She couldn't put it off any longer. The wedding was just a month away, and she had picked out and planned for everything except the thank-you gifts she and her groom would give their guests. The couple had chosen an Asian theme, though neither was of Asian heritage, because he popped the question in their favorite Chinese restaurant, and it was an important part of their love story. Besides, the planning possibilities were endless.

Also endless were her choices in Asian wedding favors, but she knew her favors had to have significant meaning, not only for her and her husband-to-be, but for the wedding guests as well. She looked at the lucky elephants, silver fortune cookies, laughing Buddhas, the double-happiness motif, and after having consulted the Internet for the symbolism in each of those, she discovered that none held the meaning she was seeking.

She finally found it in bamboo. Happily, she found plenty of favors crafted from bamboo-place card holders, coasters, fans, picture frames, tea light holders, small pots with a sprig of lucky bamboo-and each one said so much more than "thank you." Here are a few of the attributes inherent in the bamboo favors she chose…

  • Longevity

Bamboo is a Chinese symbol for longevity because of its durability, strength, flexibility and resilience. It survives in the harshest conditions, and seems to endure through all the brutalities Mother Nature can deliver-still standing tall and remaining green throughout the year. Its flexibility and adaptability teach us that the secret of a long happy life is to go with the flow. She believed the inclusion of bamboo on her wedding day promised a lifelong marriage and also expressed the wish for their guests' longevity.

  • Strength

Bamboo is known for its incredible strength, regenerative ability, and its natural beauty. In structural engineering tests, bamboo has been proven to be stronger than many alloys of steel and many mixtures of concrete. Used as the standard building material for most of the world for thousands of years, the strength in bamboo has enabled structures to withstand typhoons and 9.0 magnitude earthquakes. Strong enough. She knew that married life has its ups and downs, and a marriage succeeds or fails on the inherent strength and commitment of both husband and wife. Bamboo brought the affirmation of strength to their day.

  • Flexibility

In typhoons, earthquakes and other natural occurrences, bamboo survives because it's firm and flexible, delicate yet strong. It bends in the wind, but doesn't break. She knew flexibility is essential in any partnership-especially marriage-and bamboo was the definitive embodiment of that crucial quality.

  • Earth-Friendly

Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on Earth, making it plentiful and sustainable. Some species can actually grow more than 4 feet in 24 hours. A pole of bamboo can regenerate to its full mass in just six months. Bamboo can be re-harvested every 3 years continuously, without causing damage to the plant system and the environment. While it regenerates, the bamboo plant's root system stays intact so erosion is prevented. It's good for the planet. She wanted to give the gift of a world without end to each of her guests.

  • Practicality

She chose a finely made, favor-size bamboo photo frame which the couple used as place card holders during the reception. When guests took them home, they left the wedding with heartfelt thanks, good wishes, incomparable memories and an eco-friendly place to display the photo of a happy moment captured during their own lives. Isn't it amazing what a bit of bamboo can do!

Breezy Bamboo Photo Frame