Wedding favors are small gifts given as a gesture of appreciation or gratitude to guests from the bride and groom during a wedding ceremony or a wedding reception.
It is said that the first wedding favor goes way back in the 13th century in Europe, more precisely in Italy, where aristocratic families, at important events like weddings, were offering a “bonbonniere” as a sign of gratitude for the guests that are with them.
The bonbonniere is a box made of crystal, porcelain, and precious stones, or even made entirely of gold, where they were putting generally sugar cubes or delicate confections, which symbolize wealth and royalty. Back in those days sugar was very expensive and, as I said only the rich would afford giving those gifts to the entire party.
As time passed throughout centuries, the price of sugar decreased, and the tradition of providing gifts to guests reached the general populace and was also embraced by couples of modest means.
But sugar wasn’t the only thing used as wedding favor, very popular after that were almonds. Jordan almonds to be precisely, also known as sugared almonds or confetti, are a type of confectionery consisting of almonds covered with a candy coating in various colors, originating from Italy and particularly typical of the town of Sulmona.
Traditionally, five Jordan almonds are presented in a confection box or wrapped in elegant fabric to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. Plus the bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the coated candy exemplify the bitter sweetness of a marriage.
Over time the tradition has changed according to testimonies of cultural and social class of each people, but still remained symbolic, meant only to remind the guests of the pleasant moments spent in the party.
Nowadays wedding favors are diverse and usually complement the theme or season of the event. Classic favors can range from the classic 5 sugared almonds or individual chocolates to candles and scented soaps. The gifts are put in bags of tulle, organza, lace, satin or silk, tied with ribbon and accessorized with a note, printed with the grooms name, wedding date and possibly a symbolic message.
Modern gift trends may include CDs with the favorite music of the bride and groom, shot glasses filled with colored candy or silver picture frames with a photo of the couple. Whatever you feel that truly expresses your personality, after all people will always remember your wedding day looking at your wedding favors.
The manner of giving those gifts to the guests depends on each couple. If you want to be something very personal, you can deliver them yourself upon the guests’ departure. Of course, you can assign someone to ensure they receive the memories and it can very well be one of the bridesmaids; after all one must help the bride in need, right? Or choose the easiest way and put the wedding favors on the table next to each dinner plate.