As a wedding photographer, one of my favourite moments at any wedding is when family and friends throw confetti or flower petals at the newly married couple. It is crazy, fun, colourful, full of emotion and totally joyful. It is just awesome! And this single moment often creates some of the most beautiful photos at a wedding. And that is why I’ve put together these wedding confetti ideas & tips.
The throwing of confetti was started by the Medieval Italians who loved to throw things at each other. Sugared almond sweets called ‘confetti’ were thrown during carnivals, processionals and parades. At
I love it when confetti or absolutely anything fun and colourful is thrown at a married couple. And I recommend that everyone do it in some form at their wedding. Because it is just fun! So I’ve put together this guide to give you wedding confetti ideas & tips to help you plan this awesome moment.
When should you throw confetti at your wedding?
There are a few obvious times when a confetti shot would be awesome at your wedding. The first time would obviously be when I arrive at your wedding to take photos. Showering me in confetti when I walk in the room… that would be a lovely moment for me ;) … jokes of course :)
- If you are having an outdoor ceremony, then the best time is when you walk back down the aisle after you are officially married. So while you are signing the marriage certificates, get a couple of friends to hand out your confetti. Then walk back up the aisle and your family & friends can shower you in confetti and it will look amazing in photos!
- If you are having a church or chapel ceremony, you could have it as you exit through the church doors. This has to be explained to guests before they actually leave the church. You would either:
- walk down the aisle, out of the church, then walk through a back entrance into the church and wait for guests to exit. When all the guests are out of the church, then you would walk out to a huge confetti throw.
- walk down the aisle, wait at the back of the church at the entrance and greet every guest with hugs and kisses as they exited the church. As they exit the church they can pick up handfuls of confetti. Then once all the guests are outside, then you would exit to a huge confetti throw.
- Another time you could do a confetti throw is during a large group photo. If you are wanting a photo with all your wedding guests, this is a perfect time for a confetti shot.
- You can also throw confetti during your location portraits. The Bridal party can launch it into the air and celebrate with you.
- People don’t generally use it that much at the wedding reception, but there is no reason why you couldn’t. As you enter the reception to rapturous applause, or maybe if you were having a high energy first dance where you think it might suit. Confetti cannons on the dancefloor would also be awesome and really get the party happening.
Check with your wedding venue first.
So you’ve decided where you think you want to have your confetti, now you have to check with your venue or venues to make sure it’s ok.
A lot of venues and churches do not like confetti because it creates a mess that they have to clean up. Many churches, for instance, have back to back weddings on Saturdays and just don’t have the staff to clean it up.
Some churches and venues also may not want certain flowers thrown as they can stain the floors or some smaller varieties of confetti are too small to clean up easily.
So check with your venues and see if they allow it and if they have a preference of what confetti or throws
Think of the environment.
Confetti and other throws, look great in photos, but they will make a mess. Please only use biodegradable confetti or use natural flowers and plants.
If you are doing it in a public space outside of the venue or church, think of others and the environment. Pick a location that will be easy to clean up.
One of the best ways to clean up confetti, quickly and easily is with an outdoor vacuum (Like this one here).
You can always organise a cleanup crew of some of your mates to help clean up the mess. Just tell them that you will give them free beers all night at the reception ;)
Choose your confetti.
There are literally so many amazing types of confetti to choose from, where do you start?
Photographically, I really like anything bold and colourful. It stands out more in photos. Depending on the location, the background and the time of day, white confetti can get a bit lost in the sky and background. But white confetti against a darker sandstone church background would look perfect.
You can also arrange flower throws with your florist. That way they can match the petals with your bouquet and overall wedding style and theme.
Use confetti that matches you and the type of wedding you are having. If you are having a glamorous city wedding, choose glamorous metallic confetti. If you are having a rustic, country wedding then choose confetti that matches this.
Alternatives to paper confetti.
If you are looking for something different to biodegradable paper options there are still many products to choose from.
Fresh rose petals would have to be one of the most popular options. You can arrange it with your florist and it is environment-friendly. One word of warning about red rose petals and wedding dresses. If you walk over fresh rose petals on the ground, particularly concrete or hard ground… it may stain your wedding dress. For garden
Dried rose petal and flowers are another lovely option. They are environmentally friendly and they smell great. Because they are quite small, they don’t have the impact that in photos that a full petal would.
Many people use bubbles (this product) which is ok. But it’s not great in my opinion. You end up walking down a very quiet wedding aisle because everyone is concentrating on blowing bubbles. And unless everyone is blowing perfect bubbles at the right time and the wind is in your favour, I don’t think the results, photographically, are worth it.
Hand-made paper aeroplanes are another fun option. These guys, pictured below, are Harry Potter fans and used pages from the Harry Potter books as paper planes.
Rice and bird seed are other options that I have seen used. Other eco-friendly natural options also include rosemary, thyme and lavender.
One of my favourite options is simply leaves. It is a great and cheap DIY option and it looks great in photos. Gather a few boxes of leaves from the area the day before or on the morning of the wedding and you’ve got a great natural confetti. If you are having an autumn wedding, you could obviously get more colourful leaves. And if you are having a country wedding, then I think Eucalyptus or Gum Tree leaves would work perfectly.
I have seen people use hole punches and painstakingly make thousands of tiny confetti out of the leaves, but I really don’t think that is necessary and I think it will actually look better if you just left the leaves as is.
You cannot have too much confetti.
You seriously cannot have too much confetti. Let me say that again… YOU SERIOUSLY CANNOT HAVE TOO MUCH CONFETTI. The more the merrier!
Please don’t just give a small packet of confetti to the people sitting in the aisle. It doesn’t give much of an impact.
One handful of confetti per guest looks nice… but two handfuls of confetti looks awesome!
How to throw confetti.
This may seem like an unusual point, but there are a couple of things that make a confetti throw better.
These points also have to be told to your wedding guests just before it happens. Either by the wedding celebrant, the people handing out the confetti or by a friend or MC.
Firstly, throw the confetti up in the air… not directly at the couple. By throwing it up in the air, it will be in the air for longer and it will look so much better in photos.
The second point is to throw it all at once. It will look much more epic if 100 people all threw confetti at once, as opposed to 10 or 20 people throwing it at different times. The person with the microphone can just time the throw or even I can do a 3… 2… 1… throw! If you have a long aisle this may not be possible, but it is something to think about.
You can also get a few handheld confetti cannons, which will really launch confetti up in the air with a bang. (Check out confetti cannons here)
“It’s all fun and games
That might be a bit dramatic, but just be careful when you start throwing stuff at people. Like I said before, get someone to tell your guests to throw the confetti in the air, not at the couples face.
Rice hurts, paper panes are pointy, confetti is a potential choking hazard for babies and confetti canons are legitimately dangerous if used irresponsibly. Give them to responsible people to use.
Have fun with it.
Confetti is bright, joyful and fun. When people throw it at a wedding, everyone totally lights up. It’s only a small part of the day and in the scheme of things, it’s not really that important. But it is such a fun part of the day and it really creates an amazing atmosphere, spirit and celebration at a wedding. So I hope you have found this wedding confetti ideas & tips guide helpful. And I hope it encourages you to have more fun at your wedding.
If you are looking for some colourful biodegradable confetti you can buy some here:
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