Afternoon sweet people!

Today, I want you to do yourself a favour. Get yourself a lovely cuppa or maybe a jam jar filled with iced coffee and a pretty paper straw, take a seat and allow me to woo you with 2014’s nature inspired, totally DIY-able wedding favour trends.

Fuelled by the astrological concept of the four elements, if you can grow it in the earth, light it from a camp fire, use it to scent your water or if you’d find it out in the fresh air on a wild camping trip, it’ll make a perfectly on trend favour for your 2014 wedding. You might add a handwritten tag, dollop it into a jar or arrange into a paper bag, however you envisage your favours, we’ve sought out original ideas suitable for all seasons and all budgets that you can lovingly compile for each of your guests. Do them a favour, do yourself a favour; do your favours yourself.

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Image credit: Wedding Chicks

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Image credits: Left, Rue Lala Right, Kara Rosenlund

My theory is that when it comes to the ever-popular DIY trend, there are two distinctly different types of people: ‘I-can’t-wait-to-get-started-just-let-me-find-my-hot-glue-gun’ Jane and, at the other end of the scale, ‘oh-dear-god-I-can’t-even-put-a-stamp-straight-on-an-envelope’ Sarah. Personally, I’m a Jane and I love to geek out over all things craft, but to all my lovely Sarah’s: don’t worry, I got your back girl! Some of these gorgeous ideas are so easy my mate’s 2 year old could do them and, if you’re still unsure, I’ve sneaked a couple of Etsy bought gems in here too!

First up is a sweet little idea that’s sweeping through the blissful world of reception table décor; I’m affectionately calling it the ‘Sprig of Love’. One of the simplest DIYs: get a fresh sprig of something that smells good (rosemary, fir tree, cinnamon to name but a few) and position it nicely on your guest’s plate. Yes, it’s that simple. You might want to gently lay it on a printed menu, pair it with a (clean) feather and stick it to their plate with a little bit of Washi tape; the possibilities are beautiful, endless and above all, easy!

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Image credit: the LANE

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Image credit: Ruffled Blog

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Image credit: Blueberry Fields Photography

For the flower lovers among you – so that’d be pretty much all of you boho brides I’m guessing?! – there are so many ways to incorporate florals into your reception, and I firmly believe these beauties make the perfect accompaniment to any spring/summer wedding. At the pricier, but oh-gosh SO classy, end of the scale, why not send your guests home with ‘Bags of Blooms’? A high-end, super stylish concept, they make for über pretty reception tables.

We also absolutely love those cute little hand-printed seed bags, and the individually potted mini succulents in that cute shabby crate… I mean! But seriously, would someone just buy me a mini succulent, already?! #ineedoneinmylife

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Image credit: Left, Southern Weddings Right, Snippet and Ink

Let’s continue with the theme of things that come from our Mother Earth, but you’ll have to indulge me a little as the concept may be loosened slightly, and I may drool a little… let’s talk foodie favours. So, if we start simple again in terms of DIY, here at Festival Brides we love the simple appreciation of common fruit and veg that these ‘farm to table’ ideas create. Have you ever seen a radish look that pretty? Or indeed, seen a little cherry tomato so cute? Carefully placed on a natural linen napkin, these small favours speak volumes of colour and class. Who knew, right?!

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Image credit: Style Me Pretty

This minimalist food favour trend has also seen, pardon the pun, the rise of the bread. Think classy French bakery style mini baguettes, or a simple (but drool-worthy) round wholegrain bun; it’s wholesome, humble and beautiful. Add that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ by wrapping brown paper, tied with twine to the middle of a baguette, or simply tying an oversized luggage style tag to a bread bun with butchers thread. However you do it, bread makes a seriously good-looking favour that your guests will love.

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Image credit: 100 Layer Cake

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Image credit: Best Day Ever

This idea takes some of the divine scents we saw earlier in the ‘Sprig of Love’ concept, which, when combined with oil or salt in a suitably elegant glass vessel, infuses into the condiment giving it a luxuriously subtle hint of the your chosen herb. I adore this DIY. It’s easy, gorgeous and fuses the earthy goodness of herbs with the classy elegance of a vintage glass bottle. What’s not to love?

Now, I did mention that you might need to indulge me for a moment as I share some more of these wonderful foodie favours with you. I think in essence, if it’s something tasty you think your guests will enjoy and you can find a cute, innovative way to package it, giving it your own personal stamp, it’ll make an awesome favour. Some of my personal favourites on the scene right now are the hand stamped brown paper bags full of fresh coffee and the corked glass tubes filled with a homemade fruit tea blend. If it’s delectable and pretty: I’m game!

