Shannon Valente Weddings » Calgary Wedding Planner & Event Planning - Shannon Valente Weddings - wedding planning and rentals design studio located in Calgary, AB

It’s the end of the night, after a beautiful wedding, and what do you think is left on the tables? Yup, the wedding favours.

As a wedding planner I have seen my fair share of  favours, the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is the list of my top 10 all time favourite. Give your guest something they would love to take home! Also, see last week’s list of my top 10 edible wedding favours.

1. Cactus, succulents, seeds – I love cacti, succulents and air plants. Mainly because they are easy to keep alive in my plant challenged house (ha!) but they are so pretty. Send your guests home with a little potted plants or seeds they can grow themselves. They will think back fondly on your wedding as they watch them flourish.

2. Candle – Homemade or purchased, candles are a great option for a wedding favour. Choose your favourite scent or have a his and her aroma going on.

3. Soap – Another great DIY wedding favour option. Soap or bath balms will give your guests a little take away they can actually use.

4. Glassware – Customized or not, I’ve seen glassware used at the wedding reception, they can double as name cards for seating and triple as a favour for guests to take home, win, win, win!

5. Bottle opener or beer cozy – If you have a lot of beer drinkers in your crowd, send them home with a useful gadget or a personalized beer cozy to keep their drinks cool.

6. Playing cards – Have some game lovers in your wedding guest group? Some cute custom playing cards will never go to waste.

7. Hangover kit – Heavy drinkers in your crew? Send them home with a little pampering to cure their wedding hangover.

8. Luggage tag – Likely not the best idea to put your name and date on them but a few cute sayings or Mr and Mrs luggage tags are a great take away everyone can use!

9. Shoes or wraps – Keep your guests comfortable with a warm blanket or shawl when it gets chilly or provide flip flops for the dance floor when they need to lose their heels.

10. Donation – If you aren’t feelin’ a physical favour….don’t do one. I’ve had couples who opted to put the money towards their favourite charity instead, or do nothing at all!

BONUS: Planning a destination wedding? Lip balm or travel sized sunblock make a great favour!

Photo credits: 1. Cactus: Design and Paper / 2. Candle: Mountainess / 3. Soap: Beth and Olivia’s Market / 4. Glassware: Andrea Paradowski via Style Me Pretty / 5. Bottle Opener: Naz Forge / 6. Playing cards: Alan Maudie via Shannon Valente Weddings / 7. Hangover kit: My Custom Party Store / 8. Luggage tag: Love Plus Design 9. Wraps: Isos Photography via June Bug Weddings / 10. Donation: Rachels Printables


I am beyond excited to finally be able to share this wedding from this past summer. Featured on Wedding Chicks last week!

Mirey and Patrick’s wedding took place at Heartland (Dude Ranch) where they film the tv drama series, the first and only wedding to happen at this location. The property is near and dear to the couple as it is owned by the groom’s family and it was absolute PERFECTION!

When I first met with Mirey and Patrick they told me they were closet hippies who liked good wine, I knew we would get along great! Most of our meetings took place over Skype as the couple lives in Australia but they were both excited to return to their Alberta roots the wedding day. They really just wanted a fun, relaxed day they could enjoy with family and friends, and that is exactly that they got.

Live music was important to them. They wanted a backyard bbq kind of day filled with music, gelato and lawn games. We had Steel and Timber play for the ceremony and cocktails. The bride and her bridesmaid walked down the aisle hand in hand to “January wedding” by the Avett Brothers, the band changing the words to “July wedding” for a personal twist. Fiasco served up gelato: Bourbon Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Blueberry Basil sorbeto off the back of a Vespa. Guests mingled and sipped on green tea lychee lemonade and kombucha, among other drinks, while they played croquet and bocce ball.

Devour Catering knocked the food out of the park with stations; a farm dinner table station with Alberta roast beef (we couldn’t bring everyone to Alberta and not serve them the beef!), a Baja Taco Stand and an Earth Feast station for the vegetarians in the group. They topped it off with a popcorn station filled with endless flavors: black pepper and truffle oil, paprika and grana padano, chipotle lime and maple caramel corn.

