The throwing of confetti is a traditional and highly-anticipated part of any wedding day. Many brides and grooms to be dream of the moment when, just after they’ve tied the knot, they walk back down the aisle as a married couple for the first time, and are showered in colourful confetti by their ecstatic guests. Not only is it an exciting and romantic moment, but it makes for great pictures, too!
However, there is a downside to this wedding tradition: many of the most popular types of wedding confetti (such as paper and plastic) are not the most eco-friendly. They’re hard to clean up, and can cause environmental pollution, as well as posing a risk to wildlife. Many wedding venues have outright banned the use of confetti for these reasons.
Here’s the good news: there are now many environmentally safe confetti alternatives that provide the same, or an even better experience than the traditional kind.
Here are some eco-friendly wedding confetti ideas that will help you avoid damaging the planet while still having that iconic experience.
1. Seed Bombs
Seed bombs, or seed papers, are biodegradable sheets of paper and seeds that can easily be turned into confetti.
These come in an array of colours and shapes and, instead of littering your venue, will potentially help plant growth. The seeds contained in such paper are usually wildflowers, which are known for their ability to take seed easily and in most conditions.
This idea is not only eco-friendly but also a beautiful addition to any wedding. It would be lovely to use the seed bombs to symbolise you and your partner’s new life together, by creating new plant life. Not to mention, wild flowers are great for the bees!
2. Bird Seed
Bird seed is a very traditional confetti that has fallen out of favour in the last decade. But more recently, its popularity has grown, thanks to its planet friendliness and the amazing photo opportunities it provides.
Seeds can be purchased inexpensively and stored in bags of your choosing. To go the extra mile, why not fill these ‘Vintage Affair’ Brown Kraft Confetti Cones with your chosen seed mix – these cones are also recyclable.
Obviously the biggest benefit of bird seed confetti is that it’s completely safe (and beneficial) for birds and other wildlife to eat. As a bonus, birds will flock to it and this will create unique photo opportunities for nature loving couples.
Another traditional confetti, rice lost popularity due to concerns that it was not safe for birds to eat. The rumour was that it could inflate in the bird’s stomach and cause an impaction (or even cause the bird to explode).
Fortunately, we now know that this is a mere myth, and isn’t true at all. Uncooked rice is completely safe for birds and other wildlife to consume.
So, if you want to add a touch of the past to your wedding, rice would be the perfect confetti to use. It’s cheap, natural, and symbolises growth and prosperity. It will also get quickly nibbled up by squirrels, wildlife, insects and birds, so won’t cause a huge mess.
4. Biodegradable Confetti
If you love the aesthetic of plastic confetti, but not the plastic part then you could consider biodegradable confetti. Made from a material that easily rots away (such as rice paper, potato starch or corn starch), and coloured mica pigments, biodegradable confetti is nontoxic and dissolves when coming into contact with water.
It comes in a wide range of colours and shapes, and is allowed by most outdoor venues as it does not have to be cleaned after your ceremony.
If you want to go really natural, or are having a botanical wedding theme, leaf confetti may be a good choice for you. You can make it yourself by gathering leaves, and using a hole puncher to punch out circles or other shapes (such as stars and hearts).
Once you have enough confetti, it can be stored in envelopes and sealed with a sticker like these Heart Shaped Stickers.
While green leaves are the easiest to come by, try using red, orange, or yellow leaves if you are having an autumn wedding. It doesn’t really matter what type of plants you use for the leaves, as long as you’re gathering them from trees that you own or have permission to harvest (and, of course, don’t use a poisonous species).
6. Artificial Snowflakes
A beautiful choice for a winter wedding, artificial snowflakes are usually made with cornflour and will wash away after your ceremony.
You can buy this type of confetti, but it is also relatively easy to make if you wish to DIY. It also looks much more effective than plastic silver snowflake confetti.
Snow confetti would make a magical photo opportunity and be a great fit if you and your partner are celebrating in a colder month, such as December, January or February.
7. Fresh Rose Petals
Being the universal flower of love, rose petals are an obvious choice for eco-friendly confetti. Not only do they look beautiful, but they are also guaranteed to enhance the romantic energy of your day.
Roses come in a stunning array of colours, so they are an option to consider for any wedding theme or colour scheme. Speak to your wedding florist and they should be able to source rose petals for you to use on your big day. And of course, they’ll simply rot away with the next rainfall, creating no lasting effect on the environment.
The only consideration with fresh flower petals is that they will start to wilt very quickly – so you’ll have to pick them up (or have them dropped off) just before your ceremony.
8. Dried Flower Petals
Dried flowers obviously don’t suffer from the wilting problem, and you can purchase them very far in advance without having to worry that they won’t look the part on your big day.
Dried sunflower petals would add a pop of yellow, or antique white delphinium petals (which are used in this Real Flower Confetti) would be ideal for a white wedding. If you’d prefer a mixed bag, these Real Petal Confetti Sachets use a rainbow of different coloured petals.
You could even use scented flowers to add an extra sensory element to your wedding day, such as lavender.
If for whatever reason you don’t want the physical scattering of any confetti, or if all types of confetti are blanket-banned at your venue, bubbles would be a great alternative.
Particularly for a summer wedding, or if you have many children attending the big day, bubbles can be a playful addition to your ceremony and photos. Your guests will love blowing bubbles over you and your partner as you walk down the aisle!
You can purchase standard bubbles, or wedding themed bubbles like these Wedding Bottle Bubbles for an extra special touch.
10. Tea Leaves
In Chinese culture, tea symbolizes peace, harmony, and change. If this is the energy you want to invite to your wedding, then tea could a perfect choice for you.
Herbal teas like chamomile tea, rose tea or green tea will look and smell wonderful and are easily sourced at any grocery store. As well as this, you do not need to re-bag the tea if you don’t want to. You could simply instruct guests to tear the tea bag open when they’re ready to scatter the leaves.
This would be a really unique and eco-friendly confetti, perfect for a quirky wedding ceremony.
11. Wedding Wands
Another great option for those who do not want to scatter anything, wedding wands are an eccentric and fun accessory to use instead of confetti.
Wedding wands are typically short lengths of wood with long, colourful ribbons and bells attached to the end. As you and your partner exit your ceremony, guests will wave their wands with gusto instead of throwing confetti as you pass.
This beautiful, interactive confetti alterative can be bought or made, and your guests will be able to take them home as a keepsake from your wedding.
12. Smoke Bombs
Smoke bombs can make any wedding ceremony unique, as well as provide stunning photo opportunities. They come in a range of colours and can be let off as your ceremony ends in place of confetti.
The smoke emitted from smoke bombs is non-toxic and many come with a biodegradable body. They are cost effective as you will only need to buy one or two that can be let off buy trusted adult guests.
Since smoke bombs do not leave anything behind, there will be no clean-up or scattered plastics, making them a much more effective and eco alterative to a confetti cannon.
Where Can I Buy Confetti and Other Wedding Accessories?
It is important to let your venue know of the type of confetti you plan to use, and clear it with them first. This is especially important if your venue states it has a no confetti rule, or if you are letting off smoke bombs (as some venues have sensitive fire alarm systems).
Make sure you explain to your venue that you are using an eco-friendly alternative - if they have a blanket confetti ban, they may make an exception for this.
At Bride and Groom Direct we sell a huge range of wedding products, from confetti to wedding invitations. We have served thousands of satisfied customers, so you can be sure that you’ll love our high-quality products. You can expect to receive your order quicky (within 5-10 days) after ordering with us.
If you are interested in any of our wedding stationery or accessories, you can order online, or request a brochure.