The tradition of confetti is as old as the ceremony of marriage itself.
Over the centuries and throughout all the continents, many varieties of confettis have been used for different marriage rites and rituals, but in general the throwing of confetti has had a common purpose – that of a celebratory nature, a blessing, a bestowing of good health, fertility and prosperity.
Today, confetti still has an important role in our wedding ceremonies. It forms part of the tradition of blessing the happy couple by the wedding party guests. The days of the wedding party liberally showering the happy couple as they leave their chosen venue, with an array of coloured paper, tissue, rice, metallic horseshoes has long gone.
Fashions and attitudes have changed, and confetti has become regarded by many as a litter nuisance, even biodegradable paper confetti can be unacceptable, because in truth all paper is biodegradable, but leaves an unwelcome footprint for those that follow after your celebrations.
Couples getting married enjoy the rituals of the ceremony, and see the confetti throw as an important part of the day. For the wedding guests, it is part of their involvement in your celebration. According to wedding polls, the confetti photograph ranks as being one of the most important and desired photographs of the wedding day.
And herein lies the problem – if having confetti at your wedding is important to you, it is something that needs to be planned for. It cannot be left to chance as
· Guests may not provide confetti at all
· May throw unacceptabl. confetti at your chosen venue
· May throw rice, pulses or seeds – harmful to wildlife
· May throw confetti that marks or stains
If you decide that confetti is an important part of your day, there is acceptable confetti out there, in the form of real petal confetti. Real petal confetti can be bought and provided for use by the wedding party, ensuring you have the confetti at your wedding that you want. There is a vast array to choose from – and here are some of the factors that you should consider-
- Freeze dried – what it says – the petal is dried using a process where the petal is frozen and the moisture extracted. This retains the colour and shape of the petal, but is not the most environmental of processes. Most freeze dried petals are also imported.
- Air dried – what it says – dried in the air, naturally. Most notably delphinium larkspur and cornflower are petals air dried here in the UK, retaining their original colours and shape.
- Not all petals are colour fast, many freeze dried petals are dyed.
- Not all petals are the same quality – real petal confetti does not have to be a compromise, there are some stunning real petals available, ask for samples.
- With a wide array of colours to choose from, you can tailor your confetti to suit your wedding theme.
- Choose a company with a good returns policy – if you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason, and return it in an unused original condition, they should refund you, less postage charges incurred.
If you have decided that real confetti is your wedding confetti of choice, before you go ahead and commit to it, you should check that your chosen venue allows your confetti. Many reluctant venues can be persuaded to accept confetti by taking along a sample and discussing it with them. If venues stipulate rose petal confetti, this is often because of ignorance of other real confettis available on the market.
Confetti has so many uses, so have a thought for the following – The traditional confetti throw -
- Baskets containing loose confetti, handed out by the bridesmaids, usher, or other person. This can be quite extravagant, as it is surprising how much one person can take for one throw. It creates a stunning shower, but you do need large quantities.
- Baskets holding confetti cones, this enables you to control exactly how much confetti is thrown. The baskets can be left in a prominent position for the guests to help themselves or handed out by the bridesmaids, ushers or other person.
- Small bags of confetti could be placed with the order of service, or again left in a basket, or bowl in a prominent position for the guests to help themselves. Small children, especially those without a specific role can be tasked with handing out small bags of confetti. This makes it a very special task when sometimes a child needs to be involved, but is not the bridesmaid, flower girl or usher.
Table decoration – Real petal can be used to great effect on tables. Only a small amount of confetti is needed for table decoration – less is more is the best principle. It is important to make sure that the confetti you use is from a quality supplier, and that the majority of imperfections have been weeded out. Remember always that it is a natural product, so there will be variations throughout the petal. Petal paths -This is another tradition, from an age where the bride would walk to the church, and the flower girl (not the bridesmaid) would scatter flowers for the bride to walk along. Depending on the distance, you may need more confetti for the petal path than for any other use. If you are considering laying a petal path, ask your supplier if they have confetti that is suitable for use in petal paths. They will possibly have second grade confetti, which could be a more cost effective option. Second grade confetti is still very effective, and the only difference is that it does not have to stand up to such close scrutiny as first best quality petal.
Aisle decoration and room decoration – Again, for floors and paths, consider second grade confetti. For surfaces, beds, basically anything that is not walked over, go for the best quality confetti. This should have been handpicked and sorted, and be un compromisingly beautiful, and fit for any purpose. Wedding gift – consider putting the confetti on your wedding list, it is a very small part of the overall cost of the wedding, and may be something within a guests budget to buy for you. Apart from the cost, it is a gift that is personal to you, and people enjoy giving. Confetti baskets – Most baskets, will have a purpose other than for confetti. Egg baskets, shopping baskets, garden trugs, decorative baskets, they can all be used for confetti. If you are buying your basket, it may be something that you would like to give to your bridesmaid or flower girl as a thank you, or something that you would use in the future. If you ask your friends and family, you will be surprised what they have that is suitable to use, from grannies crystal bowl, to metal pails, to garden pots, to apple boxes, hand decorated and personalised for you.
Finally, remember – your confetti moment, although a small part of your day, it should leave no footprint for those that follow you, but leave you with an indelible memory and photographs that you will treasure forever.
By Rosie Elis – Bespoke Confetti