Confetti has long been used at weddings and other celebratory parades, lending them a festive feel and a certain romance as tiny pieces of paper (according to age-old tradition) flutter down on the party like a gentle snow. In the parades held mostly in the 20th century, ticker-tape was used as confetti. Colourful flakes of paper rained on the crowd and added to the excitement. Throwing rice at the bridal couple as confetti actually originates from ancient Roman times. Confetti was usually an easily available seed or grain and was used to represent the couple’s fertility and prosperity during their married lives together. In Rome, this grain happened to be rice. But, in other areas of the world, it differed. It was only when America adopted rice that it became globally accepted.
Today, couples have many choices available to them, so that they are able to make their day as unique and personalised as possible. Not only does this add a new dimension to this part of your day, it also involves the guests in the proceedings, engaging them and ensuring that it is as memorable for them as it is for you.
Petals have been a popular confetti choice for many years. Not only are they colourful and soft, but they carry with them a definite sense of romance and nostalgia. They also reinforce your colour scheme, smell beautiful, and do not leave a mess for somebody to clean up afterwards as they are biodegradable. For a twist, some couples have opted to go for the entire flower to be thrown. Tiny roses, Baby’s Breath, lilies and orchids may be handed to each guest, depending on your choice of flower for the entire event, and thrown on the couple. It is important that these flowers are light and that there are no thorns or woody stems that could hurt anyone once thrown.
Bubbles are trendy and fun, and also leave no mess. They are trouble-free as they do not leave sit in the bride and groom’s hair, as with paper or rice, and they delight the guests who are blowing them as much as the couple themselves. The bride is advised just to check the bubble solution beforehand to see that it does not leave stains on her dress (this should be done on a sample of the fabric well before the time).
Sparklers are great for an evening wedding, when the bright lights will be most effective. Each guest is given one, which they should light just before the bride and groom are about to exit the building. Being greeted by a sea of stars is exciting and rather dreamy, as it lends an ethereal look and feel to the event.
Feathers are another novel option that creates a sense of nostalgia and dreaminess. They can be died, but white feathers are usually the most popular, in keeping with the pure and untainted image of the bride. Adding a tiny weight (in the form of a bead, for example) to the quill of the feather will help them to fall around the couple, rather than being whisked away in a breeze. There are people who are allergic to feathers and down, and they should be advised to steer clear of this activity. It is also recommended that the supplier of the feathers be researched thoroughly, as there are, unfortunately, those who do not treat their birds kindly or ethically.
Bridal couples on a budget will do well to consider sequins. These are available in a variety of colours, and will sparkle and glitter as they descend around the bride and groom.
If the idea of confetti does not appeal to you, or the venue does not allow for it, consider giving each person a flower that they can hand to the bride and groom as they leave the ceremony venue. These flowers can be used as the official bouquet thereafter, or can be placed in a well-positioned vase for the reception. You may want to attach a blank piece of paper to the stem, so that they can add a personalised message. Alternatively, the guests can be given a bell, or even a bag of seeds that can be shaken around the couple. This leaves no mess, and is a great welcome to the newly weds.
Not every couple enjoys the traditions that have lasted centuries. In these cases, there are plenty of alternatives, which then define the couple and their unique tastes more accurately. With time and preparation, these alternatives can be used very effectively.
Photo Credit: beyondbeyond.co.uk