Archive | December, 2011

Alternatives to confetti for your beach wedding

Confetti throwing at weddings is steeped in history but its not for everyone.  Modern confetti as we know it seems to date back to the 19th century and was popularised by the Victorians.  Its thought that the throwing of paper confetti originated out of the custom of throwing rice, leaves, flowers and even grains over the newleyweds.  The word “confetti” is used in both English and French and the meaning is the paper showered over the couple at weddings.  However the word comes from the Italian word meaning “confectionery” and when Italians refer to confetti they mean sweets such as sugared almonds or candied fruit which they give out as gifts on special occasions.

Rice has pretty much gone out of fashion in the UK – a little on the painful times its thought!  Grain and seeds whilst rustic and probably still used at some weddings could also be a little heavy when thrown over the bride and groom and the pigeons may have a little feast!

Here are a few pictures of some of our favourite confetti shots from our couples’ weddings over the past few seasons

One of our 2011 couples during their confetti shower

Image courtesy of Angela Ward Brown Photography

Katie and Ben from spring 2011 – all the friends and family joined in with this shot – stunning natural petals

in matching cones for the confetti shot

Image courtesy of  Sally Adams, freelance Photographer

Paul and Helen and their confetti shot as they left the Church together

Image courtesy of Amanda Clay Photography

Helen and Miles recent Christmas wedding

Image credit – Digitally Different Photography

Make sure that you decide with your photographer in advance that  you would like a confetti shot and a rough idea of when during the day that shot will be taken.  It can take some time to get guests organised so enlist some assistance for the photographer for this – someone to give out the confetti and help to get everyone in the right space – close to the bride and groom and to throw when directed by the photographer so to be sure that they catch it!

If you are looking for confetti thats a little different then you can get all shapes and colours of paper confetti.  Do check with your Church / venue to make sure that paper confetti is permitted.  A lot of Churches and venues now specifically ask for biodegradable confetti or for natural petals only.  You can purchase natural petals from a huge range of flowers now and they are usually freeze dried to preserve them to ensure that they wont stain your dress on the day.  Do be careful creating your own confetti by cutting paper which contains any kind of ink as any wet confetti / wet weather conditions could mean that you end up having a stained dress!

If you are getting married with us at Beach Weddings Bournemouth then we permit natural petals so indulge in your favourite petal / scent and enjoy.  Why not provide your guests with baskets of your petals to grab a handful for your confetti shot as you exit our marquee?  You could also put into pretty cones or fill up mini buckets to keep in with the beach theme.  You can also fill little organza bags with confetti and have a flower girl hand these out to your guests for you.

For a rustic wedding you could also go for leaves – collect your own and dry them out over time before the wedding and store in jars when dry and hand out on the day as with the confetti petals.

Image credit –

So, what about some traditional confetti alternatives – well, there are loads!  How about using bubbles?  Great idea for the beach – really soft and pretty and looks stunning in the photographs and you can get all the guests including children involved in this one

Provide your guests with baskets of little bottles of bubbles – which can be personalised with the date of the wedding and names of the bride and groom if you like – and ask them to form a line for the bride and groom to walk between – great idea – fun and relaxed

Image below – bride and groom walk amongst the bubbles blown by guests

Image credit –

A guest with bubbles at a wedding ready for the bride and groom

Wedding Bubbles

If you are having a night time wedding or perhaps when the bride and groom are leaving for their honeymoon how about use of sparklers – really effective and great fun – so different as seen below

wedding nontraditional, sparklers

Sparklers – great idea for an evening celebration instead of confetti or a wedding taking place on Fireworks Night?

Image courtesy of

What about balloons – great for guests to have hold of some colour co-ordinated balloons which can then be let go up into the sky – maybe even with little messages tied on

Image credit –

Pom Poms are also a lovely idea – popular in the US and making an appearance in the UK – great alternative to traditional paper confetti

Image credit –

Cute little pom poms in your wedding colours in little boxes tied with ribbon – guests can throw these instead of confetti – beautiful!

Guests lining the aisle for the bride and groom with cut coloured pom poms instead of confetti

Image credit –

And finally we could just not resist this image we came across as we know that some of our couples are looking forward to incorporating their surf board collections inside the marquee for their wedding at Beach Weddings Bournemouth – not strictly on the subject of confetti we know but aisle decoration!

A couple with a very different alter – you can use surf boards at Beach Weddings Bournemouth to decorate The Wedding Hut and the aisle and the marquee generally – great idea!

There you go – some ideas for you – what confetti will you be chosing and any other ideas you have tried or seen at other weddings?


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Personalising your wedding ceremony

We are often asked what elements couples could add to their ceremony plans to make it a little unique and also to add some personal elements to it and this is something that we wanted to bring you some ideas for in this blog.

