Bomboniere is the quintessential way to say ‘thank you’ to guests who have come to share a special occasion with you. An old tradition with a long history, bombonieres are small party favours that can take any shape and come at any price point. Read on and we’ll share all you need to know about bombonieres to help you choose your bomboniere gifts.
Where does the term bomboniere come form?
The term ‘bomboniere’ is an Italian word that has roots in the French language.
- French: In French ‘bonbonnière’ is a decorative container for bonbons or sweets. The French used to give sweets in plated silver boxes as thank you gifts.
- Italian: The Italians adapted this term to ‘bomboniera’ (singular – the plural form is ‘bomboniere’). In Italian culture, traditionally, bomboniere are Jordan (sugar-coated) almonds. They are a symbol of fertility and sweetness over bitterness in a new marriage. The number and colour of these almonds signifies different things. This is a tradition that dates back to the 19th century.
- Australia: In Australia, a ‘bomboniere’ or ‘bonbonniere’ (plural forms are ‘bombonieres’ and ‘bonbonnieres’) has very much been adapted to the local culture. This applies in terms of terminology, pronunciation, the types of events where these gifts are given, as well as the flexible nature of these gifts.
In Australia, bombonieres can be anything from a sugar cookie, to a hangover remedy kit (to be enjoyed the morning after the party). However, the point of a bomboniere is not whether your guest needs another coaster or not. The point is that they love it (and therefore don’t forget to take it home with them). As an added bonus, beautiful bombonieres provide an additional decorative touch to your event. This is great for photos and also helps to build a welcoming atmosphere.
What are some examples of occasions where bombonieres are given?
- Weddings, engagements, wedding vow renewals.
- Religious rites of passage: such as, Christenings, Naming Days, Bar or Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmations, First Holy Communions.
- Birthday Parties: both children’s birthdays and milestone birthdays, such as a quinceñeara, or a 5th birthday.
- End of School Year Teacher gifts.
- Fundraiser thank-yous.
- Holiday gifts to friends, family, clients, or employees.
What are some common gifts given as bombonieres?
- Sweets: Candies, chocolates, or biscuits are sweet treats that keep well as your guests journey home. If your treats come unwrapped, they can be packaged in food-safe cello bags. However, if they do come wrapped, they can be popped directly into bright lolly bags, mini glass jars, or our extensive favour box range. Our favour boxes come in a range of pearlescent and neutral tones, with options that will marry into any colour palette.
- Alcohol-related accessories: Most guests happily use practical gifts like bottle stoppers, wine glass charms, and shot glasses. These do well in small organza or jute pouches, and also in cardboard favour boxes. All these options come available in a range of soft shades, with different sizes available. For fragile items, some shred or filler might help guests get your gifts home safely.
- Small homewares: Candles, potted plants, and photo frames can be fragile, so it’s important to package them well. Some of our cello bag range is large enough to fit these items. For even larger gift items, we also have rolls of cello and an extensive gift bag range. Bubble wrap is also available by the roll, in case your gifts need that little extra padding.
- Self-care gifts: soaps, bath bombs, and shower steamers are easy to transport, though perhaps not always immediately used by guests. However, a beautifully packaged self-care gift can make a nice addition to any bathroom. See our jute or organza pouches, acetate boxes, cello bags, and mini glass jars for options that will better handle the moisture of a bathroom.
- Beverages: tea, coffee, or minibar-sized bottles of alcohol. Gifts such as these are often easy to carry and can be simply packaged with a decorative bow either from our pre-made bow range or extensive ribbon range. See our ribbon sliders and baby charms for an extra touch of detail.
What do I need to consider when choosing bombonieres?
- Perishability: the risk of food spoiling on the way home is an important one. Choose something that doesn’t require refrigeration.
- Portability: Tipsy or tired guests might fumble a large, unwieldy, or fragile bomboniere.
- Emotional significance: At an emotional event like a wedding, a parting gift that means something to you and/or your guests is a great way to make a valued memento of your bomboniere.
- Budget: On average, couples for weddings will spend AUD$5 on each bomboniere. While this is lovely, it is not necessarily realistic for every budget. Some hosts opt to package their event cake in small boxes or food-safe cello bags. Both of these packaging solutions are available at Koch & Co. This provides a way to economise and also ensure a higher rate of cake-eating by guests that may be too busy dancing to take the time to try the cake whilst at the event.
- Cultural, Religious, and Health related-aversions: Not everybody enjoys the same things, and though you can’t please everybody with your bombonieres, it’s good to heed aversions related to faith, culture, or health. Read: perhaps don’t gift mini bottles of wine to your friends who don’t drink.
- Take-home vs. immediate use: Used at the event, some bombonieres are for immediate consumption (for example, bubbles blown for photos on the day). Some event hosts prefer to give a take-home gift that guests can enjoy later or put on the mantelpiece at home.
With the information above, now you know all you need to know about bombonieres. As such, we hope you can find bombonieres that both you and your guests love at your next big event. For more helpful information about bombonieres, read our other Koch Blogs 11 DIY Wedding Favour Ideas and Which do you favour? A guide to wedding favours.