Brainstorming your own unique wedding favor ideas?
Scouring Pinterest for unique wedding favor ideas? Planning to DIY some seed packets? Have you ever tried to make your own flower seed paper? Or anything else off of Pinterest for that matter. You watch a tutorial, it looks hell-a easy. So you run out, buy the supplies and get super amped up to create your new masterpiece.
Only, it doesn’t turn out that way. By the time you admit defeat, there are generally some colorful expletives, a glass (read bottle) of wine consumed, a minor argument with your family and you are now on the couch binge watching Sex in the City where no one crafts anything.
At least that is often how it goes in my life. For my wedding I tried to recreate these gorgeous lace painted mason jar centerpieces. It was a simple 3 step process read the tutorial. Easy 3 steps my ass. In theory, you bought some lace, stuck it to the jar, spray painted over and removed the lace. Wa-la – rustic themed lace painted mason jars.
In the end, the mason jars did sit in the center, but they were all one color. There was no resemblance to lace anywhere to be found on those suckers. That lace happened to be cut into shreds and lay in my grandmother’s trash bin with some of my sanity.
And then there’s the DIY Wedding Favor Ideas
Let’s not even get into my wedding favor ideas. The reality is, you can slowly descend into DIY hell trying to create a gorgeous one of a kind wedding. Your wedding favor that means so much to you might go home and sit on your guests shelves. They’ll feel guilty throwing it away because it came from your special day, but will really have no need for it. They might even “accidentally break it in the trash can…oops…how did that get in there?”
OR…you could give them something they will find totally adorable and useful that won’t presume to take up space in their already full home.
What kind of something should that be?
I truly believe that wedding favors should add a personal touch, share a piece of yourselves. A favor doesn’t have to be an extravaganza. Favors can and should add a simple but quick bonus to your guests lives, that will remind them of your wedding day.
Remember, just because they are at your wedding doesn’t mean they have the same taste as you. So, ideally nothing permanent that they’re going to feel compelled to keep or waste by throwing away if it doesn’t fit their styles.
Food is always a great option!
Anything edible or drinkable with a short shelf life is a big win in the best wedding of the year vote.
In that spirit, I caught up with Barbara of Nando’s Cookies in Austin. She makes the most adorable cookies. While I’m up here fighting to keep my chocolate chip cookies in a perfectly round circle, she is creating these masterpieces.
Why not use some cookies in your bridesmaids or groomsmen gift boxes? For more ideas see my series on Bridesmaid Gift Ideas.
Check out these gorgeous Beauty and the Beast cookies she did for a recent themed wedding.
You might want to try and paint some yourself , and you can learn how with Barbara. If you’re local to Austin, or planning a girls weekend trip, she offers classes. I would love to take one, for the fun of it. Not because I aspire to paint 250 cookies for an event, but because I think it would be a fun skill to add to my repertoire.
However, when choosing what to DIY for your wedding, consider what adds value to the final product. Unless your family has a long tradition of painting cookies for others, I would leave that up to the professional.
Meet Barbara –
How long have you been baking cookies? Where did you learn to bake and how did you learn how to get such perfect icing?
I have always loved to bake and help my mom in the kitchen. Recently, in 2014, I made a batch of pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because I wanted to eat a pumpkin related dessert that wasn’t pie. The cookies were a hit and someone mentioned I should sell them, so I did. That evolved to then making decorated sugar cookies. And the perfect icing you mention is achieved with lots of patience, practice and watching other people make it.
How do you design cookies for a wedding? Are they custom for the theme or do clients pick them out of a pre-designed cookie portfolio?
Currently, all my cookies are custom to the order. A bride will let me know her colors and her vision for the use of the cookies at the wedding. Then I make her cookie dreams come true.
What was your inspiration to begin selling cookies for weddings and showers?
My first wedding was for a local mom whose sister was getting married and they needed to move up the wedding because their mom was sick. I mentioned I made cookies, and they asked if I could make hearts with Hendi/Mendi designs. I said, “Yes!” They used the cookies as place settings at the reception. They loved the fact that each cookie was unique.
What is your favorite keepsake from your own wedding? What special memory does it bring on whenever you see it?
My favorite keepsake from my wedding is the pictures. My brother in law was able to capture many great moments. I definitely wish I would have printed them. One day…
Is there anything about your wedding day that you wish you could go back and include or change?
My wedding cake is something that I wish I could go back and change. The baker I worked with did not understand the concept of red velvet cake which is not common in Puerto Rico. Some times we compromise on one element in order to save money. So in the moment it was fine, the cake tasted great but it was not what I really wanted.
What is the most common question your clients ask you?
These are the 2 most common questions my clients as before ordering:
“Can you do this? Have you done this design before?”
Most of the time each order is a new technique, a new design. So even though I hadn’t done it before, I am definitely up for the challenge.
What is your favorite item that you sell?
Currently, my favorite item to sell are painted sugar cookies. I love letting my artistic side out to play.
Is there any advice you would like to share with a couple planning their wedding?
My advice to all couples planning a wedding, “It’s your party. Your moment. Make it as big or as small as you would like. And don’t forget to eat.”
Thank you Barbara for taking time to catch up with me. If you’re in the Austin area, plan to attend a cookie painting class with Barbara. Why not take your mom or your bridesmaids with you? Read this post for more ideas on how to have a great bachelorette party that doesn’t involve a stripper and a limo.
“Nando’s Cookies is a home based cookie boutique in Buda, Texas (just south of Austin, TX). Their signature cookie is a hand crafted decorated sugar cookie. All cookie orders are for local pick up only.
Barbara Castro, cookie artist behind Nando’s Cookies, is a wife and mother to almost 4 year old Fernando. Her son is the inspiration for the name of the business and her creativity. Barbara incorporates many self taught decorating techniques to her cookie designs. As the cookie artist at Nando’s Cookies, Barbara is pursuing her dreams of being a cookie artist.”
Definitely order some of these gorgeous cookies from Nando’s Cookies. Charm your guests with their adorableness (really a word…not sure, but I’m keeping it).