Weddings are filled with traditions, including tossing confetti over the bride and groom. It’s something you’ve no doubt participated in at numerous weddings and you’ve admired the beautiful photographs of the couple as the confetti fills the air around them. But where does the tradition come from? Read on to find out.
The tradition of throwing confetti actually hails from Italy and has become a common feature at weddings across the continent. Traditionally thrown as the happy couple leave the church, confetti symbolised bestowing prosperity and fertility on the new union, demonstrating the good wishes of the wedding guests. Confetti has been used in British weddings since the pagan times but what’s thrown has changed a lot.
When tossing confetti first began, it was usually rice or grain that was used, with flowers and petals sometimes making an appearance too, as these were commonly used as symbols of fertility and wealth. This was gradually replaced with small, coloured paper discs that had become popular in France and favoured for their delicate appearance arriving at British weddings in the late 1800s.
While the coloured discs grew quickly in popularity, they’re not liked by venues and some have gone as far to ban them all together. The confetti is considered ‘messy’ and ‘litter’ at venues, leading to another shift in what’s used to capture beautiful wedding images of the newlywed couple.
Environmentally conscious brides are increasingly turning to biodegradable natural confetti, going back to the flower petals that were often thrown in Italy decades ago. The natural option not only means that venues are happier for the confetti to be thrown but have many other benefits too.
Of course, the confetti is biodegradable, eliminating the risk of it causing harm. It also gives couples the perfect opportunity to perfectly match their confetti to the bouquets and other décor items and benefit from the beautiful scents of the petals. As a result, natural confetti is back in the popular books, it’s even been used at celebrity weddings, including those of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Gabby Logan, as well as royalty when it was the ideal option for environmentally friendly Prince Charles.
Confetti is a long-standing tradition meant to shower the married couple with well wishes for the future, a sentiment that’s still just as important for couples tying the knot today.
Photo credit to Tobiah Tayo