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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Muncaster Castle Wedding fair and the origin of favours :)

Riot of Rhododendrons

This Weekend I had the pleasure of exhibiting at the historic and most beautiful venue of Muncaster Castle at the Wedding Fair organised by Lakeland Bride.

I was exhibiting in The Drawing Room along with Simon and Alison from Simon Hudspeth Photography and alongside Maggie and Janice from Maggie D'Silva to name but a few and not forgetting the dozens of presiding, family portraits of ancestors of the Pennington family. I felt like my every move was being watched by their piercing eyes...they say it is haunted, I can see why! eeek!

Having set up on the Friday evening and being told by Sue, a member of staff, about a door handle turning on her, this was enough to give me the Heebie Jeebies! ha...I think this pic took by Mairi Donaldson just captures the eerie feeling.

On a much more positive note, I got to meet many Brides to be and it was also nice to see a few Grooms making the effort and enjoying the day out to plan their special day. One groom asked me a very good question, 'What do the Almonds in favours represent?'. I couldn't remember them all and with Jordan Almonds slowly going out of fashion, I thought I'd do a little bit of my own research to try to keep the tradition alive.

There is a lot of controversial information regarding where the wedding favours originated. My own favourite dates back to Anglo Saxon times where it was believed to be lucky, as well as magical, for guests to receive something from the bride. During the middle ages it was a rarity for a bride to make it to their marital home with her dress intact!!! During the Renaissance it was still seen as lucky for the guests to take home something belonging to the bride, however, it often resulted with the brides dress being destroyed. It was during this period that the Italian brides started adding flowers and bows to their dresses, in the hope that they would finish their wedding day still clothed! This later evolved into giving wedding favours.

For centuries Italian brides have given little bags of confetti and sugar coated almonds known today as Jordan Almonds, representing the bitter-sweet nature of married life. These are given in numbers of five to signify five wishes for the bride and groom:- health; wealth; happiness; fertility and longevity. Nowadays with the diversity of weddings, brides and grooms are looking for new innovative ideas for wedding favours for their guests.

As much as I do love tradition, helping a bride and groom come up with new ideas is very rewarding, and yesterday I did just that with Bride and Groom, Caroline and Steven. I am, obviously, sworn to secrecy for now but really looking forward to working with them and you guys make such a lovely couple :)

Some pics of me at the exhibition...don't laugh!

Anyway back to the Almonds.....from now on I think having a little poem explaining what the almonds represent... may help to keep the tradition alive so if you like this idea contact me and I'll be happy to make your favours in the traditional way. Any colour bag (to match the colour scheme of your day) filled with 5 white (also tradition) sugar coated almonds attached with a tag with a Jordan Almond poem:

Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat
To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet.
Five wishes for the new husband and his new wife
For health, wealth, happiness, children and long life!

Along with the date of the wedding and the Bride and Grooms names :)
Only £1.30 per gift

or if you would like to come for a free consultation to discuss and explore new ideas, please also get in touch.

Thanks to Rose at Lakeland Bride for organising the event, also to all the brides and grooms and exhibitors for a most enjoyable weekend and thank you for stopping by :)

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