Wedding favours are now a tradition, and in most cases expected small touch at modern weddings. The bride and groom want to show their guests their gratitude for sharing their special day with them – and this can be done in big and small ways.
One of the earliest accounts of a wedding favour dates back to 16th century England. It was common for couples to give love knots made from lace and ribbon to each of their guests as a favour and to represent their bond of love.
Not long after, European aristocrats most notably those from France and Italy, got in on the act. They would send their wedding guests home with a small gift called a bonbonniere. This was a small trinket box made of porcelain, crystal, precious stones and/or metal. The boxes were filled with sugar cubes or candy. At that time sugar was expensive, so including sugar or candy as part of a gift was a sign of wealth.
Weddings were also considered a lucky occasion so by giving bonbonnieres and other treats to guests, the couple felt they were also bestowing their good luck upon their guests. In most cases, these lucky gifts consisted of five almonds or pieces of candy which represented fertility, health, wealth, happiness and longevity.
Bonbonniere weren’t exclusively for weddings either. They were also given out at birthday parties, christenings and other celebratory occasions.
Wedding Favours from Around the World
These days couples often give favours according to their wedding’s theme or the couple’s lifestyle, but many countries have traditional favours such as:
- At a Greek or Italian wedding, guests can expect to receive five white sugar-coated almonds
- At a Spanish wedding, male guests may receive something like a cigar whilst the females may receive a small gift like a fan.
- In Russia, favours could be a tiny picture or icon, small candles or a Babushka doll.
- At Irish weddings it is common for guests to receive small wedding bells as a favour.
- In India, a lucky wedding favour to give guests is an elephant statuette.
All wedding trends peak and wane, but here are some of the latest trending ideas for wedding favours.
Couples are increasingly sourcing local products and produce to gift their guests – and if it’s organic it’s even better. This could include things like small jars of honey, herbs, potted plants or locally brewed alcohol. The organic theme is also spreading to encompass bridal bouquets, table centrepieces, wedding archways and venue decorations.
Take home sweet treats that double as a quasi-wedding cake and favours are gaining popularity. Many couples are choosing to forego the traditional wedding cake and replacing it cupcakes, donuts and even cheese or savoury items – complete with individual boxing for taking home.
A great take-home gift – especially for beach or coastal themed summer weddings – is a pair of thongs or flip-flops. Designed to make your guests relax, ditch their heels and hit the dancefloor, they always put a smile on your guest’s face, no matter what their age.
Lots of couples seem to be turning towards personalised products, custom-made for their own unique wedding celebrations and designed to feature individual details of the recipient or the event itself.
We’ve seen everything from engraved golf balls to bespoke bottle openers, candles, embroidered towels, mugs, glasses, drink bottles and even personalised pens & stubby holders.
The Gifting Lounge / Suite/Table
According to Etsy, “gifting suites” are the direction wedding favours are moving in.
For those of you who aren’t acquainted with the phrases “gifting suites” or “gifting lounges,” they are basically magical pop-ups at award shows and events (think the Oscars and the Grammys) where celebs and lucky guests get to come and assemble their own goodie bags. Guests can grab a personalized tote or other container and help themselves to a curated spread of memorable goodies.
Instead of creating an extravagant lounge, you can style a small area of your reception with a table or two of refreshments and maybe a souvenir or fun gift for guests to choose from.
This could include things like a fun candy bar, customised biscuits or chocolates and personalised mini champagne bottles. Or maybe some handmade bath soaps or mini hangover kits include some tubes of Berocca for the morning after might be more your style?
Still need a bit of inspiration? Why not come along to our free Weddings on Display Expo on Sunday March 4 and speak to some of our specialised wedding suppliers about favour ideas for your wedding. In fact, there will be a range of some of the best wedding industry suppliers who will be a fabulous source of ideas and insights – from cars, to cakes, to styling, photography, favours and a whole lot more. Big your fiancé, bring your family, bring your friend! It’s free – just register now by clicking here.