Confetti - what is it all about, really?

You may already know that the word confetti is actually the Italian word for those little sugar coated almond sweets, which are handed out at as elaborately decorated favours at all kinds of events - weddings, baptisms, graduations and so on. The Italians are fanatical about their confetti and every town will have at least one shop specialising in them, but for some strange etymological reason, the word has been co-opted in English to mean something completely different.

In virtually every culture, we know that the tradition of throwing flowers, petals or seeds over the bride and bridegroom had its origins in fertility rites of one kind or another, and what was thrown depended largely on the local crops. In Medieval England, the Bride's path to the church was often covered in Rose petals by a flower girl both as decoration and to symbolize the future happiness of the couple.

The modern custom of throwing confetti made of paper or rice really took off in the Victorian age but is now gradually dying off as we know that neither are particularly ecologically sound. They are both really difficult to clear up after the occasion, and both can become extremely slippery and nasty when the weather turns wet!

There has also been a rather unpleasant growth in the use of butterflies in place of confetti - the less said about that the better. It might look good, and was quite acceptable in the sixties perhaps, but in this enlightened age, seems unnecessary and cruel.

PetalMania rather likes freeze-dried petals as confetti - naturally!! The advantages are many and various, but just to list a few:

  • the petals look fresher and more colourful than fresh or air-dried petals because freeze-drying ensures that they keep their colour, size and shape
  • freeze-dried petals are entirely environmentally friendly because they do not harm wildlife, are really easy to clear up after the event and do not become slippery and dangerous if the going gets wet.
  • they can be ordered weeks or months in advance, so that you get the exact colours you want without worrying about availability from your local florist on the day.
  • unlike fresh petals they do not stain clothing or furniture at all - the drying process gets rid of the active vegetable dye entirely
  • they do not curl up and decay on the day at all - if left alone, they can in fact last for many months
  • hotels, churches and other venues actually hate traditional confetti because of the mess - many have banned its use entirely. Using PetalMania's petals gets around that too! Often, our customers have referred them to us so that we can send a sample and convince them that our petals are entirely different and quite acceptable!