When we first started talking about wedding favors there were lots of ideas that came to mind. We wanted something local, that was a treat and allergen-free. That’s when the idea of local honey came about. Why not give our guests something that they can take back home and enjoy for a while.
We came up with these cute jars of local unpasterized honey with special little touches like wooden honey dippers, Tibetan bee charms, colourful ribbon and a sweet label. It was a fun project that got lots of family and friends involved.
We displayed the jars in the bar area of the venue, so that guests would be sure to see them during cocktail hour and then grab one on their way out at the end of the night. They would have also looked nice at each place setting.
The jars were paired with a packet of wildflower seeds for guests to plant in their garden or toss in a ditch on their way home. It was our little way of giving thanks back to the bees for making the honey.
We ended up having TONS of honey leftover. For 115 guests, we made 144 jars with the hope that everyone would take one and then we’d have some leftover to give to the vendors, drop off with family/friends who were unable to attend and then take some with us on our honeymoon road trip to give out along the way. I guess that lots of couples just took one to share, so we have plenty of honey now. Any time I’ve used honey in a post over the last two months, it’s been from the leftover jars.
When we first started looking at honey jars, everyone told us it was too difficult to do on our own and that we should just buy them pre-poured. The cheapest we could find was $4-5 per jar for just the jar and the honey. With 144 favours to make, that adds up really quickly, but by doing it ourselves we saved over $115 and were able to add the bee charms and wooden honey dippers.
Here is a quick cost breakdown, including where we bought all the supplies.
|Local Honey||$1.56||Staite’s Honey – Uxbridge, Ontario (25 kg)|
|100 mL Jars||$0.75||Atkinson Maple Syrup Supplies|
|4″ Wooden Dippers||$0.63||Woodworks Ltd.|
|Ribbon||$0.17||Fabricland – on clearance|
|Bee Charms||$0.08||DHGate Wholesale|
|Labels||$0.02||Martha Stewart Avery Collection – on clearance|
We had more than enough favours for our wedding, as well as plenty of extras, but if you’re looking to save more you could do them as one per couple.
We picked up 25 kg (over 55 lbs) of honey from Staite’s Honey in Uxbridge, Ontario in big 5 kg and 15 kg pails. On the way home, my mom was terrified of them breaking open and covering her truck in honey. That was a pretty common theme throughout the process – don’t let the honey spill. I kept picturing someone knocking over a 15 kg pail of honey all through the kitchen. Thankfully we had no major spills – and the dogs were more than happy to lick up any little drips on the tile.
The biggest obstacle we had to overcome was how to pour the honey out of those big pails into a pitcher to make filling the jars easier. The honey guy said the important thing was to stop the flow of the honey. It has a much thicker viscosity than water, so it will keep pouring forever if you let it – and when you have $215 of honey, so don’t want to have too many spills. That stuff is liquid gold.
The trick was for my dad to carefully pour the honey from the pail into a large glass pitcher and then I’d run a knife along the edge of the pail to cut off the stream (I’ll show you a pic of it in a minute). We placed the pitcher on a dinner plate to make it easier to clean up and spills.
When we were ready to go, we setup an assembly line around the kitchen table. Dad was in charge of pouring the honey (it was quite the workout!), mom took care of cleaning any drips on the jars and I tightened the lids on the cleaned jars, added labels, packaged them up and got the next round of jars ready for pouring.
The jars didn’t need to be washed (they came sterilized from the supplier) and we just put them on a large dinner plate to make it easier to clean up an drips and spills. I’d setup a plate with jars and my dad would start to carefully fill the jars with honey from the pitcher.
When a jar was almost full, he’d use a knife to cut off the stream.
He continued around a whole plate before passing the jars off for cleaning.
Using a clean tea towel damped with hot water, my mom wiped all the edges of the jars before I put the lids on. Once the jars had dried, we added on the labels.
For the labels, my mom scored a great deal on these Martha Stewart Avery Labels. I’d previously seen them for $5, but she got them on clearance for 50% off the ticketed price ($1.50) making them $0.75 for 36 labels – or $0.02 cents each!
Then it was time to decorate them up with ribbon, bee charms and a honey dipper! Some of the bridesmaids came over to help with this and we were able to knock out all 144 jars in under two hours (including a break for pizza!).
I pre-cut the ribbon into 17″ pieces and we strung the bee charms about 1/3 of the way in on the right. This is roughly where we wanted to tie the bow on the side of the jar.
Months before we even knew we were doing honey jars, my mom found the ribbon on clearance months before for $1 for a 3 yard skein and bought a bunch in some of our colours – navy and sage green. They turned out to be perfect for this project, but we could have also found uses for them throughout the decor. Once you find ribbon on sale, in your wedding colours, buy it – because I can almost guarantee it won’t be on sale when you’re ready to make favours, wrap bouquets, etc.
I thought these Tibetan bee charms from DHGate Wholesale were just too cute to pass up.
To keep the charm and ribbon in place, we tied a double knot. The extra knot kept the dipper from sitting father away from the jar. Without it, I found that the dipper wanted to flop one way or the other. The wooden honey dippers at Woodworks Inc and we made sure they would fit the opening of the jar before ordering. Can you imagine doing all this and then they don’t fit?
Then it was time to tie on the wooden dipper. Make sure it’s a tight knot to keep it in place.
We tied the ends into a little bow, clipped any stray threads and then turned the bee charm so that it was facing forwards. Voila!
Due to the height of the wooden dippers, we had to leave the boxes open on the top. The finished jars needed to be stored in a warm place to prevent the honey from crystallizing. It doesn’t take much to make them crystallize – even the spare jars sitting in my parents basement this summer started to harden.
Once we got to the venue the day before the wedding, it was time to set it all up! We used vintage wooden fruit crates (previously bedside stands at our cottage) to give the display some height.
It also gave us more space to display all 144 jars.
I made this sign on Photoshop using the bee image and font from the jars, as well as a little honey quote about love. The frame and stand are dollar store finds that we stained at the same time as the DIY Painted Wedding Direction Signs.
If you are planning to make honey jar favours for your wedding and have any questions, email me or leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to help!