Wedding Coaster Favors
Looking to give your guests a wedding favor that's both multi-functional yet beautiful enough to keep forever? Drink coasters are the latest in trendy wedding favor gifts, and our selection includes everything from adorable theme-inspired mats to delicately sophisticated glass keepsakes. We're sure there's something to perfectly fit your wedding vision, colors and taste just below.
The Surprising Elegance of the Modern Drink Coaster
Maybe they haven’t gotten a lot of attention in the past, but the sturdy, ubiquitous drink coaster is quickly coming into its own among fashionable home furnishings. Though coasters as an accessory have been around for more than a hundred years, they’ve largely been neglected or used as a tool for much of their existence. But with changing times come new opportunities for upgrades, and the coaster is enjoying something of a low-key renaissance among designers.
The earliest form of drink coaster may have been the pulp board beer mat typically found in pubs and taverns in the United Kingdom. Small and cheap, these earliest coasters were spread out on tables as a form of decoration and to help quickly wipe up spills. Over time, beer manufacturers began manufacturing their own mats and giving them to bars as a way of cheap advertising. Even today, the British pub and many American bars use the beer mats to serve drinks, protect the bar’s veneer against spills, and to designate seating places on tables and along rails.
While the construction and shape of the beer mat has remained more or less the same, its sibling the coaster is usually made of something lightweight and durable – ceramics, plastic, or slate. They are also often coated with felt on one side to prevent scratching the furniture beneath, and sometimes ringed with cork to absorb condensation. With such purely utilitarian beginnings, the coaster probably wasn’t the likely choice for a serious style upgrade. Yet a new generation of designers have brought their know how and design sense to bear on creating a fresh approach to the once-humble coaster. The results are nothing less than beautiful.
“People think ‘coaster’ and they don’t expect much,” says Sandy Sachs, a wedding fashion expert in Atlanta. “There’s sort of an effort now to change that. Many of the latest drink coasters you see are just as fashion-smart and delicately crafted as the furniture they protect.”
Sachs points to a recent style of frosted glass coasters with etched snowflake designs, arranged in a Modernist composition, as proof of the favor’s coming-of-age.
“You wouldn’t be surprised to see something like this in a Fred Astaire movie, it’s such an elegant wedding favor,” she says. “On the other hand, it might look just as good at a simple holiday get-together of friends and family.”
That versatility is a key to re-introducing the coaster to a new generation of consumers who are used to seeing them as purely functional or, worse, a kind of annoyance.
“A lot of people think about a coaster and they sort of get one image in mind,” says interior design expert Maggie Hartingay. “They see their grandmother running over with a little cork plate for their drinks. But there’s no reason something can’t be lovely as well as functional. It’s just now become the coaster’s turn.”