Favors: Traditions and Ideas

Favors are small gifts given as a gesture of appreciation to guests from the bride and groom during a wedding ceremony or a wedding reception.

The tradition of distributing wedding favors is a very old one. For centuries, almonds were commonly distributed to wedding guests to signify well wishes on the bridegroom’s new life. In the thirteenth century almonds coated with sugar were introduced. Traditionally, five almonds are presented in a 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 parallel the bitter sweetness of marriage.

Some of the first wedding favors that are similiar to todays favors, known as a bonbonniere and common among European aristocrats, were small trinket boxes generally filled with sugar cubes or delicate confections, symbols of wealth and royalty.

Today, wedding favors are shared in cultures worldwide. Wedding favors are diverse and usually complement the theme or season of the event. Classic favors can range from the sugared almonds or individual chocolates to candles and scented soaps. Modern gift trends include: CDs with the favorite music of the bride and groom, shot glasses filled with colored candy or silver picture frames with a photo of the couple. Gifts may also be personalized with the couple's names, initials or wedding date.

Check out this list of favor ideas. Some of these ideas are basic and I encourage you to personalize them - such as wrapping the favor in fabrics that complement your colors, having your wedding date engraved, or include a note of thanks - and make them your own!

Votive candles in small terra cotta pots (spray paint the pots to complement your colors)
Splits of wine, champagne, or sparkling cider
Personalized chocolate bars
Fortune cookies
Jordan almonds
M&Ms in your wedding colors
Personalized pens
Donation to a charity
Handcrafted soap
Heart shaped (or other shaped) cookie cutter
Frame (can also double as placecard)
Tree seedlings
Flower seed packets/sachets
Potpourri sachet
Christmas ornaments
Hugs and Kisses spoons

Happy planning!