Wedding Favor History
Giving away favors to wedding guests is an extremely old tradition. As the story goes, many believe that the first wedding favors were seen at the weddings of European aristocrats. They would give a small trinket box made of crystal, porcelain, or precious stones, called a bonbonniere, that was filled with sugar cubes or other delicate confections. This was a symbol of wealth because, at that time, sugar was very expensive.
As sugar became more affordable and less of a status symbol, the treat was replaced with almonds. For centuries, the plain almonds signified well wishes meant for the bridegroom's new married life. During the 13th century, the almonds were coated with sugar and called "confetti." These were soon transformed to sugared almonds, and eventually became the candy-coated Jordan almonds we know today.
The Symbolism of the Almond
The bitterness of the almond combined with the sweetness of the coating is a metaphor for the bitter sweetness of marriage. While fairly popular here in the United States, this tradition is a staple in Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern weddings.
Five is the common number of almonds to place inside a favor box to give to wedding guests at an Italian wedding. Using 5 is not random, but rather a significant number. Each almond represents a wish for the bride and groom: fertility, longevity, wealth, health, and happiness. In Middle Eastern wedding tradition, the Jordan almond is said to be an aphrodisiac.
At Greek weddings, sugar coated almonds are called "koufetta." They are put into little bags in odd numbers or served on a silver tray. The reasoning is that odd numbers are indivisible, just as the newlyweds should share everything and remain undivided. It is also a tradition/superstition that if an unmarried woman places one of these almonds under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband.
Other Popular Wedding Favors
If the Jordan almond isn't your idea of a fun wedding favor, there are lots of different things that you can use instead. The most important thing to remember is that it needs to be something useful, sentimental, or edible if you want your guests to take them home rather than leave them on the reception table.
One of our favorite places to find the most wonderful and unique wedding favors online is at WhereBridesGo.com. No matter what type of wedding you are planning, they have a wide variety of favors available, as well as many of the other items you will need for a beautiful ceremony and reception. They even carry the favor boxes and bags necessary if you decide to give away Jordan almonds.
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