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    Get tips on how to find affordable Italian bomboniere for your wedding
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    JUNE 17, 2007 - My brother John is getting married in October, so I've got weddings on the brain. Since right now it's June - the official start of wedding season - you probably do, too. If you're looking to incorporate Italian tradition into your nuptials, then you should consider giving your guests bomboniere or Italian wedding favors. Surfing the Web for these treasures, you might find that they are simply too expensive. But there are many tricks to providing affordable, yet special gifts to your guests. Here are some I've come up with:

    All Out Italian: In Italy, brides and grooms give their guests Jordan almonds in the hopes they will bring good fortune to all. Many Web sites and Italian import companies offer elaborate and expensive containers for the almonds. They often are made with fancy fabrics and look like individual roses, full-fledged bouquets (which are sometimes incorporated into the centerpieces), satin sachets, and other ornaments. These creations are often handmade and can cost from $5 to $35 per person. Depending on your level of craftiness and creativity, you can make your own. Do a search of “bomboniere” on Google to see what some of these creations look like and then try to make them yourself. With some tulle, ribbon and satin roses from the craft store - and your brilliant imagination - you can have more economical, Italian favors in no time. You can also purchase pretty containers or cellophane bags at some place like The Container Store and fill them with the almonds.

    Food, Glorious Food: If you're really looking to trim your budget, you can combine your favors and centerpieces. Many bomboniere stores in Europe and the United States are now selling favor boxes that when placed together on round trays form the shape of a wedding cake (with or without tiers, depending on your preference and the number of guests seated at each table). Often, there is a bride and groom statue or floral arrangement as the “cake topper.” The boxes can be stuffed with Jordan almonds, other candy or sweet treats, or a small trinket.

    Italians love their food, and even in Italy food items as bomboniere are becoming more popular. For instance, you can pick a chocolate from your homeland and one from your future spouse's (for example, Baci and Hershey kisses for an Italian and American bash) to fill the boxes. Or you can do something else entirely.

    Bowls of fruit, sometimes with flowers but not necessarily, are becoming a popular centerpiece. If you leave pretty bags at each guests seat and a note telling them to take the fruit home with them, you will have your favor and centerpiece costs consolidated. Colorful fruits that take center stage include grapes, oranges, apples (especially in the fall), and lemons or limes.

    For the Home: Crystal and porcelain items for the home are another popular Italian wedding bomboniere. When shopping for these favors, head to stores like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, or The Christmas Tree Shoppe to look for bargains. If there aren't enough of the items you want for all of your guests, ask the management team. There's a good chance they will be able to order a box for you - and you'll most likely pay less than you would at an Italian importer or wedding favor store or Web site.

    If your wedding theme is Italy, then consider favors such as a bottle stopper for wine, a wine glass, an olive oil bottle, an espresso cup, or a CD of your favorite Italian or opera songs. If money is no object for you, then something in Murano glass would be a show stopper that your guests will have on display for years to come.

    For information on all things Italian, please visit www.francescadimeglio.com.

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