Marriage is a very important tradition in Italy, and every family wants to ensure that their child has the perfect, unforgettable wedding. The bonbonniere is a tradition in itself, but also a way for the family which is playing host to show its generosity. Bonbonnieres are traditional keepsakes which are given to guests as a gesture of thanks. The practice of handing out gifts dates back to the medieval period, when it was the custom for the families of the engaged couple to exchange presents. Since then, bonbonnieres have grown to become one of the most elegant features of the wedding reception. The gifts can vary, from a porcelain figurine to something more elaborate such as a vase or potiche decorated with 24 carat gold. What they all have in common is the inclusion of sweets, often sugared almonds. The sweets can be wrapped in tulle if given together with the bonbonniere, or offered separately, and symbolise the bitter-sweet union of marriage. The number of sweets, usually five, represents fertility, happiness, health, longevity and wellbeing. Tied to every gift with a length of ribbon (which often corresponds with the colour theme of the wedding) is a small card bearing the names of the couple and the date of the wedding. Favours are not only handed out at weddings, but also to mark special occasions such as christenings and anniversaries. The sweets are available in a wide range of colours. White, which symbolises purity and virginity, is used for weddings, blue and pink for the birth of a child, and silver and gold for wedding anniversaries, silver for 25 years and gold for 50. Villari offers a selection of elegant pieces to suit all occasions, made from fine porcelain and decorated with 24 carat gold.