Wedding souvenirs were unheard of when the Baby Boomers got married 30 years ago, but they are a must for the 21st century bride-to-be. Today, a wedding guest may go home with a piece of cake in pretty white box or a miniature bottle of wine, etched with the names of bride and groom, and the wedding date. In similar fashion, all those aunts, cousins and childhood friends who attend baby showers in the new millennium expect to receive a memento of that Saturday afternoon event conducted by mothers-in-law all over America.
The best wedding souvenirs reflect the personalities of the bride and groom without adding significantly to the cost of the wedding and reception. A DVD with the newlyweds’ favorite musical selections, and an informal photograph inserted in the case, is a souvenir that won’t break the bank. Another is a transparent bag or box with the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date stamped on top, filled with blue pastels, blue jelly beans, or any other item that represents “something blue.” Some couples choose an inexpensive champagne glass and have it stenciled with their names and wedding date; it becomes a souvenir after the toast is over and the champagne is gone.
On the other hand, a baby shower does not have the significance or the formality of a wedding. Cheap baby shower favors are perfectly acceptable. They can be just as kitschy as the shower games. Cheap baby shower favors might include inexpensive small pails (in blue or pink, of course), filled with miniature sugar cookies and wrapped in cellophane. Candles or cookie cutters in baby theme shapes are another category of favors that are not costly, and can be decorated with blue and pink ribbons. Some clever shower planners purchase a few dozen cloth diapers, fold them to a quarter of the full size, and stitch around the edges with blue or pink yarn (or ribbon), creating a potholder favor. In a similar vein, baby blocks can be glued together in squares of 9 or 12 to make a wooden trivet.
Wedding souvenirs and baby shower favors have become part of American culture. It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on such mementos. The best wedding souvenir is a creative statement by the newly married couple, and can often be executed at a modest price. Cheap baby shower favors can be baby-themed tokens, or useful household items made with products found in a nursery.