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Image credit: Coffee Bags via Buzzfeed

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Image credit: Jammie Favours via Ritzy Bee

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Image credit: Tubed Tea via One Fab Day

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Image credit: Salted Caramels via Ruffled Blog

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Image credit: Chai Tea Blend via Musla

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Image credit: Honey Pots via 100 Layer Cake

Uh! Just so good, aren’t they?!

Right, so these next ideas are for my outdoorsy types. Campervan drivers, tipi campers, those who spend their lives with wellies on their feet drinking in the fresh air; these favours are for you. The first concept is one I’ve loved for a little while now. A little more challenging on the DIY front, you’ll need a steady hand and an artistic flair, but my goodness are the results worth it. Please welcome to the table, the painted pebble. Go for intricate Mehendi-style patterns, names in a sophisticated brush script or feather and arrow decals. White paint looks striking and clean against darker stones and slate, whilst navy, inky tones create a rich boho feel to paler grey rocks. I think you’ll agree, the results are pretty stunning.

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Image credit: Be Fair Be Funky

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Image credit: Once Wed

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Image credit: River Luna on Etsy

Love this idea, but scared it doesn’t fit your style or theme? Consider using gemstones such as Amethyst and Fool’s Gold, spilling from a cute canvas bag for a more vibrant favour with added sparkle. Maybe you could embrace the astrological trend a little further and use you and your lover’s birthstones?

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Image credit: Ritzy Bee

Now, for my fire lovers; these favours belong to you. First up: candles. Boring, right? Seen it before? That maybe so, but in my opinion candles are always a good idea, and I’ve found some ways for you to mix it up a little. Here at Festival Brides, we’ve fallen head over heels for Etsy based shop “Oil and Wax’. Their delicate and unusual fusions of flavours give their soy based, jarred candles a twist of sheer luxury.

If  you’re conscious of bringing a burst of colour to your reception tables, you might want to embrace 2014’s candlestick trend. Select a variety of statement colours, in keeping with your theme, and finish them off with a sweet little name tag. Or, if you want to keep things super outdoorsy and love to DIY, check out Poppy Talk’s incredible camp mug candles. We love those vintage looking, flecked tin mugs; they bring back some great campfire memories. For me, they’re nostalgia, in a candle.

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Image credit: Oil and Wax on Etsy

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Image credit: the LANE

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Image credit: Poppy Talk

There’s more for you happy campers. If you’re not sure of getting your hands covered in wax, but you’re more of a sewing bee, Rae Ann Kelly’s perfectly sweet hand warmers would make seriously cute gifts for your guests. In complimentary coloured fabrics, stamped with our forever-favourite arrow decals, these little squares of goodness are sure to keep your guest’s hands toasty long into the night!

Still airing a little too tricky on the DIY front? No worries, I told you I had your back, didn’t I? And I have, with the super simple, camp-perfect ‘cocoa in a jar’ DIY. Simply layer the ingredients into sweet little mason jars and attach a tag of instructions with brown twine, et voilà!

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Image credit: Rae Ann Kelly

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Image credit: Ruffled Blog

The last favour from the fire element comes in the form of the Smudge stick. These little babies are very in Vogue right now, and they’re so wonderfully hippie, we LOVE them. Never heard of them? Neither had I. Here’s a brief 411: the act of ‘smudging’ is rooted in Native American and Neo-Pagan traditions. It’s the burning of various herbs to bless, clear or change the energy of a space, person or object. The idea is that as the smudge stick smoulders, symbolically the negative energy surrounding will attach it self and dissolve with the smoke. So, for instance you might smudge yourself after an illness, to bless a new house, or if you purchased a piece of antique furniture with an interesting history; it’s an act of purification. Sweet, right? So, wrap a bundle of sage and lavender up with some thread and send a heavy dose of good vibes home with all your guests.

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Image credit: One Feather Creative on Etsy

Last, but by no means least, are some natural indulgences to use alongside our fourth element, water. I’ve taken a 50/50 look at this section, one premade favour, and one DIY. There’s a gorgeously fragrant and colourful trend emerging in the form of favour-sized cubes of organic, wholly natural soaps. In beautiful muted hues, containing whole herbs and petals these bars are divine and easily shop bought. However, should you fancy an adventure into the depths of natural beauty remedies, my research unearthed this gem of a DIY from Oh-So Pretty; the rose body scrub. Simple to do and in a delicate blush tone, this is a super sweet note to end on.

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Image credit: Herbivore Botanicals

Beauty 3

Image credit: Oh-So Pretty

I hope you’ve enjoyed our adventure though the elements, and that these concepts have captured your heart. Having made all 98 favours for my own wedding (with a considerable amount of help from my dear Mama), I believe it’s true to say that handmade favours are a labour of love. Be under no false impressions here, you’ll need a good dose of perseverance and patience to endure the labour of DIY favours, but be assured that your guests will love them all the more for having been made by you.

Much love my favourites,

Clare xo

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