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A Bonbonniere is what we call a wedding favor today. These were small boxes, like a trinket box, commonly made of crystal or fine porcelain and sometimes silver or gold for the upper class weddings. These trinket boxes would contain items chosen by the bride and groom that would normally symbolize royalty or riches.
Common items enclosed in the bonbonniere were things like granulted sugar from sugar canes, or even sugar cubes.
How does sugar define royalty or riches?
In the past, during the times bonbonniere were offered as a wedding favor, sugar was something only seen at the tables of the rich. It was a rare and expensive item in ancient times, not a common good like we know today. Many even believed sugar was a cure for medical problems, making it even more valuable, so offering sugar as a wedding favor was actually quite common. Later, as the value of sugar dropped to affordable levels the bonbonniere changed from sugar to almonds.
Almonds were still holding value as a favor to offer the rich. Almonds were a symbol of wealth and good forutne to the new bride and groom, and were offered as wedding favors for hundreds of years.
Somewhere along the line sugar was again added as a wedding favor. This time the sugar was coated on the actual almonds themselves, and they called these sugar coated almond favors 'confetti'. A little different than the confetti we know today, but you can easily see where we started using the name confetti for fine shredded paper, which is similar to the sugar falling off the almonds.
Almonds are commonly coated with a white candy like shell at weddings today, which signifies the old time wedding favor of an almond covered in sugar. Most may believe the white almond is white to signifiy a wedding color, but it's actually the ancient use of sugar coated almond favors that makes them white today.
Summary of Bonbonniere
As you can see, bonbonniere have evolved into the modern day wedding favors we now use at our own weddings. It is amazing how time changes a favor from simple sugar to the little favors we know and love in the present. Now that you understand how it all started you can choose your own unique wedding favors.
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