The Confetti Tradition

Whether it be rice, tissue paper or real flower petals, we have all taken part in the tradition of throwing the stuff at the newly wedded couple as they leave the church or registry office!

But do we know why we do this? Where did it all start?  What does it mean?

Well all will be revealed here as we discover the meanings of this age old tradition.

Its a custom that goes back hundreds of years and has over the years seen many rule changes about its use.

 

Confetti is an Italian word for sweets.  In Italy, small plaster imitations of these sweets were thrown at the bride, along with flowers, as she left the church as a married woman.

This custom spread to other European countries, but by the 1890s the plaster confetti had been banned in France, and was substituted instead for coloured paper discs, similar to the ones we know today. 

The fashion conscious Brits were quick to copy any new fads from France and the Oxford English Dictionary’s first reference to the use of paper confetti at a British wedding is dated 1895.  The confetti used there was the small coloured paper discs which took the place of the time-honoured rice at English wedding festivities.  

Rice was a symbol of fertility but it stings quite badly when it hits the skin so this may be one reason why it was gradually replaced by paper confetti.

Historians studying the ancient traditions of confetti have come up with a very different theory as to where it may have started.  It seems that the earliest form of confetti, which was known as phyllobolia, the ancient Greek custom of throwing branches, garlands, fruit and other types of plants,  was reserved for three very different types of events: public ceremonies of honour, funerals and weddings. Some say it was a form of gift giving.  You couldn’t make your way through the crowd to personally bestow your leafy crown, so it was more practical to toss symbolic tokens of honour.  At weddings and funerals, it might have been an expression of being left behind—as our nearest and dearest began new lives or ended them.

With conventional paper confetti now being banned by many churches and wedding venues nowadays because it is seen as ‘litter’, biodegradable and real flower petal confetti is becoming increasingly popular and a fun way to celebrate the new union of husband and wife!

So there you have it…..the mystery of confetti is solved!

Confetti is now available at Forget Me Not Bridalwear……biodegradable , of course!

Lots of Love

Julie & Liz xxxx