When I was a little girl I can remember my Italian grandmother (or Nonna as I know her form the Italian) sitting at her table surrounded by fine netting, rolls of shiny ribbon, the smallest flowers and leaves and sugar almonds. She would cut away with scissors and bind with green florist tape to make beautiful small bouquets. It wasn’t a full time job for my nonna…she was too busy feeding up us grandkids and generally fussing over us. And besides I think she would have happily made them for free and often did as it was such a pleasure for her. She’s been waiting for the moment she can make one of her grandchildrens wedding bonboniere and finally she now has a chance.
Bonboniere are Italian wedding favors. They come in all shapes and colours with different flowers and can also be used for for christenings, first communions, golden and silver anniversaries. The one thing the wedding bonboniere have in common is that traditionally they should have 5 sugared almonds. These symbolize health, wealth, happiness, fertility and long life. When the bride and groom walk around the tables at the wedding breakfast they hand them out to each guest, usually from a decorated basket carried by the bride.
I love my nonna’s bonboniere but most of them were made in the 1980s and though beautiful they’re not to my taste and they wouldn’t match our wedding. So its up to my fiance and I to guide my nan and give her ideas on what we would like the bonboniere to look like. I would like to stick to the shapes that I remember my nonna creating but making them with a modern feel. No peach coloured flowers for me!
My nan is making samples for my fiance and I to look at as I write. She has about 1000 wires to twist for the almond ‘twigs’ alone! They are already looking wonderful. Will post photos of the results.