I realised I haven’t done a Make & Do project in quite a long time, and with Autumn in full swing and cold winter evenings fast approaching, I have come up with the perfect project to make your own wedding favours to give your guests which they will enjoy, look beautiful, and are suitable for even the smallest of budgets!
The tradition of giving wedding favours is a very old one, originally known as a bonbonierre, they were small trinket boxes which contained sugary confectionary. As time went on and sugar prices declined, sugared almonds became the preferred choice, bitter almonds and sweet sugar coating representing the bitter-sweetness of marriage. Bonbonierre’s were commonly given by European aristocrats, but a more affordable option for the less well off was to wrap 5 sugared almonds in left-over lace from making the brides’ wedding dress. These sugared almonds represented fertility, longevity, health, wealth and happiness. This was the bride and groom’s way of wishing the same in return for their guests attending their special day. I’ve even read in some places that the bride walked around the wedding reception personally giving out the favours to all the single young girls thanking them for attending their wedding and wishing them fertility, longevity, health, wealth and happiness for their own wedding day in the future.
I literally have boxes of lace scraps sent to me by one of my good friends who works for a couture bridal designer in Chelsea, London. I’m always looking for ways to use this exquisite lace, and with the days getting colder, who doesn’t love a hot chocolate with marshmallows, which gave me the idea to combine the two. I think the tradition of wedding favours has taken a ghastly, garish turn in recent years and they have lost all the charm and elegance that they once were. I also wanted to create something that was easy to make, affordable and most importantly, something that guests could actually use! – and of course get my lace fix in there somehow…
Áine’s Chocolate first set up in my hometown of Oldcastle when I was still in school and their handmade chocolate is to die for! It’s so velvety and smooth and it soon became a family tradition to buy these luxurious, but affordable, chocolates for special occasions. A few years ago they created the Hot Chocolate Swirl Stick, which on first use, just blows your mind, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t love them and becomes instantly obsessed! I have a cousin in America who I still send out several of these at a time because she loves them that much. And what goes better with hot chocolate than marshmallows?….. mini marshmallows! So here’s my step-by-step instructions on how you can make these wedding favours yourself for less than €3 each. Absolute bargain! The Hot Chocolate Swirl Sticks cost just €1.50 and international delivery is available through Áine’s Handmade Chocolate website which you can find here.
Here’s a list of what you will need, no equipment necessary, just a good pair of scissors, and maybe a biscuit tin lid or something that’s large and circular to use as a template.
- Lace, or circular lace doilies would be perfect!
- Fabric Scissors, or any sharp scissors will do
- Hot Chocolate Swirl Sticks
- Mini Marshmallows
If you have circular lace doilies, you can skip this step. If not, lay your lace out on a flat surface and using your biscuit tin lid or something else circular shaped approx. 30cm/12inches in diameter. Using your scissors, cut around the shape, and repeat as required.
Unwrap your Hot Chocolate Swirl Stick and place in the centre, scattering a few mini marshmallows on top and around it. Then pull up the lace and gather evenly around the stick. Using your ribbon, tie around the centre into a pretty bow and cut to size. I’ve used natural coloured ribbon from East of India which I bought from John Lewis, but you can use a coloured ribbon to match your theme, colour palette or bridesmaid’s dresses.
And DONE! These little favours, gifts or Christmas presents are award-winning, delicious chocolate handmade in Ireland and are the perfect favours for a winter wedding!
I hope you enjoyed this super quick and easy Make & Do post, I’m not sure I’m ever going to think of an easier Make & Do project!! If you want to go that extra step, you can put these little gifts inside a cute mug or glass and give it as a small, handmade-with-love, cheap and oh-so cheerful Christmas present. Also a special thank you to Ursula in Nook, Trim, Co. Meath for letting me use a variety of props and beautiful items for my images, all of which are available to buy in her shop. She also has a Facebook page and runs regular classes, all info of which you can find here.