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(Free-Press-Release.com) May 26, 2011 -- 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.
For many centuries wedding favors have been a part of traditional wedding ceremonies, across a wide range of cultures. Initially wedding favors were an extravagant gift given by European aristocracy, who had the wealth to provide elaborate gifts to guests.
The Origin of Favors
The early wedding favors began as small fancy boxes, known by their French name of bonbonniere. A bonbonniere was fashioned of crystal, porcelain, or gold, and often encrusted with precious stones. The delicate boxes were meant to hold sugar cubes, which were delicacies, or other confectionery delicacies, at a time when sugar was quite expensive. Sugar was also highly valued by all, as it was believed to have medicinal benefits.
Favors for the Masses
As the price of sugar decreased throughout centuries, the tradition of providing gifts to guests reached the general populace and was embraced by couples of modest means. As sugar became more affordable, bonbonnieres were replaced with almonds.
For more than a millennium, almonds were commonly given as wedding gifts to the couple, signifying the good wishes on their new life together. In the thirteenth century the practice of coating almonds in sugar became popular, the new confections were called "confetti". Over time, confetti has transformed to Jordan almonds, now a staple of many wedding celebrations. 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.
Favors for Today
Since the sixteenth century, bridegroom couples have been giving gifts to wedding guests as a gesture of gratitude for sharing in the beginning of their new life together. Today, gifts to the guests are known as wedding favors and are commonplace in ceremonies worldwide. The small gifts may vary according to the culture, wealth and the interests of the couple, or theme of the wedding.
For the modern bride, wedding favors offer endless options. A beautifully decorated place card at the reception table, can make a lovely and inexpensive memento. A frame place card holder can be added as a lovely take home gift. For couples with larger budgets, a pashmina or scarf for the women, such as was provided by Princes Katherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. Or a wine tote for the rest of the guests. Often a bride may select wedding favors intended to complement the décor of the reception and wedding.
Wedding party favors are special gifts provided to members of the wedding party. The heartfelt gifts may be distributed by the bridegroom couple at the time of the rehearsal dinner or before the wedding, in appreciation for assistance in creating the couples memorable day. Like the wedding favors given to all guests, there are unlimited possibilities for these special gifts. Typically they may be specialized items of a higher dollar value and may be engraved with the name or monogram of the individual in the party. Today you may see something as practical as a tool set or as elegant as jewelry.
The options are endless for our modern brides. From traditional to humorous, and inexpensive to expensive, the variety of favors is only limited to the imagination. The gift communicates the bride and groom's appreciation of their wedding party and wedding guests. This thoughtful gesture passes on their gratitude for the friendships and participation in this very special even in their lives.