Readers, take note: This is a paid review. But as I have said in my disclaimer, I’m going to be as objective as possible regardless of which.
Being a web designer by profession had somehow turned me off a bit from buying online. I guess seeing the production of a shopping cart from concept to execution just made me think twice before inputting my credit card info. It’s not because I didn’t have faith in online transactions, but it’s simply due to the fact that we have always found alternatives for shopping cart payment gateways because Paypal isn’t available in the country yet. It was the issues on Philippine banking laws that prevented us from having fully-functional Paypal accounts, which kind of makes you wonder if it really is safe to transact online. But ever since the Paypal ban has been lifted, I must say that I’ve been less paranoid about buying stuff online with my credit card—which makes my husband frown every time he got our credit card bill. Hehe.
So what does all this tech talk have to do with wedding favors? A lot. Well, in the case of this review at least, because what I’ll be reviewing is an online store for wedding favors: Truly Wedding Favors.
The name says it all—Truly Wedding Favors is a website where you can get what else? Wedding favors, souvenirs your guests can take home and remind them of your special day. You can choose favors that are related to your theme and color motif, or simple get generic ones if you aren’t fussy.
If you’re tight on the budget, I’d still recommend getting favors from Divisoria. Because yes, wedding favors are still way cheaper there—especially since you won’t be paying for guarantee and quality, not to mention delivery. Those are the things you’d be saving up on if you go to Divisoria instead—the favors won’t be delivered on your doorstep ready for giving to your guests.
There are some local suppliers here who can provide you with delivery if you have allotted a tad bit more budget for your wedding favors. Most of them are able to replicate those you can find online like this Personalized Coffee Kit from Truly Wedding Favors, but don’t expect that it would be exact and the quality the same. There are those that are quite difficult to replicate, like this Calla Lily Candle—unless of course you know a supplier who actually makes custom candles and won’t require you to buy in bulk.
If you’re not going to factor in shipping costs (ugh, that’s the worse when you’re buying tangible products online), the costs of wedding souvenirs that Truly Wedding Favors offers are basically the same as those offered by local wedding suppliers. Take the Calla Lily Candle for example (I just love this candle, it’s so pretty).
Let’s say you needed to buy 100 pieces. A candle costs $1.79 each, but if you can get a volume discounted price of $1.29 each since you’re purchasing a hundred pieces ($1.29 for 80-143 pieces, $1.19 for 144++ pieces). If the current Dollar-Peso exchange rate is $1 = Php42, then each of the candles would cost you Php54.18. Multiply that by 100, and you’d be spending Php5,418 for the candles—which is actually the within the usual range of a bride’s wedding souvenir budget. If you get the souvenirs from a local wedding favors supplier, you’d probably pay the same. And yep, I’ve seen lower-quality candles similar to this one priced at around the same amount—sometimes they’re even more expensive.
According to their website, Truly Wedding Favors offers a satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t pleased with the quality, you can send back the unused favors in exchange for better ones. I think local suppliers do that too, I’m not sure though. Read the contract or agreement you have with them to know if they do offer such guarantee as well.
As I have said, shipping is the main issue that you’ll have to face when buying wedding stuff online. International shipping is quite pricey, sometimes shipping alone costs more than the total expense of the products being shipped. However, this might not be much of a problem if you have relatives or friends in the United States who would be coming to the Philippines before your wedding. You wire them the payment and they’ll purchase the products for you and have them delivered to their address. They can then bring the favors to you when they get to the Philippines. The only risk you’ll have to worry about in this case is having your relative/friend’s baggage getting lost in the airport, or the person bringing the favors suddenly couldn’t make the trip.
If you ask me, I’d honestly tell you that buying raw materials from Divisoria and making your own stuff are still always the best way to save on expenses for your wedding. Though there isn’t a guarantee that the quality you get is always “premium” quality, it’s really up to you finding the Divisoria supplier who can give you that. However, I won’t totally rule out buying wedding stuff online or getting from a local supplier. Some people just don’t have the luxury of time. And when you really think about it, convenience is actually what you pay for when you’re not the one making your own wedding stuff—you pay for somebody else’s time and talent to make your wedding things.
You might be getting tired of me saying this, but yes, it’s always up to you. Should you make your own favors, get from a local supplier, or buy online? You’re the one (and your groom-to-be) who decides. Just remember to study both the advantages and disadvantages of all the options in relation to your situation (ask yourself: “Do you have time to make your own?” “Can you find ways to lower the cost of shipping?” “Can your budget accommodate getting ready-made souvenirs?”) before coming to a decision. You wouldn’t want to waste your money would you?
UPDATE: Melissa of TrulyWeddingFavors.Com has generously offered the readers of My Filipino Wedding an additional 5% discount!!! Just use the promotion code TRULY5 upon checkout and you’ll get your discount.