By Joanne Elliott
History and traditions of wedding favors
The tradition of giving wedding favors, or ‘bomboniere’ is rooted in ancient European history. It was a ritual of common practice for wealthy aristocrats who were celebrating marriages, christenings, births and birthdays. The bride and groom give small presents, or favors, to their guests and well-wishers to thank them for sharing the momentous occasion. Initially the ‘bomboniere’ were of great value, and were made of expensive materials such as gold, silver, precious gems, porcelain or crystal. The contents of the ‘bombonaiere’ were also of great value, most notably sugar. At the time, sugar was a very rare substance, prized for its supposed medicinal qualities.
Additional meanings have become attached to the wedding favor tradition as time has passed. In total, the wedding favor is a symbol of well wishing for the five most important ingredients of a marriage bond:
- Long Life
Essentially, the wedding favor is a symbol of love and respect from the bride and the groom, and a token of well wishing for their deliriously happy future together. In addition, they add to the décor and overall theme of the wedding itself.
Wedding favors have become increasingly popular over the years as more and more people want small keepsakes to remember special occasions by. The actual monetary ‘value’ of the gifts is relatively small now in comparison to our ancient Ancestors. Common favors include ribbons, candles, picture frames, personalized book marks, laminated plaques, candy, seed packets, pillows, balloons and potpourri, amongst others.
Many couples prefer to give the gests something edible rather than an expensive crystal ornament. Candy, sugared almonds, mints and truffles are always a pleasing favor to give. These can be exquisitely gift wrapped in presentation boxes, or personalized by a professional cake decorator, for a relatively small sum of money. The overall effect, however, can be completely sublime!
Wedding Favor Themes
Because wedding favors can very much enhance the overall theme of a wedding it is a nice idea to try to get a balance. And don’t forget, any favor can be personalized with a unique thank you note or a short poem on an elegant card.
Seasonal wedding favors are a fairly obvious theme. In winter you could give floating poinsettia candles or mini cherub ornaments. In fall you could wrap tulip bulbs in tulle and tie it with a ribbon to create a kind of home made sentimental potpourri. Spring could bring tiny glass ornaments or a personalized seed packet. And in Summer you could give elegant candles or brightly colored ribbons.
Overall wedding plan and color scheme
It makes very good sense to try to tie in your wedding favors with the overall theme of your wedding. Think about what the favors represent initially, and then consider things like color scheme. For example, if you have decided on a traditional white wedding, you could package the personalized candy wedding favors in a box that coordinates with the bridal dress, or give ribbons that match the color of your bouquet exactly.
The best way to select a perfect wedding favor is to determine your budget, number of guests, and to think about what your friends and family might like to receive themselves.
There are many website on the Internet which are dedicated to the supply of beautiful wedding favors. Many of these sites have very interesting innovative ideas for gifts and themes, so if you don’t know quite what to get, you soon will…!