Let me ask you a question: Hoe many flowers' names do you know? Sure, every-one knows what a rose and carnation look like, but if I told you to picture a chrysanthemum or succulent, would you be able to? it's not a trick question and it's okay if your answer is "no". My point in asking is to say that most of my couples don't know a lot of what I know when we begin designing and planning their wedding. I've done this before and I do it every day. I've gained the knowledge necessary to take a concept and plan the details so that concept becomes a reality. I love taking the vision that you describe to me and telling you the name of the flower, leaf, pattern, material, etc. that you're picturing in your mind. This very tablescape was inspired by a couple who pictured "layers of outdoor picnic elements, paired with an indoor, contemporary space". They spent a large portion of their time getting to know one another through hiking and having picnics so they wanted to incorporate that theme into their wedding celebration without having to worry about inclement weather potentially ruining their day. They also both happened to be teachers who initially met at a conference. Considering these concepts and that "Greenery" is the color of the year, I designed tables capes with plaid linen, leafy table runners and apple favors.
Speaking of favors, I cannot tell you how many couples stack their brains over them. On average, my couples that do choose to have favors spend between $200-$400 on them. When my couples are on the fence about favors that is truly a part of their overall theme and styling (like these apples that represent the story of how this couple met), consider a few alternatives: Your guests will most remember how much fun they had celebrating with you so you can use the money you would have spent on favors to allow for extra time from your band or DJ, a fun photo booth, upgraded dinner choices or extra hors d'louvre selections.
Another alternative is to donate money to a cause or charity that speaks to you. Place a beautiful piece of stationary that matches your invitations, menus, etc. at leach place setting, explaining the donation so that guests can see that rather than sitting a chocolate bar on their plate, you've done something meaningful to commemorate your day.
Ultimately, there are many alternatives to traditional favors. It's up to you to decide how much importance yo place in this part of your planning. The good news is, there is no right or wrong and an experience designer and planner can help you with this and so many more decisions.