A Photographer's guide to wedding confetti, bubbles & sparklers
Here's the thing, I go to quite a few weddings, probably more than most people.
Many couples, many venues, many different days.
Now, my aim is to not interfere, not to pose or change the day, but I do a lot of observing. A LOT of observing.
I'd like to think that I get to see what works when it comes to having an awesome wedding, what makes them flow and how to have a super-chilled day.
Advice that I can pass on to other people who are planning their weddings, to help them have an amazing day!
So, here's my guide to wedding confetti, hints, tips and a few alternatives too.
Advice that might mean you get confetti like this!!
Why do we throw Confetti?
So, first things first, why is it that people throw confetti over newlyweds?? Seems like a bit of a strange thing to do when you come to think about it. "Yey, you're married, let me pelt you with things"!!
They reckon we've been throwing 'stuff' over people since pagan times, things like rice and grain, although the word confetti comes from Italy, meaning 'little sweets'. It's meant to confer fertility and riches on the happy couple and is definitely a fun part of the day
What sort of Confetti?
Paper confetti at one point was very much the norm at weddings. I have strong memories from childhood of walking past churches and there being the little tissue-paper bells and hearts laying on the floor.
Times change though and after plastic, glittery stuff came and went out of fashion, most Churches and venues will now, quite rightly, ask you to use something biodegradable. The best sort to use? From what I've seen, dried petals are perfect and the smaller the better with delphiniums seeming to be the petal of choice (apparently!) They just seem to work really well because they're 'floaty-light', so hang in the air better. (Top Tip there for you!)
There are loads of great suppliers out there who can advise about the best sort and also how much you need. A couple I've come across are Shropshire Petals (in Shropshire, would you have guessed?!) and Confetti Direct (in Worcesterhsire).
When and where to throw it?
If in doubt, ask the venue.
Some say inside, some say outside, some say do whatever you want!
I've seen it thrown during the ceremony, on the exit from the ceremony and more commonly, at the start of the drinks reception.
What I would say, is that a 'confetti parade' is the way to go. Everyone lined up in two rows, facing, petals at the ready!
Cones or no cones?
A tricky one this as there are pros and cons either way.
Cones look really cute and can fit into your whole wedding scheme. On the other hand, stuff like that costs money and it can work really well to send someone around (maybe the flowergirls) with a basket of petals, for people to grab a handful of.
But..... all that money you spent on cones or boxes can be spent on confetti instead, so that people can grab big handfuls, really big handfuls. Just perfect for the most awesome confetti photos!!!
Alternatives to petals?
You've got some great choices here, to suit personal preference.
You could use dried lavender, autumn leaves (maybe punched out with a hole punch to make circles), bird seed, so many options.
A few that I've seen myself.
Bubbles - perfect if your venue doesn't allow confetti at all.
I'd recommend buying larger containers of bubbles as the tiny little ones can be rather tricky to get decent bubbles out of!
Or, maybe later in the evening, than how about sparklers?!
A perfect option for a twinkly night time parade, but do think about health & safety!
Having inebriated guests, in the dark, and then giving them something that pointy that produces a lot of heat, I mean what could possibly go wrong?!?!
You can buy sparklers that have a longer burn time than the normal 'bonfire night' type, which will give you a couple of minutes of sparkling. That makes it a bit easier to get them all lit and everyone lined up. Also worth having some kitchen lighters to get them going with
Finally, have some buckets of sand to drop them into afterwards
Sparkle safely folks!!!
So there you have, my top tips for wedding day confetti, plus a few options too.
Hope it's been useful.
If you're looking for some other ideas for planning your wedding then why not check out some of the others blogs.