So Many Ways to Be Sweet…

For centuries it has been customary for the bride and groom to offer a wedding favor of some sort to their guests as a gesture of their appreciation and sincere gratitude during the ceremony or reception.

The tradition of distributing wedding favors is a very old one. It is believed that the first wedding favor, common amongst European aristocrats, was known as a bonbonniere. A bonbonniere is a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, or precious stones. The contents of these treasured boxes were generally sugar cubes or delicate confections, which symbolize wealth and royalty. (In this era, sugar was an expensive commodity and was treasured only among the wealthy. It was believed that sugar contained medical benefits). As the price of sugar decreased throughout centuries, the tradition of providing gifts to guests reached the general populace and was embraced by couples of even the most modest means.

As sugar became more affordable, bonbonnieres were replaced with almonds. 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, known as confetti, were introduced. Confetti soon transformed to sugared almonds, which later evolved into the wedding favor for modern day weddings. Traditionally, five Jordan almonds are presented in a confection 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 are a metaphor for the bitter sweetness of a marriage.

Today, gifts to guests are commonly known as wedding favors and are shared in cultures worldwide. Wedding favors have become a part of wedding reception planning. Wedding favors are diverse and usually complement the theme or season of the event.

At the turn of this new century Candy Buffets seem to have become the debutante of wedding favors.
I can’t even remember how long ago it was that we set up our first candy buffet, nor could I ever begin to count how many have been created since. I do remember however, the sheer delight of each guest as they joyfully filled their bags…and quite often their purses and pockets…with sweets! Since then we have continued to stretch our imaginations to create some of the most amazing and creative candy buffets ever. Many have followed the color theme of the wedding adding a notable focal point to the decor. Still others served as an inventory of the bride and groom’s favorite candies from their childhood. We have even designed a Harry Potter’s HoneyDuke candy store. Salt water taffy, gumballs in every color, and old fashioned penny candy served in tiny brown paper bags are always a favorite. Keeping up with the demand many candy companies have joined the craze and now offer many of their traditional candies in a wide variety of beautiful colors. Whether imported or classic…there are so many ways to be sweet.