From mini bottles of spirits to dinky jam jars, finding a wedding favour at your seat is always a treat. But anyone who’s ever been milling around a reception venue at carriages o’clock will know that even the most well thought out favours have a habit of being left behind.
Whether wedding favours are high on your wedmin list or you're weighing up having them, these charity wedding favours spread the love before you’ve even laid the table.
There’s a charity wedding favour to suit every budget, theme and style, and, as well as raising vital funds for important causes, they’ll increase awareness of issues close to your heart and get guests talking from the get-go. Consider the following ideas and know that even if they get left behind, they’ll be giving back.
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1. Wildflower Seed Packets
Green-fingered couples can give back with the glorious gift of (plant) life. Wildflower Favours specialise in charity packs, from basil and chilli seeds for Action Against Hunger to bee-witching blooms for Friends Of The Earth’s Bee Cause appeal. Sheep Ahoy, The Seahorse Trust and The Elephant Family Charity can also be supported if you’re after a quirkier choice for just £1.20 a packet.
Cancer Research Forget Me Not Sustainable Flower Seeds, £2 each, will also provide a lasting, loving and colourful memory of your big day, while the biodegradable plant-based packaging won’t hang around. As wedding favours go it’s probably as friendly across the board as they come – even the ink is naturally derived.
Mental health support charity Mind, meanwhile, makes sunflower seed packet wedding favours that help to make the future brighter for everyone. Ten packets provide £12 towards their vital work.
Finally, encourage guests to get gardening with Great Ormond Street Hospital wildflower seed sticks. Simply stick them in soil, water and watch the wildflowers grow. Packets cost £2 each and feature artwork created by the hospital’s brave young patients. Just £44 could help pay for a night’s stay in their family accommodation so parents can stay close by while their child is in hospital.
Bubbles make for a kaleidoscopic alternative to confetti, will add extra magic to reception dancefloors and are sure to go down a storm at the kid’s table.
The British Heart Foundation’s vintage ‘bauble’ bubbles, £12.99 for 24, look grown-up at place settings and help to power lifesaving research for those suffering from heart conditions. The heart health charity have a fantastic range of wedding items, including confetti and a guest book, that start for just £1.
3. Wedding Rings
This may seem like an unusual favour, but it’s reflective of the important cause that Plan International fights for.
While your wedding day will be one of the best of your life, every two seconds a girl as young as 14 is forced to marry against her wishes. For a suggested donation of just £2 a ring, you can help to end child marriage in over 75 countries. Each ring is inscribed ‘end child marriage’ and arrives in an organza bag with an information card so that guests can learn more.
4. Pins and Badges
Tailor your wedding favours to your faith, hobbies or joint loves with Cancer Research’s range of beautifully designed pin badges.
From anchors to elephants to religious symbols, luxury pins are £2 and help to fund the charity’s life saving research. Keep them on the ‘thank you’ backing cards or include them as part of a centrepiece or tablescape for feel good décor.
READ MORE: 50 DIY Wedding Centrepieces
Alternatively give your guests a taste of the rainbow with Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Rainbow Pride Pin Badge, £2. All proceeds will support children and young people suffering from serious illnesses, helping to ensure that they have advanced medical equipment, brilliantly equipped wards and around the clock support.
Also supporting sick children and their families is the Sussex-based charity Rockinghorse. The children’s charity has teamed up with Posh Totty Designs in Brighton to design a handmade rocking horse pin that doubles as a place card.
Choose a pin in sterling silver, 18ct rose gold or 18ct yellow gold plated brass and you can even personalise each pin with a custom engraving when ordering. Prices begin at £2.50 and 100% of profits will provide crucial medical equipment and care to children in need at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital and Trevor Mann Baby Unit.
For more gilt edged pins and good deeds, head over to the Macmillan Cancer Support Wedding Shop. From wedding favours to decorations to accessories, the charity makes it easy to support its life changing services when planning your wedding.
Wedding favour pins can match everything from your florals to your favourite cocktails and are available in silver, gold or rose gold from £12 for 10.
More wedding favour pin inspo comes in the form of the NSPCC’s canoodling doves (£9.99 for 10), the MS Trust’s simple wedding favour pins (£1 each), and the Dogs Trust’s cute canine pins (£1 each), that help to look after the 15,000 dogs in their care.
5. Tie Clips
For a sleek wedding guest favour that will enjoy many an outing, Cancer Research’s tie clips, £2 each, are a classic choice. The clips feature the charity’s signature ribbon engraving and as well as keeping suiting in line it will help to pay for vital clinical trials - the charity funds 50% of cancer research in the UK.
6. Life-Saving Supplies
If your budget stretches a little further, Unicef can help you to share the happiness of your big day with children around the world by providing them with supplies that will change their lives.
Each coming in at under £32, you can buy everything from mosquito nets for a family and measles vaccines for five children to emergency food, water tablets and school supplies. Practical and ethical, guests will love this little touch to your table, which includes pictures of the children you’re helping.
7. Place Cards and Thank Yous
Every couple will put in the hours to come up with a perfectly laid-out seating plan for the wedding breakfast. Put your human Jenga hard work to good use by raising awareness for charities that are also working hard to help those suffering from terrible illnesses.
Many charities including Prostate Cancer UK offer place cards for your table, while Make A Wish - which makes magical memories for seriously ill children - adds in a gorgeous gold star pin and favour boxes for £2.50 all in.
Parkinson’s UK sells wedding thank you cards that will stand out boldly on your table and blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan’s silver pin place cards, £2 each, covers place settings and favours in one while funding lifesaving stem cell transplants.
Alzheimer’s Society also provides multiple place card options in gold and silver and with or without matching pin badges, meaning that you can make a difference no matter what your wedding budget.
Similarly, Save The Children’s heart-embossed wedding place cards allow you to pay whatever you can afford to improve the future of children all over the world.
Suggested donations begin at 50p, with £33 paying for an essential baby kit to give newborns the best possible start in life. £55 provides a family in a state of emergency with a food basket for a month, while £78 affords a family two goats, providing a source of income that will allow children to attend school.
8. Trinkets and Toys
Wedding favours don’t come warmer or fuzzier than The Heartfelt Project’s vibrant, beaded guest gifts. Ribboned felt bookmarks, brooches, decorations and glass charms are all handmade by women in rural communities in South Africa.
This creates employment, celebrating traditional handicrafts and design, and helping to fund healthcare, education, childcare and local support for those suffering from TB and HIV/AIDS. Heart brooches begin at just over £1 and will add a splash of colour to your wedding table.
If you’ve got a surplus wedding budget and want to give guests a seriously cute keepsake, let us introduce Mr and Mrs Llama, £7.99 each, by Marie Curie. The felt couple arrives dressed for the occasion - veil, pearl jewellery and top hat included - and their attendance will help to care for and support those experiencing terminal illnesses in their own homes.
As for the kids table, Marie Curie’s Children’s Wedding Activity Packs, £7.50 for 8, are a genius addition to your wedding reception. They’ll keep little ones busy during the speeches and well into the night, all for a wonderful cause.
Considering a charity wedding gift list? Read our best wedding gift list ideas to discover social gifting ideas you may not have thought of.