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. It is a way to say thank you for joining in the wedding celebration. The tradition of distributing wedding favors is a very old one. It is believed that the first wedding favor, common amongst European aristocrats, was known as a bonbonniere. A bonbonniere was a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, or precious stones. Generally, the little boxes were filled with sugar cubes or delicate confections. Sugar was expensive and it was believed that sugar had medicinal value. As sugar became more affordable, bonbonnieres were replaced with almonds.
For centuries, almonds were commonly distributed to wedding guests to signify well wishes on the bride and groom’s new life. In the thirteenth century, almonds coated with sugar, known as confetti, were introduced. Confetti soon transformed to sugared almonds, which later evolved into the wedding favor for modern day weddings now known as Jordan almonds. 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.
Today, gifts to guests are commonly known as wedding favors and are shared in cultures worldwide. Wedding favors have become an intricate part of wedding reception planning, especially in the United States and Canada. Today’s favors are unique, elegant, fun, colorful, and some gifts may even be personalized with the couple’s names and the wedding date.