One of my most distinctly dream like memories is of standing on a small hillside at a festival years ago, when the bass line of the headlining act kicked in, a small plane was flying low over head. It suddenly dropped a load of beautiful, paper confetti over our perambulating bodies. It flowed over us like the beat was flowing through us and really emphasised to me the importance of multi layered celebrations; creating feeling and meaning through sensory stimulation.
And hey, anything that can be traced back to the original translation of ‘small sweets’ can’t be a bad thing right? Confetto is the Italian from which confetti has derived from when small sweets or almonds would have been thrown for luck and celebration at all sorts of special occasions. At a wedding, we may throw confetti over the bride and groom to symbolise our best wishes and represent the hope of a fertile marriage (sweets have a fattening, sumptuous and sensual representation through many cultures) but it also stimulates the senses, and I would urge you to also be throwing your metaphorical positive energy over them with your handful of goodies.
Here at Festoon we do lots of crafty, natural, handmade touches that we aim to hold lots of emotional meaning alongside being beautiful. Handmade is huge in weddings at the moment but let’s face it, you honestly don’t have time to do it all yourself but if this is one aspect you want to give a go here’s a few ideas…
Dried Petal Confetti.
Most venues don’t want us chucking non biodegradable bits & bobs around their beautiful spaces, and who would blame them! So a very popular choice is dried petal confetti. Super simple to make, smells lovely and can tie in with your flower arrangements & bouquets.
1. Either ask you florist or buy some slightly wilted flowers that match your bouquet and other arrangements. Flowers with larger petals such as roses work particularly well, but a combination of petal sizes and colours are best. I would use 40 roses for example for an average sized wedding, which when wilted or looking quite sad you should be able to pick up for under £10.
2. Pull off the petals. You can do this all in one go, no need to be too precious!
3. Set the oven on high then turn down as low as it will go 50 to 70oC and prop the door open. (If you have an Aga use the plate warmer over night).
4. Arrange on a baking sheet without too many overlapping. This takes quite a few baking sheets or return trips to the oven.
5. Pop them in the oven, try first with the door closed for 10 mins and see how quickly they shrivel. If they are discoloured and shrivelled in 10 mins the oven is too hot, prop the door open and try the next lot for 10 minutes like this.
6. You are aiming for a long slow dry of at least 30 mins preferably a few hours. They will shrivel slightly but your aiming for not too much discolouration.
If all that seems like too much hard work do a mixture of lavender buds and fresh rose petals. Keep the fresh petals in the fridge for up to 24 hours before throwing.
Other confetti ideas..
Coloured rice: traditional, frugality with a colourful twist.
You will need:
1.5kg cheap white rice
Plastic container with lid (take away containers are perfect).
Food colouring 1 to 2 bottles depending on depth of colour required. Less for a more pastel shade, more for a deep colour.
White vinegar 10 tbsp
Baking trays or baking paper laid out on your kitchen side boards. Enough to hold the full quantity of rice to let it dry.
1. Pour around 300g (1 cup) of rice into the plastic container mix with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and roughly 1 teaspoon of food dye.
2. Shake! Until rice is coated.
3. Spread out on baking tray or baking paper and leave to dry for 24 hours.
And other unusual Festoon ideas to mix in with your confetti (if you’re allowed!)
Oats (dye as above)
Paint swatches in your colours, stamped out using heart shaped stamps
Leaves! You could stamp out heart shapes or butterflies or just leave them whole for a beautiful natural wedding.