Whipped Desserts created a gorgeously rustic sweets table with all of the couple’s favorites: 
roasted coconut cream and red velvet cake, almond bark, Nanaimo bars, chocolate covered strawberries and oatmeal raisin cookies.

The tents had rows of farm tables, strings of cafe lights and cozy vintage seating areas from Orange Trunk Vintage Rentals and Rus Vintage for guests to sit and mingle when the rain graced us. But a little sprinkle of rain didn’t put a damper on this wedding reception!

Another request they had was to bash a piñata at the end of the night filled with Cuban chocolates (the bride’s family is from Cuba). I went to work on a DIY project and made a geometric shaped magenta piñata for a little punch of color. Patrick took a few polite taps, while Mirey made quick work of it with her hockey stick.

This wedding forever holds a little piece of my heart. Enjoy the eye candy from Corrina Walker Photography.

The dream team of wedding vendors:

Photo: Corrina Walker Photography / Planning + Design: Shannon Valente Weddings  / Florals: Philip Chong Flower Bar / Tents and Rentals: Special Event Rentals  / Rentals: Orange Trunk Vintage Rentals / Rentals: Rus Vintage / Cake + Sweets: Whippt Desserts  / Stationery: Modern Pulp Design Studio / Venue: Heartland (Dude Ranch) / Bridal Gown: Anna Campbell / Hair and makeup: Mountain Beauties / Ceremony music: Steel and Timber / Reception music: Dance Shout Productions / Officiant: Jacqueline Hoare / Caterer: Devour Catering / Gelato: Fiasco

It’s no secret that I love to eat….I also have a BIG bit of a sweet tooth 🙂 So when I was thinking about all of the wedding favours I have seen over the years (after 10 years as a wedding planner I’ve seen a few!), naturally my favourites have been the edible ones. (Pssst don’t worry, I also have a top 10 list of non-edible ones coming soon!)

Wedding favours are a personal choice, some couples opt to do them, while others do not and there is no right or wrong answer. If you choose to have them, make guests feel like they are taking home a little piece of you and your special day. Favours are more than just a keepsake, they can often act as dessert, decor, tie in colours and as you will see below, they can even double as stationery!

Fun Fact: in my experience the wedding favours least likely to be left behind at the end of the night….are the ones you can eat!

 1. Honey – Both practical and delicious, honey favours are a cute addition to any wedding table setting.

2. Cookies – These sugar cookie wedding favours are a work of art in themselves. To add a little extra flair, we customized them so they also doubled as name cards!

3. Macarons – Confession: I have a macaron obsession! My fav flavour is passionfruit. Box them up or package them in clear bags to let the colours show, they are the perfect way tie in your colour scheme and your guests will rave for days.

4. Pie/Cake in a jar – These are a great DIY wedding favour option. They can be made ahead of time and look so sweet wrapped up with a pretty little bow.

5. S’mores/candy/chocolates/fudge/donut – Because who can say no to a donut?! Send your wedding guests home with a sweet treat. Box them to keep them nice and fresh, your wedding guests will appreciate the late night snack attack.

6. Jam/Salsa/Pickles – Another great DIY favour option that can be made up in advance. Perhaps you have a delicious family recipe that has been passed down and would be the perfect compliment to your personalized wedding reception.

7. Popcorn – Sweet or savoury, the possibilities are endless and will leave your guests feeling like they just attended the event of the year.

8. Tea/coffee – A staple in most households, why not have guests take home your favourite blend.

9. Oil/hot sauce/spice blend – Give them a little taste of you; have a custom spice blend made, a herb infused olive oil or for the extra spicy couple a hot, hot, hot sauce!

10. Booze – Do you love martinis and he loves rum and coke? Give guests a little sample of your favourite cocktail.

Whatever you choose to do for wedding favours, have fun with it, let it be a reflection of you and allow your personalities to shine though.

Photo credits: 1. Honey: Brent Calis Photography via Shannon Valente Weddings / 2. Cookies: Emily Exon Photography via Shannon Valente Weddings / 3. Macarons: Rebekah Westover Photography via Brit + Co / 4. Pie/Cake in a jar: Custom Love Gifts / 5. Donuts: Mary Costa Photography via Almost Makes Perfect/ 6. Pickles: via Brides / 7. Popcorn: Annie Mcelwain Photography via 100 Layer Cake / 8. Tea/Coffee: Etsy / 9. Oil/hot sauce: Judy Pak Photography / 10. Booze: Mef Photography via Brides


Looking for a fun activity to do with the girls for your bachelorette party?! Heck you don’t even need to be getting married for this one!

