Because almond trees are the first to respond to the warmth of the spring sun, sending out blossoms that burst even before leaves appear, they represent the magical renewal of life. In Greek mythology they became the symbol of immortal, forever re-blossoming love, so in Greece, Italy and along the southern Mediterranean, almonds are a marriage must-do. They are sometimes offered at German weddings too because almonds are associated with fertility.
Most wedding almonds are candy-coated “Jordan almonds” in keeping with a tradition that supposedly originated in ancient Rome, where honey-covered almonds from trees native to the banks of the River Jordan were served at festivities. In the 15th century, when sugar became common, the nuts were coated in pastel colors. The "bitter" nuts with bright sugar coating stand for the bittersweet of married life or the bitterness of life now with the sweet coating of love. They come in little bags with an odd number of almonds since odd numbers are indivisible, as guests wish the couple to be. In Italy each bag contains five almonds, representing wishes for health, happiness, fertility, prosperity and longevity.