In olden days it became a tradition,
To bestow a gift from the bride with condition,
That the recipient be of the female gender,
And her wedding day attend her.
The gift was known as a Bridal Favour,
They symbolised five wishers true,
And here are the meanings made clear to you:
Long Life, Fertility, Happiness and Wealth
But most important the fifth for Health.
For the bride to bestow the gift was a pleasure,
And for the ladies attending five wishes to treasure.
A special gift from a memorable day,
To keep happy thoughts of a Special Wedding Day
Favours, or bonboniere as they are sometimes called, can be used for all sorts of occasions where small gifts are called for. The contents need not necessarily be confined to sugared almonds, which are traditional for bridal favours.
A bridal favour is given at the wedding breakfast and generally consists of five sugared almonds prettily packed and distributed to the guests. They may be given to the ladies only (chocolate boxes may be given to the gentlemen), or to all the guests. Sometimes the bridesmaids will take them around in baskets and hand them out during the celebration. Alternatively, if your occasion is a sit-down wedding breakfast with designated seats, the favour can be placed beforehand beside the place card on the table. It can even be combined with the place card by incorporating the guests name on an attached tag.
The five sugared almonds in the bridal favour have a special significance; they were given to the bride and groom at one time, to represent Health, Wealth, Long-Life, Fertility and Happiness. They can either be white or colour co-ordinated to the wedding theme. Gold and silver coated almonds are available along with gold foil wrapped almonds.
However sugared almonds do not always have to be used. For Valentines or engagement parties, a chocolate heart or other confection can be used, however, the favours do not have to be edible and it might be suitable to add a small amount of pot pourri to the nets and ribbons to create an aromatic gift.
Favours are generally made from layers of net. They can be made from just one layer, but two or three make a more attractive finish. Almonds are placed on an almond dish in the centre of the net. The net is then gathered together and secured in place by tying either a ribbon bow or curling ribbon.
Small decorations could also be attached to the gift package, defining the special occasion on which the gifts were given. At a christening, for example, a tiny stork with a pink or blue bow could be attached. A gold ring could be attached to a bridal favour. Alternatively flowers may be attached to the favour.
Another gift, which could be given to guests, are gift boxes. These are often given to the men instead of bridal favours. A Top Hat box or Tuxedo box is most suitable for this. If you wish to give gift boxes to all the guests there is a large selection to choose from and they can be filled with either Sugared Almonds or chocolates. Many of these boxes can be tied in the colour of your choice and additional decoration such as gift-tags or flowers attached.