When you are in the throes of planning your wedding, there are hundreds of things, big and small, that you need to think about. As you’re ticking the small things off of your list, don’t forget about the little gifts for each guest: your bomboniere, to thank your guests for attending your wedding.
The bomboniere are a tradition borrowed from Italian celebrations where sugared almonds would be wrapped and presented to each guest; white for a wedding, pink for a little girl’s christening, blue for a little boy, or silver for a 25th or 50th wedding anniversary. The tradition has evolved and been adopted by many other cultures, so you will now see bomboniere on the table of just about every wedding you attend.
Italian bomboniere contain five sugared almonds, to represent the hopes for the married couple’s future: health, happiness, wealth, fertility and longevity. Your bomboniere can reflect the traditional origins, as well as act as a more creative or personal gift.
However, as with many things in your wedding planning, when you start working on them, bomboniere can go from a small item on your list, to quite a big expense. Therefore, rather than going without a gift for your guests, consider edible bomboniere options you can make yourself. Think about the foods, sweets and desserts you and your fiancée like to eat, and find an option which reflects your tastes as well as your personality.
You can then organise a baking day with your mum and mother-in-law-to-be, your bridal party, or you can make this a special time to spend together as a couple before the big day. Choose a day around a week before the wedding, as most biscuits, slices and cupcakes you choose should be able to be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks (giving your guests some time to save their gifts once they’ve returned home from your wedding).
Then remember that you can make significant savings by buying in bulk, so work out the quantities of your ingredients for the total bake; what’s your recipe multiplied by four or five? The same goes for the packaging, so look for long rolls of ribbon or tissue paper, and bulk packs of cardboard boxes or cellophane bags.
Another option is to allow your guests to package up their own gifts by creating a bomboniere buffet. You can still spend some time in the kitchen, this time baking a few simple options for the buffet, to supplement some store-bought lollies or treats. Then ask your caterer or wedding planner to bring out the buffet after dinner, and invite your guests to fill up bags or little glass jars with the treats they like best.
As you make an old tradition new again, you are also adding personal touches and styling elements to your day, so look at the costs of the bomboniere as part of your decorating budget, and as a heartfelt thanks to each of your guests.
Until next time.
Cindy Westphalen owns and operates award winning catering business, Cindy's Classic Gourmet.