When planning a wedding, there are hundreds of things to consider and for many couples, it is the small things that are left to the last minute. But as the saying goes, the devil’s in the details and getting these finishing touches right can really make the day. One of the most popular small details are wedding favours. But what are they and how to do you tie them into your wedding theme?
Wedding favours have a long and distinguished history. Back in the 16th century, couples gave a love knot made from ribbon and lace to each guest to represent their love and as a favour. A fancier version was used by the aristocrats in France and Italy and was called a ‘bonboniere’ or ‘bomboniere’. These were also used at birthday parties and other special occasions and were a small box made from crystal, precious stones, metal or porcelain that had a small sugar delicacy inside. This was the idea that led to the modern wedding favour.
Weddings were themselves considered lucky at one time and by giving a ‘bomboniere’ or other treat to guests, the couple were sharing their luck. Five almonds or pieces of candy were usually given to represent fertility, longevity, happiness, wealth and health. Later the combining of sugar and almonds was used and the treats were wrapped in paper or other pretty material.
Favours around the world
Today, there are many different traditions around the world that have their roots in the wedding favour. In Italy, sugar coated almonds are still used as well as chocolate covered ones while in Spain, guests receive a ‘detalles’ – this is a small gift for the ladies and a cigar for the men. In Russia, a favour will be a tiny picture or a candle and a small trinket while in Irish weddings, small bells are given as favours. Finally, in India, a handcrafted elephant is given to guests to share the wedding couple’s good luck.
Wedding favours has become big business around the world and this means there are a huge range of ideas to choose from. Some people also choose to make their own, sometimes with a specific gift for a specific guest.
If you are giving favours only to the ladies, another common tradition, then instead of sweets, why not give a small, scented soap? Little soaps come in various scents and colours so can be coordinated with the colour theme of the wedding or with the flowers in the bouquet.
Rather than traditional almonds, small heart shaped pieces of fudge are another modern version of the wedding favour and putting one in a small box with a coordinating ribbon around it makes for a pleasant sight on the tables. Even tiny cupcakes and macaroons are being put into little boxes for a delightful sweet treat and these can be given to the men as well as the women.
Another less ornate idea for the wedding favour is to buy each guest a Lottery ticket, roll it and tie it with a colour themed ribbon. Of course, don’t forget to make them all promise to give you a share if they hit the jackpot from the ticket!