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.
The tradition of distributing wedding favors is a very old one. It is believed that the first wedding favor, common amongst European aristocrats, was known as a bonbonniere . A bonbonniere is a small trinket box made of crystal , porcelain , and/or precious stones. The contents of these precious boxes were generally sugar cubes or delicate confection foods, which symbolize wealth and royalty. (In this era, sugar was an expensive commodity and was treasured only among the wealthy. It was believed that sugar contained medical benefits). As the price of sugar decreased throughout centuries, the tradition of providing such expensive food gifts to guests reached the general populace and was embraced by couples of modest means.
As sugar became more affordable, the contents of bonbonnieres were replaced among the modest with almonds. For centuries, almonds were commonly distributed to wedding guests to signify well wishes on the bridegroom’s new life. In the thirteenth century, almonds coated with sugar, known as confetti, were introduced. Confetti soon transformed to Jordan almonds, which later evolved into the signature wedding favor for modern day weddings. Traditionally, five Jordan almonds are presented in a confection box or wrapped in elegant fabric to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. The bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the coated candy exemplify the bitter sweetness of a marriage.
Today, gifts to guests are commonly known as wedding favors and are shared in cultures worldwide. Wedding favors have become an intricate and necessary part of wedding planning and have complemented ceremonies and receptions alike. Wedding favors are so diverse in style, elegance and theme that options for favors are only limited to the couple’s imagination. Today’s bride has the option to select a gift based on her wedding theme.
Many couples wish to share commemorating gifts that are personalized with the couples names and dates so the guests can remember the very special occasion. Some of these favors include personalized pens, wedding flowers, trinket boxes, goblets, candles, vases, and even personalized wedding cameras.
In Italy they use the “Favor Cake”, a new and different type of favor (they call it “Torte Bomboniere”), usable for all ceremonies.
These gifts have made the bride’s ‘to do’ list and climbing the list as a very important item.
The importance and demand for wedding favors have created new business in the wedding industry. Wedding favors have surpassed the term ‘trend’ and have become a commonplace tradition among today’s weddings.