Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter Wedding: Hot Cocoa Favors

For our wedding favors, we wanted to do something unique, but also reasonably cost since we were having a 300+ guests wedding.

Getting married in December and having somewhat of a winter wedding theme, we decided that hot cocoa mix would be a fun gift that people could take with them and actually use.

Since it was a Southern winter wedding, of course the hot cocoa mix would be in mason jars..well...smaller versions of mason jars. We ordered 300 in bulk with silver lids from an online website.

We ended up with a fun layered look of cocoa mix, mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips.

I had one of my coworkers who's a graphic designer take a design I had created for the jar labels and fix it -- in other words, make it look better. Then I ordered the labels as stickers made by my company's print shop (very cheap!). They had our names on it with "The Perfect Mix" and the wedding date. I'm pretty sure you could probably make these labels on your computer and print on the sticker label paper from Office Depot -- however, for me it was cheaper to use my company's print shop.

I ordered these awesome tags online from Tori's Custom Creations on Etsy (she also did our Hotel welcome bag tags) -- on the front was an image of a coffee cup with a snowflake on it and "Warm Wishes" and on the back she put the basic recipe for using the favor to make hot cocoa.

Finally, I ordered green ribbon in bulk online to tie the tags onto the jars with.

I originally had planned to do more of a layered look for the mix by doing the basic ingredients of cocoa mix -- powered milk, sugar, etc. -- but after realizing this would cost more, be more complicated for guests to make the cocoa, and be more of a pain to make, we opted for just the three basic layers.

We made the favors about a month before our wedding... it took a Friday night and almost an entire Saturday...but thank God we had the help of my sister-in-law and two lovely nieces. It ended up being a really great experience -- we sat around my mother-in-law's kitchen table making the favors and talked and chatted the entire time. It took forever, but it was worth the bonding experience.

First we had to hand wash every jar...yup..hand wash. Then we set out the jars on top of towels on the kitchen table to dry over night.

Early Saturday morning we started tying the ribbons and tags on each jar.

Next it was time for the ingredients. We bought cocoa mix in bulk -- which was easy to find/buy because it was November and all the stores were putting the bulk mixes out on the shelves. Mini-marshmallows are always cheap and available and were easy to get as well. The chocolate chips were pricey - we found that most brands are priced the same - i.e. generic is not that much cheaper than say Nestle. The Nestle brand was the only brand that sold in huge bags -- so even though it was pricey, we saved money buying in bulk.

Knowing how much to buy was tricky...Bradley and I made a few test jars at our house the week prior. Once we got a jar to the levels of ingredients of our liking, we measured what was in the jar for each ingredient, then literally did the math and calculated how many jars we could make from one cocoa tin, one bag of marshmallows and one bag of chocolate chips... then calculated how many of each we would need to make 300 jars.

It was incredible, but we actually ran out of the cocoa mix we bought with only two jars remaining. Luckily my mother-in-law had a few packets of cocoa mix we were able to use to finish off the last two. We also ended up with about two bags of marshmallows left and only one bag of chocolate chips. So I guess our math wasn't too bad off.

We had somewhat of an assembly line around the table when making these -- one person was in charge of filling cocoa, the next person would follow the cocoa person and add in marshmallows on top, then another followed with the chocolate chips, and then finally someone came behind and put on the lids. We created makeshift funnels out of printer paper and tape to make pouring the cocoa mix in the jars much easier.

Finally we all joined together to stick on the labels and box the jars.

We calculated the favors to be a little less than $3 per guest.

We had one at each place setting for every guest. Everyone loved them and we got lots of compliments on them. We even heard that some of our guests were opening the jars during the reception and sneaking a few bites of chocolate chips and marshmallows.

I was really happy with the way they turned out!

Read the rest of my blog posts about my Winter Wedding in Birmingham, AL on 12.10.11.


megan said...

Such a cute idea! I'm also thinking of doing a homemade favor - pickles! haha surprise surprise. I enjoyed reading all of the details about how you put them all together! :)

Jordan Cole said...

I love the DIY creativity! I cannot wait to do things like that for my wedding. I think it adds more character. I will defiantly be having a winter wedding, it's just a magical time!

Madras and Pearls said...

I just love this idea! You all did a great job with the look of the jars too :)

KatiePerk said...

These turned out so cute! I know people swooned over them! I love a usable favor!

Ashlee @ They Lived Happily Ever After... said...

Such a cute idea!! I'm your newest follower...cute blog!

Royar said...

These are too cute! XO

I'maNolaGirl said...

What a precious idea!!! I especially love how you used the mason jars. The perfect touch!

Elizabeth | The Blush Magnolia said...

These are too cute! xoxo

Rebecca said...

that is the best idea! so many times people waste their money on favors but this was inexpensive & something they would love!!

Scrappinangler said...

Christy, These turned out beautiful!!! Thanks so much for giving me a shout out about the Cocoa Tags I made! I am sure your wedding was beautiful! Thanks so much for letting my handmade items be a part of it!

Tori ~Tori's Custom Creations!

Lindsay said...

such a cute idea! LOVE LOVE it!


erica said...

Oh my word this is such a cute idea! xo

Anonymous said...

what was the website for the mason jars? I am also doing the same thing with my winter wedding but stil trying to find the best deal on mason jars.

Anonymous said...

So....what size jars did you use and how much of the ingredients?

Unknown said...

Ho much did it cost overall. This is a super cute idea, I'm having a winter wedding, and this would be perfect!