Monday, 9 July 2012

Medieval Favors

I am not sure how common it is to have a little gift, or favors, for your guests today, but Americans does it and some danes as well. I am not quite sure how long it can be traced back through time, but I do know that amongst the vikings your wealth was not measured by your riches but by your generosity.
With what I've read it was normal in the 16th century to offer your guest some sort of gift when they came to a wedding, especially in Italy and France (in France called: bonbonniere). It was a combination of a sign of gratitude and a way to share the couple's fortune with their guests. Mostly the gift of five Jordan almonds are mentioned. Each of the almonds would represent wellwishes: health, welth, fertility, longevivity and happiness.
These gifts of almonds were used by the upper class of the medieval times, along with other exclusive confectionary. Obviously this would make a fine favor for a medieval themed wedding.
Find a great step by step recipe to make them yourself on

Edible favors in general are a good idea for this kind of theme. You can make or buy jam, mead, mustard and honey, or maybe include a genuine medieval recipe that your guests can try out at home. It can also be things like spices, herbs or salt, that had great value in medieval times. Chocolate hadn't arrived in Europe from South America at the time, so sorry guys - no wonderful chokolate favors.
Honey was the sugar of the Middle Ages
Salt was both for seasoning and conservation
Jam made from berries tasted as good on bread then as it does now
Of course there is the nonedible favors as well, such as pouches of lavender or rose petals used in medieval times in drawers with cloth and linnen to keep it smelling wonderful. One can give the guests biwax candles, flowerseeds, replica medieval coins or a medieval poem.
If you have a wax seal - then seal the gift
Coins may make a memorable favor
A seed favor can be done easily and rahter cheap
 I hope this quick list of ideas can inspire you to find the right favors. I must admit I had never heard of the tradition until I started planning my own wedding and I probably wouldn't have spend the money on it, if it wasn't because I got this amasing offer. I've made crests for both Robert and me and so because of a sale, I had them made into pin backs for the family, so wheter they come in costume or not, they are wearing the (new) family shield of arms. - in case any of my guests are reading this - Look the other way ;-)

1 comment:

  1. We made favour bags from my wedding dress because it's good luck to get a piece of the dress (the origins of the garter toss which predates the bouquet toss) and we had Cadbury coins from Christmas (they are technically past their date now but Cadbury said they date them a year before they need to be used) and we found gargoyle and green man magnets for 50p each.

    Unfortunately we didn't get the bags done in time so they're going to be posted with the things in them.

    We've also made favour scrolls which explain the signifigance of the bag. The placecards had guests' own family crest on them so we also included an explanation on the scroll of what their crest means.