Style

Break away from tradition: Modern wedding favors

In 2010 there are many ways to celebrate a union, and modern marriage is more than just a symbol of love for one another — it’s an opportunity to include all the people you love as well. TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com’s Bobbie Thomas offers you some unique ways to say thank you to family and friends.

Do good In lieu of traditional take-homes, support for a special cause may be a consideration for some couples. Whether you go to a professional or print them yourself, a bookmarklike photo or a simple, classic card can be used to announce a charitable donation. Or, for those who want to go green, you can decorate tables with pine-tree seedlings that your guests can take home and plant ($1.50-$2; Greenworldproject.net). And for a “pop”-ular way to pass it forward, you can fill centerpiece balloons with helium and strips of paper that detail random acts of kindness. Ask guests to burst the balloons and then fulfill a do-good deed as the “favor.”

Double duty
It’s easy to end up with a tight budget and cluttered tables, but double-duty favors can help streamline your planning. Mini picture frames and photo coaster sets work both as place card holders and as gifts guests can enjoy on a nightstand table, etc. I found these and other multitasking trinkets, such as reusable glass jars and tins that can be kept in a purse or desk drawer, all for under $1 at LittleThingsFavors.com! And for those who want to pamper their attendees, Soydelicious crème candles are a personalized body moisturizer and candle in one (Personalized Creme Candles; $5, Soy-delicious.com).

Do-it-yourself
DIY isn't just about being cost-effective — it's about being creative and offering a handmade gift from the heart. Whether you share a treasured family recipe along with a sample or create fun centerpieces, DIY projects can be unique and one-of-a-kind, where saving money is just an added bonus. Since children are often welcomed at modern weddings, colorful confectionery creations like lollipop centerpieces will light up the eyes of big and small kids alike. While DylansCandyBar.com’s “Party-on-the-Go” cart is available for rent, you could also use a collection of glass vases and color-coordinated candy bought in bulk to offer everyone a serve-yourself sweets buffet to bag and take home.

Dream favors
Since TODAY is treating your favorite couple to a dream wedding, it was my job to find dream favors. (However, one of these could also be the perfect bridal party present.) Photos are priceless moments captured in time, so I wanted to find gifts that keep giving. Sony's brand-new DSC-WX5 is the world's smallest 3-D camera and will allow everyone to relive in realistic detail what goes by in the blink of an eye (Sony DSC-WX5 Camera; $299.99, Sony.com). And new from Kodak, the Pulse Digital Frame can receive photos via its very own e-mail address and even links directly to friends and albums on Facebook (Kodak Pulse Digital Frame; $129.95, Kodak.com). Finally, an instant flashback in more ways than one! Retro favorite Polaroid has redesigned its classic camera with advanced lighting settings and autoflash so you can be in the moment (Polaroid 300 Classic Instant Camera $89.99; Polaroid.com).

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