What Are Bonbonniere?
The tradition of Bonbonniere, also known as Bomboniera or Favours has been around for centuries. Originally, Bonbonniere were only given at weddings as a small gift of appreciation for guests from the bride and groom. Bonbonniere originated in Europe, although, there is some debate over the exact origin and whether it was Italy or France.
It is customary for bonbonniere to include five symbolic white sugar almonds. The almonds symbolise and form five wishes for the bride and groom throughout their married life. Coloured almonds may be used, and each colour also has meaning. When putting together in bonbonniere, the five almonds are called Confetti. The first almond, a red almond (if coloured almonds are used), symbolises good health. The second almond wealth (green if coloured), is to bring the bride and groom good fortune. The third almond (purple if coloured) is a symbol of a marriage filled with happiness. Fertility is the fourth (blue) almond. The last almond which symbolises longevity is yellow (if coloured). It is said this is the most important almond as wishing a couple a long life is all they will need in order to have health, wealth, happiness and fertility.
Historically, five almonds were placed in a bag, then into a white porcelain box that was shaped like a bag and finished off with the bride and grooms’ names and date of the special day on a tag. The white porcelain box was also symbolic of the bride’s purity and innocence.
These days, bonbonniere continue to be a small gift of appreciation for guests, although they are used more broadly at any special occasion, including; wedding, christening, first communion, confirmation, anniversary, bridal tea and baby shower. You will rarely find bonbonniere that include almonds as they have been replaced with modern alternatives such as sweets, home-made jam, honey, alcohol and even seed that can be planted as a living memento of the day. The white porcelain box has also been replaced with gifts and boxes that enhance the theme of the event and are also a personal touch. While modern bonbonniere is still symbolic, they are often personalised and tend to symbolise who the bride and groom or hosts are and reflect the theme and event. Options for bonbonniere are endless and include; printed or laser cut cardboard boxes, small tins, jars, bottles, glassware, candle holders and more.
Find out more about the history of bonbonniere: The History of Bonbonniere