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The bomboniere is a traditional keepsake that is given to the guests in appreciation of their attendance to your wedding. The tradition of handing out favors dates back to the Middle Ages when it was customary for the engaged couple's family to exchange favors. Since that time the bomboniere has evolved into an elaborate part of the wedding reception.
The favors can range from something simple like a small porcelain or terra-cotta figurine to something as elaborate as a silver frame or crystal vase. No matter how simple or elaborate the favor is there is one thing that you will see in every bomboniere. That constant is confetti, which are sugar coated jordan almonds, wrapped in a tulle and either tied to the favor or handed out separately. The confetti represents the bitter-sweet union of marriage. The number of confetti, which is always an odd number & usually five, symbolize fertility, happiness, health, longevity and wealth. Attached to each favor by a piece of ribbon, which can match the color of the bridal party, is a place card with the name of the spouses and their wedding date.
Le bomboniere are not just for weddings. They are also given out at special occasions like baptisms and anniversaries. The confetti come in a variety of colors. White, which is a symbol of purity/virginity, is used for weddings, blue for a boy and pink for a girl are used to announce the birth of a child and silver & gold are used for wedding anniversaries.
To learn how you can make your own bomboniera for your next special occasion I have prepared a simple step by step guide for you to use. La bomboniera is just one of many wonderful traditions at an Italian wedding. If your family has a special tradition they do on wedding days please stop by the Italian Culture forum and share your traditions with us.
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