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  • Writer's pictureNicola Warner

Modern alternatives to traditional confetti

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Photo - Ivory & Grace

Who doesn’t love seeing pictures of newlyweds with confetti cascading down over them? They can make some of the most fun and natural looking photos of the day. With the ceremony area in the background, friends and family gathered around, and the newly married couple clasping hands and laughing as they run the gauntlet to escape the confetti…Beautiful.

Where did the tradition of throwing confetti actually come from?

Like many age-old traditions, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact time or place when throwing confetti over newlyweds became the done thing, but we do know that the tradition dates back as far as the middle ages (possibly further) and was a way for guests to bestow their wishes of a lifetime of happiness on the couple.

The actual ‘confetti’ used has changed greatly over the years, some of this is down to the availability of certain items, some of it down to comfort and more recently in relation to being more aware of the environment and the effects we are having on it.

Previous items used for confetti have included:

  • Candy-coated seeds – such as coriander seeds

  • Uncooked rice

  • Uncooked wheat

  • Uncooked barley

  • Dried fruit

  • Coloured paper

  • Sequins

Why are some venues against the use of confetti? Not too long ago using confetti at your wedding was expected, but at the same time was also frowned upon. Throwing rice, which was normal in the UK, was causing a variety of issues. The newlyweds could pick up injuries ranging from bruises to eye injuries, the rice, when wet, made a sticky mess that was hard to clear up, made the venue look messy and posed as a health and safety risk as people would slip on it. Aside from these issues was the fact that it also attracted vermin like mice, rats, and pigeons to the area.

More and more venues started to discourage the use of confetti due to the above issues and so more alternatives became more widely available.

Paper Confetti

Paper confetti became popular in the late 19th century and quickly replaced the use of rice and their food stuffs as it carried with it less risk, was easier to tidy up and didn’t leave the newlyweds wincing in pain.

For many decades paper confetti was the most popular choice at wedding celebrations up and down the country, and in fact all around the globe, but it wasn’t completely without issue. Although paper is biodegradable, confetti often comes in a range of bright colour and the inks used to do this can cause harm to the environment and the natural wildlife in the area.

Current alternatives for confetti

Dried rose petals and other flower petals

  • Biodegradable

  • Not toxic to the environment and animals

  • Each piece is unique

  • Available in different shapes, sizes and colours

  • Beautiful aroma

  • Affordable

  • No need to worry about clearing them up (check your venue policy)

Photo - Yeti photography


  • Look for non-toxic varieties

  • Fun for all ages

  • Won’t leave a mess at the venue

  • Use a mix of small and large bubble wands for variety

  • Ask guests not to get too close as they blow them

Lavender seeds

  • Eco-friendly

  • Biodegradable

  • Smells and looks lovely

  • Lightweight and easy to throw

  • Won’t overpower your images

Whilst it used to be the place of the guests to bring their own confetti with them it is much more normal now for the couple getting married to supply the confetti.

This means that once you decide what is in fitting with your style and preference you can provide everything that is needed for your guests and leave your venue, the environment and your photos looking the way you want them to. Just pop a note in your invitation to let guests know they don’t need to go to the trouble of bringing confetti with them and then watch them enjoy the choice you have made.

Here at Rustic Love, we have a variety of ways of displaying your confetti, from frames, suitcases, boxes, cones and bags. You can hire all the options empty so you can add your own confetti. Or we can supply it for you, matching the colours to your scheme. I usually use a mix of petals and flutterfall leaves, so your confetti travels and flutters down nicely for photos.

If you want to see all the options and gallery then head to the website here - Confetti

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