A wedding is a time of ritual: an official recognition of the union of a couple, as they publicly declare their intention to be bound together forever by marriage.
Weddings incorporate many historical elements and timeless traditions, which have evolved and changed over time to suit the modern-day marriage celebration.
One such ritual is the presentation of wedding favors to friends and loved ones who have been a part of this auspicious occasion. We take an in-depth look at wedding favors and examine why they are still so important in 2017.
What are wedding favors?
Sometimes known as bonbonnieres, wedding favors are a gesture of gratitude and goodwill from the bride and groom to their guests for sharing in this most special of occasions with them.
As well as acting as a symbol of appreciation, wedding favors are a sign of respect and care for each individual guest. The presentation of wedding favors indicates that although you are starting the next chapter of your lives together, you appreciate the involvement and contribution of each guest in your lives to date, and will not forget them as you embark on this next chapter.
The evolution of wedding favors: back to where it all began
The practice of providing wedding favors is steeped in tradition. According to popular wedding folklore, wedding favors were first popularized by European aristocrats, particularly in France and Italy.
This original wedding guest gift was most commonly a small box engrained with expensive metals or precious stones. Its contents generally consisted of sugar cubes or other forms of confectionery. As sugar was scarce during these times, these wedding favors, or bonbonnieres as they were known at the time, were recognised as a symbol of wealth and nobility.
As sugar became more widely available, the practice of offering bonbonnieres to wedding guests became commonplace. Over time, sweet treats were replaced with almonds or sugared almonds and in some cultures this practice continues even today. The presentation of five almonds in an elegant assortment is said to represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness.
Modern day favors: benefits and applications
The ritual of providing favors for all wedding guests is a timeless tradition that remains alive and well across most parts of the western world today. While some still prefer the traditional sweet treats and almond assortments, many couples are choosing gifts for their guests that are representative of their own unique individuality and personal flair.
Wedding favors are an item that symbolise your new identity as a married couple. From funny to formal, rustic to risqué — many couples choose favors that reflect a combination of their personalities.
Many couples today are also choosing wedding favors that have a practical application in the world beyond the wedding. Popular practical items include bottle openers, coasters, key rings or koozies, which serve as a functional and fun way for guests to remember your special day.
Favors can be designed to complement the season, wedding theme, location or venue. From the whacky to the wonderful, wedding favors come in all shapes and sizes. There is such a wide array of wedding favors available today, everyone can find a perfect fit.
Favors as wedding décor enhancement
An added benefit of including favors in your wedding rituals is the beauty and class they can bring to your reception venue décor. Cost-savvy couples often use favors to double as place cards for their guests, offering purpose and sentiment to this tradition.
Not only do favors add sophistication and individual style to your wedding reception, but every guest also receives an individual take-home souvenir as a sign of your gratitude.
Personalize your presents
Even if you don’t decide to have your favors double as place cards, you can still personalize each gift with a guest name, details of your wedding, the names of the bride and groom, date and even location, to provide an authentic keepsake that can’t be replicated.
And who doesn’t love a personalized present? Receiving something that is individually unique makes every guest feel truly valued and indicates they are a significant part in your life, your union and your wedding celebrations.
Wedding favors checklist
So, let’s recap the reasons why wedding favors are still such an important part of modern marriage celebrations:
✓ A gesture of gratitude and goodwill from the bride and groom to their guests
✓ Expresses appreciation for the involvement and contribution of each guest in your lives to date
✓ Symbolises your new identity as a married couple
✓ Brings beauty and class to your reception venue décor
✓ Personalized gifts make every guest feel valued and significant
✓ A functional and fun way for guests to remember your special day
Wedding favors still a must in 2017
Whatever style of nuptials you’re planning, the time-honoured tradition of presenting wedding favors to your guests continues to be an important way to express appreciation and gratitude to each and every person who has shared in the happiness of your big day.
It’s important to always choose carefully, as well-selected, genuinely thoughtful wedding favors will show your guests how much you care.
For a full range of quality personalized gifts for your guests to suit every style and budget shop personalizedfavors.com
By: Melissa Wilkinson – Melissa is the founder of Personalized Favors. She is commonly sought for comment on all things wedding related and has worked closely with thousands of couples to create invitations, gifts and wedding favors that are truly unique.