Wedding Traditions

Gourmet wedding favors - tasty treats for guests

By Susan Crowley
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gourmet wedding favor
Gourmet wedding favors combine wonderful flavor and eye-catching beauty in take-home treats for your wedding guests.
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There is an amazing array of choices for gourmet wedding favors

Elegant, gourmet wedding favors are a recent newcomer on the wedding scene, but they're quickly becoming very popular with bridal couples. Because they combine flavor and beauty in one package, they are a wedding favor that appeals to just about every guest.

There have been traditional food-oriented wedding favors for years such as small, personalized tins of mints or miniature boxes of Jordan almonds. But today's truly gourmet wedding favors take food treats to the next level, catering to even the most discriminating palate.

Cookies may seem like standard fair, but gourmet wedding cookies with custom icing make lovely wedding favors for your guests, and can be personalized in many ways. Caterers can design decorated cookies in shapes from flowers to wedding gowns and tuxedos and decorate them with custom-tinted frosting to match your wedding color scheme. Monogrammed cookies are also a popular choice that celebrates your wedding in style.

Some brides also order these cookies for the rehearsal dinner and have each cookie individually decorated. Each bridesmaid receives a cookie decorated to look just like her own bridesmaid's gown, for instance. These are such works of art that they are table décor as much as favor.

Another gourmet wedding favor that has moved up a notch in recent years is chocolates. These can now be ordered from gourmet chocolatiers in hundreds of different shapes and varieties of chocolate, from raspberry liqueurs to creamy white chocolates. A current favorite is chocolate-covered strawberries, hand-dipped in dark chocolate and trimmed with white chocolate lace.

If the bride is planning a theme wedding, gourmet chocolates can be ordered to match the theme. For instance, a sea-side or beach wedding can be echoed with gourmet chocolates shaped like seashells and starfish. For an autumn wedding, chocolates shaped like leaves and acorns are beautiful, and a winter wedding table will be complete with gourmet wedding favors of white chocolate snowflakes.

The bakery that designs and bakes your wedding cake can also provide delicate petit fours decorated to match your wedding cake for another gourmet wedding favor option. Trimming for these can include touches such as edible, candied flowers on top – pansies are very popular for this.

Fortune cookies can also be ordered that include "fortunes" written just for your wedding guests. The fortunes might be a short poem or favorite quote relating to your special day or you can have a variety of optimistic fortunes written so that every guest feels blessed. Tucked into tiny Chinese take-out boxes in the wedding party's colors, these gourmet wedding favors are perfect for an oriental-themed wedding. Maple candies or gourmet maple syrups are very popular for fall weddings, in keeping with the weather.

If there is a type of food that can be packaged, you can order it for a wedding favor. Some of the most popular offerings to guests at today's weddings are those that can be custom-labeled. Tiny jars of gourmet honey for a "sweet send-off," or gourmet jams and preserves in exotic flavors are now all the rage. These come in miniature jars with decorate lids and labels that include the wedding date, names of the bride and groom and a short message for the wedding guests. You can also get a photograph of the bride and groom reproduced on the labels in most cases, making the jar a keepsake long after the delicious offering inside has been eaten.

Remember, gourmet doesn't apply just to food – wine is also a wonderful option for wedding favors. More and more small, local wineries are offering select vintages in miniature bottles for special occasions. These can be labeled much the same as the small honey and marmalade jars – and they often look so realistic that your guests will be startled to see that your names are on them when they take a second glance.

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering a gourmet wedding favor is to select something that not only looks beautiful, but tastes divine as well. The combination of flavor and appearance is crucial, and both should reflect the taste of both bride and groom. If you follow these guidelines, you'll find truly memorable favors that your guests will savor long after the last bite.

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