In the midst of completing my own wedding favours, centerpiece risers, and votive candle holders today, I received an email from Bride-To-Be Vicky who is having an out-of-town Stag and Doe. She was looking for some inspiration for prizes, and whether to be using local donations to where she lives, or local to where the Stag and Doe would be held. I tried to give her some ideas in my response, and then realized that the rest of you might benefit from these as well… so here you go!
In terms of prizes.. you can use services as well as tangible items.
For services, you’d have to use local services (i.e. spas, salons, golf courses, recreational stores i.e. scuba diving shops, rock climbing, etc). These places are usually willing to donate gift certificates and/or discounts. They need to be local because the majority of the guests who will be spending money on tickets for these prizes need to have ready access to the providers.
For tangible items, some businesses are willing to offer the products they sell – i.e. wineries might give bottles of wine, bars might give promotional t-shirts, etc.
Stores like XS Cargo and Wal-Mart are great for purchasing the kinds of items that everyone wants but no one tends to spend money on (i.e. foot baths, memory foam pillows, etc). Make sure to buy kid-friendly prizes too, like large art sets, boxes of crayons / colouring books, Lego, etc… parents may see this as an excellent opportunity to give something to their little ones. Finally, toys that “big kids” (specifically, intoxicated guys in their 20′s) will love, i.e. remote control cars, 3-d puzzles, large bowling ball sets, are usually a big hit!
To enhance the look of your prizes, think of creating themed baskets around the prize. An example of this would be a wine-themed basket… a bottle of wine can have a corkscrew, some crackers, and a couple of wine glasses added to it. You can make themed baskets for things like “A night in” with popcorn, a DVD, some candy, and hot cocoa (for example). I’ve seen brides do things like “The morning after” baskets – Gatorade, Tylenol, bottles of water, gift certificates to McDonalds or some other breakfast option. “Lucky in Love” gift baskets centered around lottery tickets, or “Just for her” baskets with girl-friendly spa items are popular too. You can get accents and decor for these baskets at the dollar store.
I’ve also seen a lot of success with homemade goods. Parents’ cookies, cakes, homemade breads, even things like “Mom’s famous homemade meatloaf” in tupperware containers. These are usually limited to the cost of the containers, as most family members are more than happy to contribute.
If you have other ideas to share, make sure to post them in the WeddingGirl.ca Forum to help other brides out as well!
Happy Planning :)