Things to throw at weddings - A guide from Norfolk wedding photographers

Things to throw at weddings!

We recommend – Throwing things at weddings – Still a great idea! No really, we always enjoy things being thrown at weddings, whether it be confetti or bouquets, or on one occasion a Bride even! (props to Michelle Z for that), throwing stuff makes for smiles and great pictures of your day!

The concept dragged us into thinking a little more about the subject, not only what the mechanics are that create the fun, but also, why do we do this and what options are there?

We’ll start with a little history, why not? It seems throwing stuff has been part of the picture in European weddings for at least 2000 years, and the Romans used ‘confetti’ or sugar almonds and preserved fruit (confectionary) to throw, they also used Rice which was a blessing and suggested growth from tiny seeds. Nuts and coins were optional, though bruising, that seems much less popular at the weddings we attend.

Why is it still a good idea?

Well apart from tradition, and we kinda love all the traditions of wedding events, especially when there are elements of other cultures to see and learn about; throwing things gives guests a feeling of unity, a little team spirit, and always, always makes them smile. Perhaps the two families don’t know each other that well or are from different sides of the globe, it may be that the wedding service is quite formal  or lengthy and the change of mood is nice – either way – people know about throwing stuff at weddings, and they love it. Where the wedding party might have been divided on the pews of the church, his and hers style, suddenly they’re joined as a ‘throwing stuff collective’ it rocks! Now we have a group of people who have celebrated and laughed together, and are looking forward to the rest of the day ahead.

What to throw?

Traditional English confetti is tissue paper, often in shapes of bells and horse shoes, recognised as lucky charms for the couples. It’s light weight and colourful, which is good, but gets blown really easily by light winds, which can be bad. Also many churches and venues get grumpy about the clear up procedure, and might even ban it in the first place.

Petals are a substitute, bio-degradable and pretty, often a little heavier than tissue paper which can benefit your elderly Aunty or Grandma, they like the added weight when delivering a full handful into the grooms collar. (Research based on every elderly Auntie or Grandma we’ve ever seen at a wedding, we wish there were more!)

Rice is a classic, we’ve seen this recently in Venice, though the clean up might be a pain, and the Rice itself a little sharp if it finds its way into newly purchased under clothing. Not popular in England currently, but in terms of value for money, surely the king?

Bubbles benefit from being pretty and leaving no mess to sweep up, though there’s a risk of staining on white dresses, and apparently some photographer worry about the bubbles hitting their camera lenses? Not us, we love bubbles, especially from ‘bubble guns’ battery operated and reliable these things really pump out the sparkles, great fun! We have noticed over the years that bubbles give pictures of people blowing rather than smiling…

Grass seed. Yes, grass seed! Which we’ve never seen happen but which has a practical air about it, and if your reception is on a lawn somewhere, you might being doing someone a huge favour. Probably a bit sharp and itchy though really.

Wedding wands, a stick with some ribbon attached and ideally some bells on, often waved as a couple leave the church or ceremony area. Quite nice, but unsuitable for throwing unless a Doctor is present.

Party poppers – so you wanna party like it’s 1999? Loud noises, streamers, the inevitable non-firing popper which just leaves you sad holding a tiny piece of string? We like these better at the end of first dance or somewhere easy to sweep, but let’s face it – everyone loves a party popper.

Bouquets – well a good bouquet throw is always a picture opportunity, traditionally the lady catching the flowers will be the next to be married and the event varies from good natured pushing forward of a hopeful single lady to an all out jump fest with lots of elbow action. If the lady next to you has removed her shoes, prepare yourself! Sometimes of course our Brides have something special planned for their bouquet and don’t fancy throwing it, which is fine of course and often a Bridesmaids flowers will substitute. After all, the picture will last longer than the fresh flowers.

So, just a few ideas, and remember, throw stuff!