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"Some people collect them" she said with a tone that implied a secret. "They dedicate an entire shelf or even a display case�" she lowered her voice emphasized each word "�and line them all up. One next to the other so that they can be compared." I could almost hear her nodding in the silence after she finished.
I gulped, and handed the receiver to Roberto. "It's your mom."
We were no longer preparing wedding favors, we were going to make Bomboniere. They would be judged in light of all the Bomboniere that came before them and, in time, with those that were to come. It's a competition that will last the lifetime of the Bomboniera.
The judges will be our wedding guests. They will scrutinize every part of the Bomboniera. Both the packaging and its contents will be geared to impress. Simple gauze or a fancy box? Ceramic or porcelain gift? Glass or crystal? What color would the candied almonds be? Would we include ribbon and silk flowers? How would our names be written?
Before it became such a prized collectible, the Bomboniera symbolized a token of thanks to your wedding guests. However the Bomboniera is prepared, they all contain 5 sugared almonds. Each almond signifies a trait in the marriage: Health, Wealth, Happiness, Success and Fertility.
"I thought something simple, like some nuts in a lace doily with a ribbon, would do," I told Roberto, still stunned as he took the phone to talk with his mother.
He patted my hand. "It's bigger than us," he said.
The Bomboniere makers in Italy were restless. We had to make a decision, and quickly. It would take more than two months to create these works of art. Roberto's mother, who had been conducting her search for the perfect Bonboniera all over Trento was ready to report with her top three choices. Roberto and I crowded around the phone and signaled that we were ready. She began describing each one in her order of preference.
"I like the sphere," I spoke up.
"Yeah, the crystal box is too small to be significant," Roberto agreed.
While Roberto and his mother were working out the cost and quantity I saw an opportunity to make our own unique gift statement.
"So� you can add any kind of potpourri that you want, or do you have to accept what the Bomboniere makers have in their shop?" I asked. Honestly, I was pretty sure of the answer before I asked the question.
Roberto relayed the answer from his mother - potpourri scent was up for grabs.
"Good," I announced decisively. "Let's make it lavender."
One small step for Bonboniera, one giant leap for the wedding plans.
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