A Brief History Of Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are small gifts given to guests by the bride and groom as a gesture of appreciation or gratitude during a wedding ceremony or a wedding reception.

Bonbonniere is Italian for favors. It is known as the first wedding favor common among European aristocrats. A bonbonniere is a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain or precious stones. The contents of these boxes were sugar cubes or delicate confections. Before, sugar was an expensive commodity and a believed to contained medical benefit thus symbolizes wealth in royalty.

As sugar became more affordable, sugar was replaced by almonds. In the thirteenth century, Jordan almonds, also known as sugared almonds or confetti in Italian were introduced. Jordan almonds are a type of confectionery consisting of almonds covered with candy coating in various colors. Jordan is a French word jardin which means garden hence, a cultivated almond. Five sugared almonds symbolize health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life. The bitterness of almond and sweetness of sugar represents the bitter sweetness of marriage. The treats are often packaged in groups of five per guest, accompanied by a traditional poem:

Five sugared almonds for each guests to eat
To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet
Five wishes for the new husband and wife
Health, wealth, happiness, children and a long life!

Wedding favors are shared in cultures worldwide. It becomes part of wedding reception planning. It is diverse and complements the theme or season of the event. Wedding favors can range from the classic sugared almonds or individual chocolates to candles and scented soaps. Modern gifts include CDs with favorite music of the bride and groom, shot glasses filled with colored candy, or silver picture frames with photo of the couple. It may also be personalized with the couples name, initials or wedding date.