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Wedding Favors Around the World

A wedding is a momentous event that brings friends and families together to celebrate the unification of two people. Observed in thousands of places around the globe, there are countless traditions and rituals that are upheld and practiced in weddings. While in some regions customs are carried out symbolically to promote the longevity of the marriage, others adopt rituals to honor the wedding guests. These guests come to weddings bearing gifts to express their love and support for the couple. In return, the bride and groom express their appreciation of the guests’ attendance by presenting them with favors that are not just beautiful, but symbolic as well.

Love Knots of Ribbons and Lace

There is no definite record of exactly when wedding favors became an important part of a wedding. The first wedding ceremony ever documented where small favor gifts were given out took place between the 16th and 17th century. At that union, an English couple gave love knots made of ribbons and lace to thank their guests. In modern times, wedding favors are an integral part of a wedding celebration all over the world. The tradition might vary a little in different regions but the purpose and objective remain the same. Today wedding favors can come as just about anything, with most of the bridal couples gifting their guests the modern interpretation of an age-old tradition.

5 Almonds Bearing 5 Good Wishes

Roman-influenced cultures usually give out almonds as wedding favors. These can be sugar-coated, candy-coated or chocolate-covered. The perfect count of almonds is always five. The number of almonds signifies five wishes which are: fertility, happiness, health, longevity, and wealth. The almonds are wrapped in a soft fabric or tulle netting, packed in a lovely tin or nestled in a beautiful box. These treats are given to represent both sweet and bitter moments of a married life.

Wedding Favor Bells and the Irish Wedding Bell

In the Irish culture, the bridal couple rings the Irish Wedding Bell at the wedding ceremony. Afterwards, the bell is brought home and valued. Whenever the couple fights, the ringing of the bell is used to restore the relationship between them as well as to remind them of the vows taken as they were wed. In Irish weddings, it is fitting that guests receive smaller bells as their favors. These guest wedding favor bells can then be used to shower the couple in lieu of rice.

Bridal Sugar Bringing 5 Auspicious Wishes

In Holland, the Roman culture has been modified slightly. The bride and the groom give sweet Dutch candies known as “Bridal Sugar” in counts of five instead of almonds. These are normally wrapped in tulle. Here the five sweet candies, much like the Roman culture, represent love, loyalty, happiness, prosperity, and virility. These are the most auspicious wishes for the newlyweds.

Red Eggs and Orange Flowers

The wedding favor trend in Malaysia is hand-painted and decorated eggs. Usually the eggs are colored red to symbolize the fertility of the couple. The egg is given each guest with a hope that the married couple will be blessed with a child. In the Spanish culture you will return home from a wedding with a vase full of orange flowers as it is their wedding favor tradition.

Bride-Like Dolls and Capias

If you attend a wedding ceremony in Puerto Rico, you will find a bride-like doll placed on top of the wedding party’s table. The doll is usually covered with little charms and given to the guests as wedding favors. Handmade “capias” are also given out to the guests. These are ornately decorated cards, satin, lace, or crochet material enhanced with colored beads and feathers. These festive capis come with the names of the bride and groom and the date when the wedding is taking place.

Sachets, Hand-Crafted Elephants, and Cowrie Shells

In Russia and Japan, guests receive bigger favors such as sachets, photo frames, or bud vases while in India hand-crafted elephants are regarded as lucky wedding favors. These are pretty artistic and you can decorate your home with these elephants. Africans, who once used cowrie shell money as the medium of exchange, use cowrie shells as wedding favors as well as in many other aspects of their weddings.

As you can see, the wedding favors around the world are quite diverse. You can consider them all while creating something new and unique as your wedding favor.