Awhile ago I posted 10 Unconventional Bachelorette Party Ideas, sure you could go on some wild adventure for your stagette or bachelorette party…..but you could also stay in and drink wine with your besties!

Green Light Industries offers Rustic Paint Nights!

Get your friends together for a fun night of painting an drinks!
What they bring:
– Handmade Signature 16″x21 Reclaimed Wood Signs
– 3 Stencil Designs of the hosts choice
– 3 to 6 More Stencil Designs
– Stencil Brushes
– Paints & More
Contact them to book your party!

And because we love you, we are giving you a chance to win your own custom, rustic wood sign!

Prize details:

  • One wedding, anniversary or family sign of your choice, FREE!

Enter to win:
To enter the giveaway make sure you follow all the steps carefully. All you have to do is follow Green Light Industries – Reclaimed Furniture & Decor on Facebook and Instagram and then follow me on Instagram and Facebook, easy right?! We will also give you a bonus entry when you tag a friend!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The lucky winner will be announced on March 9th, don’t forget to check back in then!

Good luck!

Contest rules
*contest is open to Canadian residents only (for shipping)
* winner will be contacted March 9th and may choose from available templates and colours
* sign will be shipped within 2 weeks of contest closing
* contest begins March 3rd, 2017 and closes March 9th, 2017 at midnight MST.

A fairytale wedding with the rocky mountains as the backdrop….what’s not to love about this Banff wedding?! I have to say this family forever has a place in my heart. This is the second wedding we have worked on together, I also planned the bride’s sisters’ wedding a few years ago. After working together for basically 2 years on such important, personal events, it’s hard not to love them.

Melissa and Nate wanted to play up the castle theme since they were getting married at the beautiful Banff Springs. All of the details were rich in colour; navy, marsala and gold accents. The blooms towered above the guests heads, while the sweets table (oh the sweets table!) was fit for royalty. Even the photo booth props were suited for kings, queens and knights.

The grandness of the cathedral windows and stained glass crests in Mount Stephen Hall speak for themselves, so we kept the ceremony simple and lined the aisle with warm candlelight, white rose petals and greenery, while the string quartet played. The Alhambra room was the perfect backdrop for the wedding reception with the high ceilings and glowing chandeliers.

alanmaudie_melnate_004alanmaudie_melnate_003alanmaudie_melnate_012alanmaudie_melnate_016melissanate_0339alanmaudie_melnate_017alanmaudie_melnate_018alanmaudie_melnate_019alanmaudie_melnate_021alanmaudie_melnate_022fairmont banff wedding 2fairmont banff wedding 1alanmaudie_melnate_035alanmaudie_melnate_032alanmaudie_melnate_034alanmaudie_melnate_038alanmaudie_melnate_039Both the bride and groom had quite the wedding parties (both in numbers and personalities!) so the day was filled with love, laughter and old friends.

melissanate_1249melissanate_1237melissanate_1230fairmont banff weddingmelissanate_1212alanmaudie_melnate_047alanmaudie_melnate_053fairmont banff wedding 5melissanate_1254fairmont banff wedding 7alanmaudie_melnate_052These two lovebirds met in Germany playing basketball, so naturally we had to incorporate their love of b-ball; sink a dunk for a kiss!

alanmaudie_melnate_062alanmaudie_melnate_058Such an amazing wedding and not one I will soon forget. A HUGE thanks to the amazing team involved:

Photo: Alan Maudie 
Planning and design: Shannon Valente Weddings 
Florals: Flower Artistry 
Rentals: Special Event Rentals and CDM Consulting Group 
Cake/Sweets: Whippt Desserts 
Stationery: Blank Page Designs
Venue: Fairmont Banff Springs
Bridal Gown: Novia Mia
Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo, Aidan gown
Groom/Groomsmen: Forman’s Fashion Group
Hair and makeup: Mountain Beauties
Limo: California Dream Limos
Ceremony music: Allegra String Quartet
Reception music and lighting: Pez Productions


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