I love telling this story- and I think the idea might inspire a lot of people who are preparing favors for their engagement, katb kteb, or wedding.
But first, I have to give credit to my mother whose creativity knows no bounds or limits. Without her driving this project, we would not have gotten the end result we really wanted.
So a bit of a background.
You know how when you go to visit someone, especially during holidays or engagements, they have all those different trays with chocolates, dragees (known to us Arabic speakers as mlabbas), and arameesh (I can’t find their name in English but they’re like a nut mixture joined together with sugar and they’re very very good). The hostess will normally make you take one or more of each and you end up with a purse full of those things.
And if you happen to be doing those visits with a male, his share will also end up in your purse. I know that to be true because of my dad, who isn’t a big fan of these things, but takes them anyway out of respect for the hosts. He then ends up giving them to either my mother, sister, or myself. We then later spend a week trying to get rid of them- normally through eating them and getting fatter.
Inspired by this idea, I told my mom I wanted to do something different than a couple of trays for the engagement favors. It just so happened that she was browsing a local shop when she came across plastic mini-trays in different sizes and colors.
That’s when the idea came together: we’d give the guests a mini-tray: each one would have a piece of chocolate, two dragees, and one arameesh. The idea made a lot of sense and barely cost anything.
We picked out all the the elements separately then put them together a few days before the engagement party. The chocolates were also distinct in that half were caramel (Ahmad’s favorite) and the other were hazelnut (my favorite). The colors matched our planned outfits: silver and purple- as represented in the chocolate wrapping and the bows that tied everything together.
To make things even more personal, we asked my friend Rola to design a little sticker that we could put at the bottom of the mini-trays. Because how often do you go to these things, take the favors, and then forget about it after a while? We went through several incarnations before we chose the one that eventually made it on the cake as well.
On the day of, we set these favors in two long silver bowls, so people could just pick one on their way out- and it worked wonderfully.
The best part, however, is that this mini-tray served a purpose after the sweets were eaten: you could use it for your jewelry or to put tiny things on it. I still use mine for that purpose.
They were a hit with everyone that attended, which means that the bar has been set high for the katb kteb boxes and the wedding favors- but I just might have the perfect idea in mind.