The tradition of distributing wedding favours is a very old one and one of the earliest accounts of wedding favours dates back to 16th century England. It was common for couples to give love knots constructed from lace and ribbon to each of their guests as a to represent their bond of love and wedding favours became a tradition that has now spread around the world.
It is not a custom that is restricted to the “lower orders” aristocrats also adopted the tradition and would send guests home with a small gift called a bonbonniere and these were also given out at birthday parties and other celebrations.
The bonbonniere was actually a small decorated box which could be made very simply of wood or jewel encrusted precious metal with everything in between and it would be filled with sugary sweetmeats or sugared almonds.
These gifts, usually consisted of five almonds or other sweets which represented fertility, health, wealth, happiness and longevity and were thought to be lucky. In handing them out the newly-weds were sharing their own happiness and good luck with their friends and family.
If you have received such a gift, nowadays often a tulle wrapped handful of sugared almonds, you will probably have found that there are still five in each favour representing the five wedding wishes.
Increasingly couples give favours according to their wedding’s theme but many countries have traditional favours such as:
Chocolate covered or sugared almonds at an Italian wedding; at a Spanish wedding, guests receive “detalles” perhaps cigars for men and a gift for the women; Russian wedding favours usually take the form of tiny pictures or small candles and trinkets; at weddings in Ireland, it is common for guests to receive small wedding bells and in India, a lucky wedding favour to give guests is a hand-made elephant ornament.
Just for the interest it is also considered to be lucky if a bride in India has her path crossed by an elephant … lots of unemployed black cats in India!
At the Olde Christmas Shoppe we can provide a wide range of favours or party gifts for all occasions from actual personalised Christmas baubles to jigsaws featuring the photo of your choice, porcelain hanging ornaments, printed slates and many others for all ages.
And of course these can also be used as promotional materials for your business.