The idea of a party favour is certainly one with a long tenure. Sweet treats have been handed out as favours to wedding guests for many centuries, with the original idea being to demonstrate the wealth and generosity of the hosts and to thank the guests. In modern times, most people become familiarised with the concept in their childhood, when “party bags” full of free candy are a highlight of any small friend’s birthday. But aside from extending the sugar rush of primary schoolers, is there still a place for the party favour at modern, chic birthday celebrations? The catering and events experts at Melbourne’s Best Functions explore the options:
Sweet but significant
Certainly, the idea of just handing out confectionary to adult guests seems a bit gauche (although chocolate might be well received!). But when the tradition is examined, favours have never just been about satiating sweet tooths. When the first sugary thank-yous were handed out, sugar was an expensive commodity, and people believed it to be a powerful medicine. Later, when sugared almonds became the preferred wedding favour, they were seen as symbols of fertility, fortune, and wealth.
Combining a quality, tasty treat with a more lasting thought is a way to have a party favour feel more meaningful – even if you’re not into religious or mystic symbols, including some gourmet health snacks along with notes explaining their benefits can have the same effect.
It’s all about presentation
The other thing to note about traditional party favours is that they have always been fabulously presented. Everything from ornate jewelled boxes for individual sweets to delicate silk and gauze wrapping for almonds has been tried to make the favours seem more special. Since they are, at the most basic, a small gift to symbolise your deep thanks, putting in extra effort on the presentation will help that thought feel genuine. Go the extra mile for a little gift box or fancy bag, or tie them into the wider theme of the birthday.
Think outside the chocolate box
Your other option is to depart from sweet treats entirely, and try to find another sort of gift. The issue is in hunting down something else which will have mass appeal, can be bought in large sets, and won’t look tacky for being cheap. But especially for larger or more special gatherings this can be a nice option. Get the guests of your Hens Night matching earrings, or a special commemorative charm. Coins, pens, notebooks, or jewellery chains are other good options.