I recently attended a wedding and was really impressed by the couples wedding favor gift they gave to each guest and it got me thinking — is a wedding favor gift still necessary? Who started this tradition anyway?
Per Truly Wedding Favors,“It is believed that the European aristocracy began the tradition of bestowing wedding favors upon all of their guests. They were called bonbonniere and consisted of small boxes of crystal or porcelain, which held delicate confections such as cubes of sugar, then considered the ultimate symbol of wealth and royalty. It was also believed that sugar was the source of many health benefits. (Old Mr. Tooth Decay and Ms. Diabetic Coma were still years away on the horizon of realization.) Over the years, as the price of sugar decreased and became affordable for people from all stations in life, the tradition of giving away wedding favors took root.
Bonbonnieres were slowly replaced with almonds, which were presented either in a confection box or wrapped in elegant fabric. In the 13th century, confetti, (almonds coated with sugar), were introduced and soon became known as sugared almonds. There are five almonds presented in the traditional package of wedding favors, which collectively represent fertility, longevity, wealth, health and happiness. (The bitterness of the almond and sweetness of the sugar were said to exemplify the bitter sweetness of a marriage).”
So, it is a tradition rooted in time; I get it. But, is it still necessary today? As with everything, there are several schools of thought on this topic, so here are some of the best rationalizations I read, plus a few thoughts of my own.
- Skip the wedding favor and put the money toward the actual wedding
- It’s a must — after all, your guests cleared their schedule, dressed up, made it to your wedding and got you a gift; the least you can do is provide a little favor
- Don’t bother unless it is something your guests can eat — a personalized cookie, sucker, etc. Any other little trinket will just be tossed in the trash, at least they can eat this one.
- Flower seeds, a succulent or small potted seasonal flower is a good idea — your guests will want to take this home for their patio and if they don’t, then you’ll have nice flowers for your own patio!
- What’s the point? It’s all useless junk that ends up in the trash, such as — a little bell, cheesy picture frame, etc.
- Candles is another great idea — honestly, what woman doesn’t love candles?
Personally, I don’t think the wedding favor gift is a requirement. However, I don’t feel that using the excuse, “we took out that option to have _____ at our wedding” is distasteful. The wedding I mention earlier, the one I just attended, had a great idea. Rather then a wedding favor, they had a tastefully written note, rolled up and tied like a scroll at each guests’ dinner place that said something like: Instead of a wedding favor, we have made a donation to xxxx foundation has been made in your honor. The foundation was one that had significant meaning to the couple, which was also explained the in the note. It was very personal, touching and classy — one of the best wedding favors I’ve seen.