwork, custom made one for each of their guests.

click to enlarge STAY CLASSY This handmade ceramic napkin ring—made by the bride's dad, Darren Thomas of Atascadero, features bride and groom Hayley and Reid Cain's initials stamped on the front. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HAYLEY CAIN
  • Photo Courtesy Of Hayley Cain
  • STAY CLASSY This handmade ceramic napkin ring—made by the bride's dad, Darren Thomas of Atascadero, features bride and groom Hayley and Reid Cain's initials stamped on the front.

Reid and Hayley Cain, who front the pop punk act Hayley and The Crushers, gave their wedding guests handmade ceramic napkin rings with the initials HR—arranged like a cattle brand—stamped into the front. Hayley's dad, Darren Thomas of Atascadero, made 100 of these ceramic rings. Thanks, dad! I may not be a daily cloth napkin user (unless you count my sleeve), but these snazzy rings look extra cool whenever we have a fancy dinner party, and they definitely remind me of Reid and Hayley's cowboy-themed wedding and that Hayley was New Times' former food writer—we already miss you, Hayley!

click to enlarge JUST ADD BEER Instead of a boring old wine glass, I love this 16-ounce pounder from Melissa and Henry's wedding ... even though it's got the wrong date on it. - PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • Photo By Glen Starkey
  • JUST ADD BEER Instead of a boring old wine glass, I love this 16-ounce pounder from Melissa and Henry's wedding ... even though it's got the wrong date on it.

The wedding favor I seem to use the most is the pint glass from Melissa and Henry's wedding. First of all, it's way more practical than a wine glass, which is subject to breaking (told you!) and doesn't hold 16 sweet ounces of whatever elixir needs drinking. This sturdy pounder has a charming bird motif and the happy couple's wedding date ... well, actually, they were printed with the wrong date, but that makes these glasses even more memorable!

Plug "wedding favors" into Google and you'll get a ton of ideas, from soaps to cigars to potted succulents ... and candy, lots and lots of candy.

"I like edibles," New Times Proofreader Andrea Rooks told me. "That way I don't have to keep it."

Let that sink in, future brides and grooms. Do you want your guests to mack-down your candy-coated almonds and throw your personalized shot glass into the back of the cupboard (because who does shots at home, drunky?), or do you want your guests to reach for their keys and think of you or fill your personalized pounder full of Pabst Blue Ribbon and wonder if it was you or the printer who didn't get the freakin' date of your own wedding right? Δ

Contact Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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