Do we give our guests a gift at our wedding or not?! This question burns on the lips of couples around the world every year. Whilst this trend is losing a bit of momentum in the 2020’s we still find most of our couples consider small gestures for their guests as a keepsake, thank-you and memory of their big day.
What is a wedding favour?
Wedding favour, wedding gift, bonbonniere are just some of the fancy names given to the small gift newlyweds give to all of their guests on their wedding day. These are often placed on individual place settings during the reception for guests to take home with them. Wedding favours can range from the more traditional small parcels of sweets, right through to the extravagant personalised mini whiskey bottles or gold engraved name cards.
Where did the wedding favour tradition come from?
Dating back to early European traditions; originally ‘Bonbonniere’ in France or ‘Bonboniera’ in Italy, these gifts were generally small sweets or even sugar. Being a scarce commodity only afforded to the rich, Bonbonnieres were served both as a wedding day memento and symbol of a family’s aristocratic status. Generally adorned with dried or silk flowers, these were presented in glass, crystal or silver vessels.
The superstitious tradition of giving sugared almonds, which reputedly had aphrodisiacal qualities (We’re pretty sure that myth has been busted) has two meanings:
- The combination of bitter almonds and sweet sugar is supposed to symbolise the ‘bittersweet’ nature of marriage.
- They symbolise good luck and are given in sets of five to represent the couples: happiness, longevity, wealth, health and fertility.
Why go eco friendly with your wedding favours?
Over the last few years we have seen a sharp increase in ‘personalised’ wedding gifts. With so many affordable printing, engraving and laser etching services now available, the possibilities are endless. We have also seen a return to more traditional, homemade and eco friendly options. We LOVE this!
It is incredible how many personalised stemless glasses, fans, bottle openers and candles we’ve seen left at weddings. It’s a lovely idea, but it’s definitely worth looking at your ideas with a critical eye and asking yourself “Would I open a bottle of wine when entertaining guests at my house with a big ‘Sarah and Dan 2021’ sprawled across it?” probably not. In a world where we have everything we want at our fingertips, and we’re surrounded by friends who probably have everything they need (the same goes for modern brides and grooms - enter the wishing well tradition!), let’s give something more sustainable and kinder to the earth.
Here is a quick list of some of our favourite wedding favours for 2021 from local businesses:
1. Bower Honey
Give your guests a gift directly from the land where you held your wedding. The Bower bees are busy working year round at The Bower Estate and depending on the time of your wedding, you’ll pick up flavour notes of many native australian flowers in bloom at the time of harvesting. Bower honey jars come in cute 30ml jars and you can add your own personalised labels.
Whether it’s sunflowers, wildflowers, herbs or ‘bee preferred’ native flowers (our favourite!), seeds are a nice touch for guests to plant in their gardens. They can enjoy blooming flowers and remember your beautiful wedding day for months to come. There are lots of great personalised envelope options and they are a very handy and realistic size for guests to slip in their handbags or pockets when they head home at the end of the night. Here's a cute Australian Etsy shop that sells personalised seed packets.
A little harder to slip in your purse at the end of the night, but little potted seedlings or succulents make for a stunning addition to your table styling and a gorgeous and practical gift that will (hopefully) last forever.
4. Beeswax wraps
Another stunning option for your table styling. Consider beeswax wraps as an addition to your menu styling and keep them in your wedding colour theme. If you’re feeling crafty you can make them yourself, or you can find them through many online shops. We love two local options: Beelove Wraps and Eco Pandas
5. Soap Bars
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that washing your hands is THE BEST! Give you guests a gift that not only looks good but it can be personalised and is oh so practical. Here's a local soapmaker that makes beautiful personalised creations.
6. Bird Seeds or Feeders
These can be styled into cute burlap bags as a lovely and relevant take-home gift for your guests. These can be hung in your garden at home to hopefully lure some of the incredible australian birds that your guests saw during your magical wedding day.
7. Personalised Bamboo Straws
Ok it’s up to you what you want to engrave on these, you could make your friend suck their morning frappuccino through a straw that says ‘Sarah and Dan 2021’ or you could make it a more universal quote that makes them smile everytime they see it (they won’t forget it came from your wedding!). These cool little kits come with a straw, pouch and straw cleaner This one is a little more niche. Consider if your guests are really likely to use something like this in the future, or you might just be contributing to more waste.