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We all love to receive gifts. Bonbonnieres are special, because they are not only gifts; they are gifts that remind us of the day that we celebrated a momentous occasion with a loved one. Giving bonbonnieres isn’t merely a nice gesture – it’s a memento that your guests will keep (possibly for many years) to remember your wedding.
With all of the other planning involved, you wouldn’t believe how easy it is for bonbonnieres to slip a bride-to-be’s mind. The following guideline is designed to guide you through the steps, from brainstorming bonbonniere ideas to partaking of the bonbonniere yourselves. Not all of these steps will necessarily apply to all brides, but they should prevent any wedding-brain catastrophes, and leave your guests with a lasting impression of your wedding.
One Year to Go
• While you’re in the early stages of wedding planning – deciding on themes and colour schemes – give some thought to the type of bonbonniere you would like to give your guests. Try to tie it into your overall theme, or use it as a creative expression of your and your partner’s personalities.
• If you’re planning on purchasing your bonbonnieres, start sourcing retailers and getting quotations from suppliers.
• If you’re planning on DIY-ing it, get cracking on designs and start sourcing the materials that you will need.
• If you’ve decided to purchase your bonbonnieres from a supplier, now is the time to place your order. Make sure that you order a few more than how many you think you will need – you never know who might be added to the guest list (Bride-brain, remember?).
• On the other hand, if you’ve decided to make them yourself, purchase the materials you will need and make a prototype bonbonniere. If it works out well, consider this the practice run. If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board, come up with a new design, and iron out the wrinkles.
• Start thinking about how you are going to present your bonbonnieres to your guests. If you’ve ordered them from a supplier, they may come ready-wrapped and all you need to do is attach name tags – if that is the case, skip the next couple of steps.
• If you’ve ordered your bonbonnieres from a supplier, the delivery time will depend on the company and your contract terms. However, most suppliers are more than happier to send out some samples, so that you can play around with wrapping and packaging. Now is the time to get your hands on those samples and get creative with presentation ideas.
• For those DIY chicks, it’s time to set a bonbonniere assembly schedule. Now that your design is flawless, you can do a practice run of putting a few together – make sure that you time yourself and work out how long it takes you to assemble each one. If you assemble a few each evening, while watching TV (or any other time that you have free-time), you can assemble them all at a steady pace.
• Try out your wrapping ideas and choose the prettiest, most affordable, and easiest-to-assemble option.
• DIY gals: don’t go it alone. Invite those bridesmaids over for a girly night in, watching chick flicks and assembling bonbonnieres.
• If your bonbonnieres aren’t already wrapped, set up a wrapping schedule and stick to it. A few hours each weekend, or half an hour each evening, for the next couple of months, should see those bonbonnieres packaged and looking picture perfect.
• Consider some personalised gifts that you can present to the wedding party, as a token of your gratitude for all of their help.
• Decide where you want the bonbonnieres to be displayed at the reception venue. This could be on a separate table near the cake, by the exit as guests leave the party, or as centrepieces for guests to “ooh” and “ahh” over (and try to resist the urge to open and/or eat).
• Sit down with the guest list, and either handwrite each name tag or, have them printed.
• If you’ve ordered your bonbonnieres, they should have arrived by now. Give them a once over and make sure that they are exactly what you ordered and that no breakage has occurred during transit.
• Once they’re all wrapped, attach the name tags to each bonbonniere.
• Check the guest list, do a stock-take and check, re-check and triple-check that you have enough bonbonnieres for everyone.
• Arrange a way for the bonbonnieres to be transported to the reception venue on the big day – this could be as simple as asking a relative to drop them off in the morning, or arranging for one of the hire cars to take them there.
The Day Before
• Pack those babies in the car, ready to be delivered.
• Don’t forget to set aside some for yourselves. They’ll be even more enjoyable once you’ve returned from your honeymoon.
• Present the wedding party members with their personalised gifts, at the rehearsal dinner.
The Big Day
• Make sure that someone delivers the bonbonnieres to the reception venue, and that they know exactly where you wish for them to be displayed.
• Watch the expressions of delight on your guests’ faces, as they are presented with their gifts.
• Rip into those bonbonnieres yourselves. If you decided on edible gifts, savour them, and perhaps keep the packaging in a safe place, for memory’s sake.
• Stop reading this list and go enjoy your wedded bliss!