Have you ever wondered the origin of the small gifts that the bride and groom give their guests? Where does this idea come from? Is it practiced in all cultures? For example, the very famous Italian “bomboniera”, whose name derives from the French bon-bon; how did this begin?

Wedding favors worldwide: one of our favorite topics

Almost everything we see today at weddings has its origin in rituals and superstitions that have been transformed over time and that have taken place in our way of life.

Wedding favors from Wedding Mark.
Handmade soaps and tea.

Italian is one of the precursors of wedding favors. We have to go back to the end of the 15th century to find the first “bomboniera” in Italy; in France we find their roots in the 1700’s. At the beginning they were made for the nobles, who liked to carry sweets and candies. The old bombonieras were real jewels, made with ivory, gold and mother-of-pearl. In the 1900’s they became popular and other elements started being used, such as ceramics, the outcome of fusing the earth‘s four primary elements: earth, water, air and fire. In the ’30s and ’40s the “vetreria di Murano” made great creations; later, silver and porcelain began to produce magnificent small works of art, thus entering the group of gifst used as wedding favors, known all over the world today. It was only in 1896 that the bomboniera became a gift from the bride and groom to their guests. With Vittorio Emanuele and Elena of Montenegro‘s wedding the bomboniera‘s history began its adventure that lead to it becoming the tradition we know today, a wedding day souvenir souvenir with which to thank the guests for the gifts received and for accompanying the couple on that special day. We can consider it the last thought of the bride and groom to their guests and at the same time the first gift they give as a couple.

Italy is the country that marked these steps, maybe because of its culture, its traditions, it is the right place for it. We know that many, if not all, of the traditions associated with marriage have their origin in rituals, symbolisms and superstitions. In Italy the bomboniera began to be used with the famous “confetti”, which began to spread among the nobles after the discovery of the “Indies”. In the “confetti”, the bitter-sweet flavors are mixed, symbolizing the bittersweetness of married life. The number of “confetti” is also important, in Italy 5 of them were and still are given as a symbol of health, love, money, happiness and fertility.

Of course the shape and presentation has evolved and nowadays bonbons have a thousand and one shapes, but Italian weddings cannot miss the “confetti”. In Italy the confetti industry is very important and varied; they come in various colors and flavors, for all tastes.

In Italy, the confetti production began in the 15th century in Sulmona, a small town in Abruzzo, in the province of Aguila, where you can still visit the “Museo dell’arte e della tecnologia confettiera” (Museum of confetti art and technology).

Picture: “Confetti“ bag given with the wedding favor.

The ”confetti‘s” bomboniera (object/gift) , the truly typical Italian confectionery, has been transformed; we say transformed, because anywhere in the world we can find these small works of art with which the bride and groom want to entertain and thank their guests for having shared with them that important day in their lives.

In our time, the bride and groom, when looking for a gift to give to their guests, try to choose a detail that reflects their tastes and personality as a couple.

Picture: Wedding favors from Aina Deco Natural.

Wedding favors in the world

If we take a look around the world, we will notice that wedding favors change from one country to another; we find that in Southern Spain it is very common to give cigars to men and pins to women, although lately we find that fashion and customs are evolving. In most weddings the bride and groom give their guests a small souvenir, like typical products of the area, such as bottles of oil or a small ceramic object.

As Varvara Peregudova told us, in Russia it is common to give candles, trinkets, authentic Russian honey or small Matryoska dolls with the couple’s initial and themed wedding patterns.

Honey. Image given to us by Varvara Peregudova from BM Weddings.

Matryoska. Image given to us by Varvara Peregudova from BM Weddings.

In India, a small hand-carved elephant is usually given as a sign of good luck. In Ireland the gift is usually small wedding bells.

We spoke to Wedding Planner Julieth Bravo and she told us that in Colombia you can find the following favors:

An Arguadiente (liquor) bottle in the welcome bags.
Chocolate covered coffee beans.
Sombrero vueltiao (a traditional hat from Colombia).

Handmade fans from Simone Lejour:  Check out on IG

Beautiful coffee favour – Julieth Bravo Check out on IG

I think we can say that the wedding favor tradition, whichever it is and no matter how different the favors may be, the guests really appreciate it. The important thing about the details is what they represent, what they mean, what they symbolize. A small detail to thank and to remember having shared with them one if the most important days of your life.

How about you? Need help deciding on your favors? Let us know!