A bomboniera, according to Anthony Parente at italiansrus.com, is a keepsake given to guests in appreciation of their attendance to a wedding (or other celebration). It is a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, when the engaged couple’s family would exchange gifts. Now it’s part of the full-blown, ritualistic wog wedding, and involves big wanky companies in the ‘little Italy’ part of the town extorting ridiculous amounts of money for knick-knacks. Of course, the bomboniere don’t have to be expensive - it’s just that along with the quality of grog, food, wedding party outfits and speeches, it’s what the guests will judge the success of the reception on.
Even now, we may consult the knick-knack compartment of the wall unit and recall receptions on the crying clowns, salt-and-pepper shakers, sugarbowls, boys-with-flutes and porcelain songs, long after the iced almonds have been eaten. Of course, the iced almonds are mandatory.
Long before confetti came to mean the little circles of paper manufactured by hole punches after punching holes through paper, used to throw on the bride and groom as they step out of church (which themselves have been outlawed by most churches, replaced by little bottles of bubble fluid with which to blow bubbles at the happy couple, since the mass of hole-punch residue creates a slipping hazard when wet and is damn difficult to clean out of the lawn even when dry), confetti were the iced almonds - sugar coated almonds wrapped in tulle and attached to the bomboniera. (Already, I’m thinking ‘bonbon’ and ‘confectionary’, if that helps.)
Apparently, Anthony Parente tells us, “the confetti represents the bitter-sweet union of marriage. The number of confetti, which is always an odd number and usually five, symbolize fertility, happiness, health, longevity and wealth”.
Now, for reasons even my sister fails to understand, she’s loved elephants for as long as she can remember. “Because they’re cute,” was the reason offered when most recently pressed.
So, after deciding not to be held to ransom by extortionate bomboniere importers from Sydney’s little Italy, she decided to construct her own, using a stack of bulk purchased knick-knacks.
Here’s the recipe, in five easy steps:
Take a tulle bag:
Add five iced almonds:
And a nice image with which to construct a name tag (in this case, taken from the National Geographic website):
As well as the knick-knack of choice, upon which to attach everything:
And you have your own customised, purpose-built bomboniera!