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Weddings are one of many emotions; these are happiness, excitement, stress, worry, anxiety, nervousness, ecstatic joy etc. This indeed is a day that represents the joining two people in a bid to wish them luck on their journey of being together in life. However, having been to many cultural weddings you notice something similar at the end of each ceremony and that is the number of boxed presents left for the couple to take home – is the an age-old tradition or has the idea of giving wedding gifts only been around for a small length of time?

The same question can be applied to the idea of placing wedding favours on the table. I first came across these fancy netted bags of sugared almonds over ten years ago at the mere age of fourteen, when I had visited my first western wedding. I thought that the couple were extremely generous to have given us a wonderful banquet and great entertainment, but what was the point in these bags of sweets that had a thank you note amongst the content? It wasn’t until later on in the evening that I was told that they were favours – do they need a favour from us?

At least with wedding gifts, one understands that the purpose of buying them a present is a way of symbolising the joyous day and allowing the couple know that the guests appreciate the invite. Wedding gifts have been a tradition for many hundreds of years, dating back to the Royal family, where new queens or princesses were adorned with many fabulous jewellery and expensive gifts. Giving gifts is nothing new, as it represents someone’s generosity towards another.

These days couples can ask for no boxed gifts to be brought to the wedding, or to pre-select their choice of wedding gifts from a major retailer or from the internet as long as the items they have reserved have all been bought. This way there are no risks of receiving something that they will not use in years to come. These are usually ordered directly from the retailer or from the internet prior to the wedding.

Wedding favours however, are an unusual yet very common added touch to a wedding. Much like giving wedding gifts, these have been a tradition for many centuries dating back to the European aristocrats of Italy and France. These were known as bonboniere in French or bomboniere in Italian and were normally sent out before the wedding day. However, these were not exclusive to weddings, as they were distributed for birthdays and anniversaries as well and were packaged in small porcelain, metal, jewel stoned or crystal boxes.

As weddings were seen as a lucky blessing or a privilege, by giving out bonbonieres to guests, the couple felt that they were bestowing good luck upon their guests as well. The boxes would contain five pieces of candy or almonds that represented health, longevity, fertility, wealth and happiness. Later in the years the confectioners jumped on the distribution of almonds, dipping them in sugar and other sweet coatings turning them into a more modern and luxurious gift.

The Italians traditionally gave out chocolates, whereas the French would give out candies and sugared almonds. The Spanish guests would traditionally receive a small vase with orange blossoms, and the Dutch would receive five pieces of candy that represented wedding wishes which were otherwise known as bridal sugar.

These days favours are presented in a number of ways, largely in a more personalised manner coordinated with the theme of the wedding itself. Many couples now opt towards the more modern idea of marking the occasion with small signs of the occasion, or providing not just sweets but small gifts such as personalised candles, bottle openers, coasters, cakes etc.

Anna Stenning usually helps people select wedding gifts for other people and knows how this correlates with weddings favours.
Follow The Right Diet Plan For Your Body
Anyone can lose weight if they are committed to doing so, but it's made so much easier if you are aware of effective strategies on losing weight safely and for the long-term. There are many ways to lose weight, but it's important to do so in a way that is easy for you to stick with. Here are some canny tips that we are sure will be invaluable to you.
Drinking water is essential to losing weight and becoming healthy, but it's hard to drink enough each day. Carry a water bottle, either disposable or refillable, with you every where you go and you can take a sip of water whenever you feel thirsty or feel the first pangs of hunger.
You can consume less calories, and lose more weight, if you take the time to cut up your food. Portion control is difficult for most people, so take a food that contains a large amount of calories (like chocolate) and cut it into smaller portions. You can still eat what you like, but by only consuming a small amount of the food, you will not gain as much weight.
If you're having trouble losing weight, try using some fitness DVDs to give you a structured weight loss routine. Jillian Michaels has some great, proven DVDs that with a little work each day, can have you achieving your dream body in only a few weeks. If you can't afford a fitness DVD try following some fitness videos on YouTube.
Make sure you are getting some exercise while you are on your diet plan. Exercise in any form is great for helping you to lose those excess pounds. You don't have to have a gym membership to workout either. You can run, do sit ups and push ups and that will help you in your weight loss efforts. Walking is also another great way to help you lose weight. Try and stay active, get your body in motion to lose the weight.
Work out for weight loss by not working out. A lot of people freeze and give up when they realize that for true sustained weight loss you need to start exercising. Trick your brain into going along with your exercise by not calling it that. Stay away from the gym and get your "work out" in by washing your car, riding a bike, going on a hike, or any of a million other activities that are exercise without being "exercise".
Stay away from foods that you have trouble stopping at one serving. If you cannot stop eating chips then you should not buy a bag and try to eat one serving. Most likely you will give into temptation. Buy something else that is crunchy but is lower in fat and calories.
Dining out presents a challenge for people trying to lose weight. Even with more healthy options available, restaurant portion sizes are still far too large. One incredibly simple way to control what you're eating is to order your dinner, and ask the server to box half of it up when they bring it to the table. You'll be eating half as much food right off the bat, and can bring home the rest for another meal.
Red pepper flakes are wonderful to use when trying to lose weight. If you eat them early on in the day, it will actually help you to lower the amount of food you eat. You can put some on eggs for breakfast, or use them anyway you would like to.
If you are a potato chip lover like so many of us are, these can really hurt your diet. Try baking some apples instead. The baked apples will give you that crunch that a potato chip will, but offer you the nutrition of eating an apple. Finding healthy alternatives to your favorite foods will boost your weight loss.
There is some very useful advice there, and some of it may even be new to you. What's important however, is to give it time. None of these tips will give you quick results, nor should you want them to. Putting the weight on took a long time, and losing it over a long period is a safer, and more realistic way to go about it. When you don't see results it can be difficult to keep going on the weight loss journey, but if you have committed yourself to accomplishing your weight loss goal, you are unstoppable.

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