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Wedding confetti may be a thing of the past – so we've found picture-perfect alternatives

Shop sustainable versions for your big day

wedding confetti
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyWeddings Editor
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Aside from being unsustainable, confetti can be a pain to clean up when all the guests have gone, which is why many wedding venues are no longer allowing brides and grooms to use it for their big day.

MORE: 11 simple ways to plan an eco-friendly wedding

If you still want the magical photos of you and your new partner exiting your ceremony as newlyweds, surrounded by your congratulatory friends and family, then there are plenty of alternatives out there – including bubbles and ribbons!

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Why is confetti thrown at weddings?

Since the 1300s, people have thrown items including rice, seeds and sweets and even mud over couples to wish them fertility and prosperity. As a mess-free alternative, the Victorians made paper confetti popular in the 1800s. 

Today, it has become less about the symbolism of fertility and more about celebrating the couple's union and wishing them a lifetime of luck and happiness – plus it offers the perfect photo opportunity. But as more and more people aim to make their wedding day sustainable, they are looking for biodegradable or environmentally-friendly alternatives.

How much confetti do you need at a wedding?

It depends on the number of guests you invite, but you should aim to have enough for your guests to have one handful of confetti. As a point of measurement, there are around 10 handfuls in a litre.

READ: 10 stylish sustainable wedding dresses for ethical brides

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Best sustainable confetti alternatives

With the help of experts at Ingle & Rhode, we've rounded up some clever confetti alternatives which can be used as part of the celebrations on the big day, starting from less than £2.

If you're after a biodegradable option, then dried flower confetti may be the answer. Plus, you can choose the dried blooms that tie in with your colour scheme, and they'll smell lovely.  

flower petal confetti

Biodegradable flower petal confetti, £18 for 1 litre, Not On The High Street


Similar to dried flowers, Ingle & Rhode revealed olive and chamomile leaves are a great biodegradable alternative.

olive leaf confetti

Olive leaf confetti, £4 for around 100 leaves, Etsy


Keeping it traditional? Rice has been used as an alternative to confetti for centuries. 

rice confetti

Rice confetti, £1.22, Etsy


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If you're in an outdoor, grassy area, feed the birds while you celebrate!

bird seed confetti

Wedding bird seed confetti, £11 for 10 packets, Etsy


Best clean confetti alternatives

All of the above can be very messy, so why not try bubbles instead? And they're sure to keep children and adults alike entertained.

heart bubble bottles

Heart bubble bottles, £110.16 for 150, Amazon


If Church bells aren't enough, add some noise with tiny handheld bells. 

wedding bells

Mini wedding bells, £10.09 for 30, Amazon


Make a picture-perfect moment with a smoke bomb in your chosen colour – we love this pink one.

pink wedding smoke bomb

Pink wedding smoke bomb, £5,49, Not On The High Street


Get your guests personalised ribbons for them to wave as you exit your wedding ceremony, complete with eye-catching colours.

wedding ribbons

Wedding ribbons, £56.35, Etsy


READ: How to plan a wedding: your ultimate checklist

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