Saturday, 7 July 2012

Wedding Favours...

We have been busy bees recently...

wedding season is in full swing and since the launch of our favour tins, there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day!

We were honoured to be asked by our favourite little wedding magazine 'Wedding Ideas' to be a guest blogger and write a piece for their blog, all about wedding favours! The lovely girls there have already been instrumental in drumming up business for our personalised favour tins but thought that this may be another way to increase the sales and awareness for them.

Never one to turn down a challenge, our creative director Caro, took up the gauntlet and wrote a piece all about the history of the wedding favour!

It's been slightly edited for the Wedding Ideas site, so here is our original unabridged version...

'Art Deco' design, personalised wedding favour tins from Mooks Design

Origins of the wedding favour

Have you ever wondered where the custom of giving wedding favours originated from? Many modern brides probably don’t realise that this is not a recent development, but a tradition that began centuries ago!

The first wedding favours, known as ‘bonbonniére’, were given as exclusive gifts to the wedding guests of European aristocrats.

A bonbonniére was a small, ornate box —made out of silver, crystal or porcelain— often encrusted with precious stones. These beautiful vessels were then filled with cubes of sugar or other luxury confections.

In those days, sugar was such an expensive commodity, it was only afforded by royalty —or the very wealthy— but as the price of sugar decreased, the tradition of giving wedding favours was then embraced by brides and grooms from more humble origins.

Over time, the bonbonniéres began to contain almonds. For centuries, plain almonds were commonly given to female wedding guests to represent well-wishes for the couples new life, but in the thirteenth century, almonds coated with sugar —known as ‘confetti’— were introduced. The bitterness of the almond and the sweetness of the coated shell symbolised the bitter sweetness of marriage. 

Confetti then evolved to sugared almonds, which is the tradition that most of us are familiar with today.  But did you know that, traditionally, five sugared almonds —presented in a box or bag— represented fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness?

Favours for modern day weddings have now evolved even further and, these days, anything goes! So whilst the tradition of giving wedding favours still continues —and is still very much part of today’s modern bridal etiquette— the symbolism of the gifts has changed, as most couples now choose to give wedding favours as a thank you, to their guests for sharing their special day.

'Baroque Vine' design, personalised wedding favour tins from Mooks Design

'Gerbera' design, personalised wedding favour tins from Mooks Design

'Damask', personalised wedding favour tins from Mooks

How much should I spend?

There are so many options available to brides and grooms these days and modern wedding favours can really vary in price, according to your budget.

Wedding favours need not be expensive and money savvy brides can still purchase traditional bonbonniére or you can make your own, very simply, by filling organza bags with sugared almonds or sweets.

Couples with a little more to spend are spoilt for choice as you can buy everything, from miniature bird cages and photo-frames to bottles of your guest’s favourite tipple... the list goes on and on!

It is alleged that William and Kate gave each of their wedding guests a pair of cupcakes, boxed up with the couple’s official engagement photo!

Ultimately, when determining how much to spend on your wedding favours, you shouldn’t feel obliged to spend half of your budget on presents for your guests. Your friends and family will be attending your marriage to show their love and support for you both and really won’t expect a diamond encrusted gift.
'Baroque Vine', personalised wedding favour tins from Mooks









Personalised favours

One of the nicest things about today’s modern favours is the option to tie them in with your wedding theme or even reflect your personal interests. There are even lots of companies who specialise in creating favours to match your wedding stationery! This is a great way of creating a harmonious look and feel for your big day - right from when your guest’s receive their invitation to when they take their seat, at the dinner table, and are presented with their ‘thank-you’ gift from you.

Couples who are musical could give their guests a CD of their best-loved songs and green fingered bride and grooms could give personalised seed packets; these are lovely and unique gifts, as they are a long lasting reminder of your special day.  You can purchase ‘Forget-Me-Not’ seed packet favours from Mooks Design,; they are fully personalised, with the details of your wedding, and can also be recoloured to suit your theme.

However, if you prefer something a little more traditional, but with a modern twist, Mooks have just launched some gorgeous little favour tins; a nod to the very first ‘bonbonniére’. These little stainless steel tins are not encrusted with precious stones but, instead, beautifully adorned with a personalised label and jam-packed with sweets or heart shaped mints.

Once your guests have eaten the contents they’ll be left with a useful little tin, to keep their pins, stamps or other treasures safe and sound, which will also act as a lasting reminder of your marriage!

Finally, whichever route you go down, choose favours that are personal to you ­—and a lovely memento of your special day— and you won’t go far wrong!