Souvenirs are a Nigerian party staple. There’s probably no (big) Nigerian party you’ll attend that won’t provide you with a napkin or some kitchen utensil as proof of your attendance. This is probably why most people feel like they must share souvenirs at their wedding. After all, everyone does.
But let us ignore everyone for a minute and think about how/if souvenirs fit into your plans.
There should be a reason for everything. And, ‘to stunt’, or ‘everyone else does it’ are not good enough reasons. So, why do you want to hand out souvenirs at your wedding? The only reason you should consider handing out souvenirs is to show guests your gratitude, so they can have a token that’s tied to fond memories of your wedding.
If you decide to go ahead with giving souvenirs, it’s important to include it in your wedding budget. Have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend on souvenirs. This should include the cost of items, transportation (local or international shipping), and printing or inscription.
In budgeting, think of the approximate number of guests that’ll be at your wedding, and try to cater for as many as you can. If you can’t give souvenirs to most of your guests, you may want to skip doing it at all. It’ll be poor form to have your guests fight over souvenirs or go home feeling slighted. However, if you really want to say your ‘thank-yous’ with a token, you can draw up a list of people you’d like to thank and send them items after the wedding.
Your budget will determine what kind of items you can share. While you don’t have to go overboard and give iPhones or wristwatches, try to avoid giving out random items like hand fans, plastic bowls or dustpans. Often, these items end up adding to the clutter in the homes of guests. A useful trick here is to think of the items you’ve received in the past but found useless, and avoid them. You can think out of the box and give your guests unexpected yet useful items like flash drives, knife sets, or gift cards. Or you can go with items you know one never has too much of, like towels.
Are your friends/relatives also thinking of giving?
Usually, other people (apart from the couple) share souvenirs at weddings. it’s a way of showing support. If you know any of your relatives or friends who are planning on handing out souvenirs, you could liaise with them to subsidise cost. You’ll probably be able to accomplish more that way.
Remember, there’s no compulsion to give out souvenirs. Only do it if you want to and can afford to.