New Jersey may be infamous for below-zero wind chills, but cold temperatures and snow-swept landscapes are exactly what makes The Garden State the perfect setting for a winter wonderland-themed wedding. So, rather than fretting about whether or not your guests will be snowed in when you say, ‘I do,’ try embracing the change in seasons with creative wedding favors that pay tribute to the frosty chill in the air.

“People laugh and say New Jersey is so cold,’ says wedding planner Christine Cusano, owner of Events by CC, LLC. But, she adds, “Winters in New Jersey are wonderful. It brings a feeling of magic.” And that’s exactly what makes it the ideal place to draw inspiration for unique appreciation gifts to personalize your wedding.

“Favors don’t always have to be costly,” says Cusano, adding that inexpensive tokens can actually be priceless. “You can give a beautiful memory to your guests with a handmade gift. The thought equals more than the cost.”

Here are 6 of her all-time favorite ways for a couple to say “thank you” to their wedding guests:

Watch Our Love Grow
“Put a pine tree in a burlap sack bag or a mason jar and wrap it up with a ribbon,” says Cusano, who suggests scoping out a local nursery or finding an online wholesaler to stockpile small pine trees for your favors. Tie a decorative tag on top of the jar or your burlap sack which says, ‘Watch our love grow,’ and you’ll have the perfect keepsake of your everlasting love — one that will bloom and grow for years to come.

Pine Tree Wedding Favor

Flame of Love 

“We have beautiful beaches here,” says Cusano. Take advantage of New Jersey’s local scenery by filling a mason jar with sand, a white candle and a matching ribbon. You can even add a matchbook to complete the gift. “Personalize the matches with your names,” says Cusano. “Or add a tag that says, ‘A match made in heaven’ or ‘I met my match’ to symbolize your love.”
mason jar candle with snow 2 for magazine

Trim the Tree 

“Get clear, decorative hanging balls at a local craft store,” says Cusano. “You can fill them with just about anything: [fabric] the color of your bridesmaids dresses, a picture or [fake] snow. It goes with the feel of a winter wedding because of the holidays.”

homaide decorative ornaments for magazine

Spread the Love 

Give your friends and family a favor that they’ll actually use. “A jar of jam gives a very homey feel,” says Cusano. “You could even put a nice tag on it saying, ‘Spread the love’ or something to that effect.” Whip up a few batches at home or find a purveyor at your local farmer’s market to help sweeten the deal.

homeaides jam for magazine

Cheers to Us 

Place a can of soda inside of a mug or mason jar and attach a mini fridge-sized bottle of your favorite liquor. Then get ready to celebrate at the wedding after-party. “It’s a cute way of presenting Jack Daniels and Coke or Red Bull and Sprite,” says Cusano. Bottoms up!

soda and small liquor for magazine

Pay It Forward 

Tie two pocket angels – small coins engraved with pictures of angels you can find at religious stores – in a bag with instructions for your guests to pay it forward. “A pocket angel is supposed to guide and protect you,” says Cusano. “Do one for your guest and one for them to give to somebody they feel may need an angel. They’re a gesture of paying it forward, to spread the love from your wedding.”

pay it forward ideas for magazine


All images courtesy Christine Cusano.

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