This is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years and became a must for the European aristocracy when celebrating nuptials. The favours at the time were usually bonbonnieres – small trinket boxes made of porcelain and often decorated with semi-precious stones.
Wedding favours are small gifts that are presented to guest as a token of appreciation for their attendance on the big day.
This is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years and became a must for the European aristocracy when celebrating nuptials. The favours at the time were usually bonbonnieres – small trinket boxes made of porcelain and often decorated with semi-precious stones. They were given to the guests at weddings as a demonstration of the family’s wealth. The contents of these bonbonnieres would often be in the form of confectionery. This was because the sugar used to make these edible morsels was actually a really expensive commodity. It was also thought that sugar had medicinal value at that time. As sugar became less expensive and more widely available, the giving of favours spread as a tradition as more and more couples were able to afford to supply them to their guests.
One of the more traditional favours used at weddings are sugared almonds. Usually, five of these are given to represent happiness, wealth, health, fertility and long life. They are often wrapped in small scraps of fabulous fabrics and tied with coloured ribbons, often decorated with tiny flowers. They complement the table decor and add an air of magic to the occasion.
Another traditional favour would be a slice of wedding cake – this has been the custom for as long as wedding cakes have been a part of the ceremony! Very often, the slices of cake will be carefully enclosed in small boxes made of card that have been produced specially for the occasion and each guest will be presented with one as they leave. The boxes that contain the cake are usually plain white and often printed with the names of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding.
Nowadays, favours have become much more widespread and feature in most weddings. The confectionery or sugared almonds have been replaced by small gifts such as scented candles, luxury soaps, handmade chocolates or mints, and a huge array of other items.
The bonbonnieres of yesteryear have given way to a wide array of packaging from small organza bags to coloured boxes that complement the table linens. Some couples actually choose table cameras (a one-use, disposable camera) so that the guests can make their own pictorial record of the event. It’s possible to buy squares of luxury fabrics that have been hemmed and sometimes embroidered to use as a wrapping for the gifts for guests. There is a range of favours that are so beautifully packaged that it would be a shame to put them into a container. Some of these are offered in several styles of packaging, making it possible to choose something that will fit in fabulously with the theme of the dress, the flowers or the table decor.
Providing favours for your guests can be a special way of demonstrating how much their attendance means to you. They will be delighted that you have taken the time to think of buying them something with which to remember the event. If you choose the right sort of favours, you are sure to delight everybody in attendance.
Nowadays, rather than making their own favours (which can be a pretty enormous job when you have the rest of the wedding to plan), most brides choose to get their favours from one of the specialist websites that supply a wide range of favours for every occasion.
Whatever the theme of the wedding, whatever the colour of the flowers, the day is sure to be enhanced by choosing a favour to hand out to guests on the day.