Growing up in a predominantly Italian immigrant community in Toronto, Canada let me tell you, weddings are a big deal. With Italian-Canadian relatives in the Montreal Quebec area too, travelling to another province for a wedding was an important family obligation – again, we take our weddings seriously! Keepsake favours are not only traditional giveaways for reception guests, they’re an integral part of the whole affair. Now, some would say Italian wedding bomboniere are over the top and overdone, but it’s the sense of giving something meaningful that said “thank-you” for often very generous wedding gifts brides and grooms receive in the Italian culture. Whether wedding bomboniere in our parts or “bonbonniere” for my Quebecois friends and family, I have some great ideas for substantial bombonieres that don’t have to cost a fortune.
Life in the Bomboniere and Bridal Biz
My Italian culture might have something to do with me making a career out of wedding bomboniere. My creativity is unlocked as favour ideas are endless, from practical wedding favours to keepsake gifts that are just oh-so cute. I remember growing up, my parents used to come home with all kinds of things – from tea pots to wonderful porcelain figurines. Most all these bomboniere went on display – often along the top of the kitchen cupboard uppers (ring a bell, anyone?). I’ll be honest, the funnest part for me for a while was eating the sugar coated almonds that often accompanied the bomboniere – the confetti!
When I launched my wedding favour business many years ago, I loved the fact I’d be dealing with brides excited about their upcoming wedding, and that I had a hand in creating their fairy tale wedding experience. Always very selective about the favours we’d stock, I always asked – is this “good enough” – would my Italian relatives approve and is it worthy of the kitchen cupboards? Fast forward a few years and I’ve learned that there are all kinds of tastes when it comes to wedding bomboniere – some guests adore practical favours while others love something they can put on display. The bomboniere I love most do both.
These days, relatives often ask about the latest bomboniere designs and styles, and what brides are asking for the most – after all, we talk to thousands of brides each and every year! I love giving favor suggestions. For those that will ask, as I’ve been many times, “What bomboniere did you have at your wedding?”. A set of four shot glasses – great wedding bomboniere still today if you ask me (and many brides). They’re one of those practical bomboniere that you can actually use among friends, and when not in use proudly displayed in your bar or glass kitchen cabinet (ok, so you won’t see them on top).
What’s Hot in Favours Today?
Today, though, I seek out more and more favours that are European inspired sure to please my Italian and other European friends who share very similar favour giving traditions. With items like hand painted olive oil bottles, customized espresso coffee cup sets, and even display-grade espresso makers, we’re finding that the world has emraced “bombonieres” as the Italians invented – or so at least I thought as a little girl!
Whether you’re looking for Italian wedding bomboniere for your wedding in Toronto or New York; or giving wedding bonbonniere a la my Montreal, Quebec cousins – make sure to do your famiglia proud and give party favours that are worthy of the kitchen cabinets!
About the Author:
Mary Maesano is a wedding favour industry veteran expert. Mary is the Founder and President of Greater Toronto Area based online wedding favour retailer In Casa Gifts.