Showering a newly married couple with confetti is a custom that dates back to ancient times when people threw handfuls of grain or rice over the bride and groom. This was a symbolic ritual to demonstrate their hope that the union would be fruitful. Although this gesture of collective happiness may have lost its symbolism, it still sums up the joyful spirit of the day.
The Italian word “confetti” describes confectionery but specifically refers to 'sweetmeats', that is grains or nuts covered in sugar, that are thrown over the newlyweds. Later, rice became popular and is still sometimes used today but has been largely replaced by small pieces of coloured paper.
More recently, with some ceremony sites not allowing confetti because of the problem of cleaning up afterwards, confetti has been replaced with more environmentally friendly options such as wedding bubbles, and rose petals. The good news is bio-degradable confetti is now available. It dissolves in water and can be either cleaned up by hosing away or letting nature take its course.
These days, wishing the happy couple good luck doesn't have to be such a messy affair. Several alternatives to confetti are available.
F L O W E R P E T A L S
Roses are one of the best sources of petals for the bridal toss as they come in a range of colours from rich velvety shades to soft pastels and of course white. Fresh or freeze-dried, they add a fragrant, romantic and fairy-tale touch to the day. Another possibility is sweet-smelling lavender buds, a symbol of purity and devotion since early times. They are the size of rice grains and bio-degradable.
B U B B L E S
Bubbles make the ultimate no-mess confetti since there is no mess to clean up afterwards. They can be given as a gift, are inexpensive and easy to store, blowing bubbles is popular with both children and adults and it is a fun way to conclude the ceremony.
B U T T E R F L I E S & B I R D S
Butterflies and doves are a wonderful option if you are having an outdoor wedding. Beautiful, delicate butterflies provide a colourful touch while white doves fluttering above you symbolise peace, love and happiness creating a spectacular finish to the ceremony and leaving a lasting impression.
B A L L O O N S
Another lovely way to celebrate new beginnings is with a helium balloon release. There are environmental laws in place in some states with penalties for releasing twenty or more balloons at a time. Organising your balloons through an accredited balloon artist who will use only bio-degradable balloons and ribbons is the best option to avoid a possible fine.
S T R E A M E R S
Colourful streamers are a cheaper alternative to confetti and because there aren't a million tiny pieces, streamers are much easier to clean up. The colourful crepe paper twirls mid-air and looks amazing in photos.
B I R D S E E D
Birdseed is an environmentally-friendly option if you are getting married outdoors. Make sure you find a wild birdseed that is suitable for birds that are native to the area. The best part is, you won't have to clean it up after the ceremony!
W I L D F L O W E R S & L E A V E S
There's something so special about handpicked flowers. A combination of local growing buds and some gorgeous eucalyptus leaves will look spectacular in the air. This will really suit a rustic or paired-back wedding.
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