As weddings have become more personalised, so too have wedding favours (aka bomboniere). For many modern couples, a bag of sugared almonds, as delicious as they are, no longer cuts it, which is why we’re seeing so many fabulously fun – and novel – styles of wedding favours becoming increasingly popular.
According to Melbourne-based Vanessa Cunningham, founder of online store Vogue Bomboniere, today’s brides and grooms are putting much more thought into choosing their bomboniere than couples of days gone by, particularly since today’s guest lists are shrinking and weddings are becoming more intimate.
“The result is that couples are focussing more on providing fewer guests with a greater guest experience, and that’s one that’s much more personalised,” says Vanessa who previously worked as a hairdresser at a high-end salon before running her own wedding hair business.
“Long before I opened Vogue Bomboniere, I’d always taken an interest in what guests did with their bomboniere and, frankly, I was really sad to see that most are just put away in a glass cabinet and never looked again,” Vanessa explains.
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“Even worse, some go straight into the bin or are just never used!”
As a result, Vanessa decided to shift from wedding hair to wedding favours, but she wanted to focus only a certain type of bomboniere, “the type,” says Vanessa, “that guests can’t wait to get home and use or eat or plant!”
According to Vanessa, the perfect bomboniere should reflect the personality of the bride and groom “but it should also be useful – or edible,” she says.
Inspiration for your bomboniere can come from your own life – and your own tastes and loves.
So, foodie couples may wish to give guests a delectable edible treat – or something to do with cooking, while couples who, for example, have a particular love of Nature, may want to give each guest a seedling or seed bomb as a wedding favour.
Ironically, Vogue Bomboniere is a reflection of Vanessa’s own tastes and loves and it’s filled with carefully sourced, Australian-made items, many of them environmentally friendly or hand-made.
“Bomboniere are mementos from your big day,” says Vanessa adds that her main focus when choosing stock for her bomboniere store is quality. “They’re items your friends and family can look at to remind them of your wedding or, if they’re something perishable, they’re items that will remind the guest of you and your wedding day every time they use it – or as they’re gobbling it down.
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“So, when choosing your bomboniere, you’re better off going for a quality product that your guests will actually use, rather than products they’re just going to throw away!”
Here are some of Vanessa’s favourite, thoroughly unique bomboniere ideas that your guests will enjoy long after your wedding day.
Excellent edible ideas
Love trying out the hottest new restaurants or whipping up a delicious meal at the kitchen?
Food-inspired bomboniere is a great way to share your love of food with your guests, suggests Vanessa.
Vogue Bomboniere, for example, offers jars of salad dressing or basil infused olive oil straight from Melbourne’s food heaven, the Yarra Valley. Other ideas include a jar of your own home-made jam, a selection of buttery biscuits, a collection of your favourite recipes or butter spreading knives.
Of course, a gorgeous personalised tag would be the perfect finishing touch to the bomboniere.
A message in a bottle
Hugely popular with brides and grooms, handwritten messages in a bottle are a really special way to thank your guests for coming to your wedding, says Vanessa. They’re the ultimate way to personalise your bomboniere and are a beautiful keepsake for your loved ones, especially if you’re organising a beach wedding.
Something for the fellows…
Coming up with unisex ideas or gifts that have male and female versions is a great way to include both sexes in your favour-giving. If you have many couples in your guest list, you can even give them pairs of products, such as Vogue Bomboniere lip-smacking olive oil and vinegar combination.
“If you’re having a destination wedding and most of your guests have travelled for your event, another option is to offer them men and women’s bath products,” says Vanessa who recommends her best-selling beer shampoo.
She says while most bomboniere are unisex, others tend to be female-centric, so other blokey bomboniere ideas include bottle openers, bottle stoppers, coasters and personalised stubby holders.
Two-in-one gift ideas
Tracking down bomboniere that can also double as table decorations is a great win for organising your wedding, not to mention the budget, advises Vanessa.
Champagne flutes, elegant photo frames and personalised bottles of wine and beautiful tealight candle holders can all be used as decoration – and then given to your guests as gifts they can take home.
There’s no reason that your beloved pet can’t be the inspiration behind your bomboniere? They’re the perfect gift ideas for couples who love their furry friends. Gifts can include animal-shaped biscuits, dog snacks or even dog shampoos, like Vogue’s Woof Wash.
For couples with charities or causes that are close to their hearts, forgoing physical bomboniere is an option – as is asking guests to donate money to those charities and causes instead of buying wedding presents.
“For couples who have been personally affected by, for example, a disease,” says Vanessa, “you could always donate the money to a relevant cause – and tell your guests that you’ve done so in their name.”
Give the gift of Nature
For couples wanting to pay homage to Nature on their big day, plants are always a hit and, in recent years, succulents have been particularly popular.
“Cacti last for years – and are incredibly difficult to kill even for the blackest thumbs on your guest list” says Vanessa. “The best bit is that they’re truly individual gifts because no two look the same.”
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