So, to get us started you may have heard of the Unity Candle Ceremony which as long been a tradition seen in marriages of all types and has a very simple yet symbolic meaning.  Traditionally in this kind of ceremony there would be a single candle (the unity candle) which would be lit by the bride and groom from their own single candles and it so symbolise the joining of the two lives together as one.  Family and friends can also be invited to join in the lighting ceremony although its quite a personal thing and involving the bride and groom seems to be  a really beautiful idea.  Words can be said at this time by the person who is conducting your ceremony.

Couple lighting a unity candle during a candle ceremony

A more recent unity ceremony has developed with the use of sand rather than candles.  This ceremony is seen as a celebration that is usually two to three minutes in length and is a meaningful symbolic joining of two lives.  The couple will ceremoniously pour various colours of sand from separate containers into one which is known as the unity vase thus joining the sand together as one.  We think this would work perfectly as part of a Beach Wedding here on Bournemouth Beach – what better way to celebrate the fact that you are getting married on the beach – the sand could be so symbolic as part of your day especially if you have a love of the sea and the beach.

Couple during their sand ceremony placing sand into the unity vase

Sand from a sand ceremony – beautiful to keep

Another ceremony you could incorporate is a handfasting ceremony whereby a the right hands of the bride and groom are bound together with cord or ribbon or a ceremonial shawl worn by the celebrant during the ceremony.  The wedding guests can also join in with this ceremony and be invited to tie a knot / ribbon around the clasped hands of the couple.  The ceremony is to symbolise the binding together which the couple will do when making their vows together.  Handfasting is often done a year beforehand at the engagement of the couple or when the couple agree to marry.   There are many different types of handfasting ceremony and these alternatives should be discussed with the person who is conducting your ceremony for you. There are differing thoughts as to the history of this ceremony – people believe that it may have Pagan beginnings but there are now many thoughts and ways to incorporate this into your ceremony and can also be accompanied with bespoke words written for you to complement  your ceremony.  It holds much significance and there are special verses which the celebrant speaks at this point in the ceremony.

“Tying  the knot” with a handfasting ceremony

Image courtesy of

And what about adding in “jumping of the broom” during the recessional.  This is a ritual from African culture but quite widely used in the USA at wedding ceremonies and now spanning all cultures.  The belief is that you are starting a new beginning with your partner (similar to the carrying of the bride over the threshold) and your problems are literally “swept away” as you jump over the broom into your new life as husband and wife.  Simple to incorporate into your ceremony but steeped in history and very symbolic.  This tradition calls for the jumping of the bride and groom together, hand in hand.  It is also a good way of involving all the guests as the Celebrant will usually call out to everyone to count “1, 2, 3….jump together. Jump!”  so that way it calls for the support of all the guests representing community and a sign of unity.  It can be used in same sex marriages and mixed race marriage to symbolise the sweeping away of prejudices and old traditions.  This could be a really appropriate ceremony to incorporate for second marriages.

Jumping the broom on the exit of the bride and groom from the ceremony

Image courtesy of

There are also many others way you can symbolise your wedding ceremony including a wine ceremony (the sharing of a wine goblet by the bride and groom to symbolise the “cup of life” ), exchange or roses (romantic ceremony and roses can be dried and preserved for future memories) , joining of flowers to make a family bouquet and many more.  Whilst your legal wedding ceremony must be performed at Beach Weddings Bournemouth by a Registrar from Bournemouth Registry Office you can also make some further choices for a further ceremony after this performed by a civil celebrant and we recommend the services of and work closely with Diana Saxby of who is a fully trained Celebrant and can provide you with a very personal service and discuss incorporating some special elements into your very special day to make it exactly as you would like it to be.

Diana comments that “the sand ceremony is one of my favourites as it symbolises the uniting of two souls and two lives.  Its especially good if families are combining and there are children involved as they can participate with the pouring of sand and they feel involved and the reminder of their involvement each time they look at the sand vessel afterwards.  Coloured sands are particularly good for this as are beautifully shaped vessels which can be sealed and kept as lasting momentos.  The vessel can be engraved with the date of the wedding and names of the Bride and Groom.  This ceremony would work particularly well at Beach Weddings Bournemouth.  The candle unity ceremony may prove difficult with candles blowing out on occasions especially for beach weddings.  I can also recommend a Tasting The Four Elements Ceremony.  This refers to “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, in health” and four different tasting elements are used usually in different wine goblets.  Lemon, vinegar, cayenne pepper and honey and can hold great importance within a wedding ceremony”

Diana Saxby can be contacted at and thank you to Diana for her contribution to this article

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