6 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Confetti

Have a picture-perfect moment without hurting the environment!

Throwing rice as newlyweds exit their ceremony is a classic tradition, but as people grew concerned about the effect raw rice had on birds, it fell out of fashion. Paper confetti, glitter, and even sprinkles became popular options, but growing environmental concerns have many couples looking for more natural and biodegradable choices for the celebratory toss. Just because you care about the environment doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a traditional, picture-perfect moment! Read our suggestions below for alternatives to confetti, but always remember to check with your venue to see what is allowed. Even organic elements could negatively affect an eco-system in a natural setting, while a more structured space may be concerned about cleanup. 

bride and groom kissing while bridal party tosses rose petals at them, bridesmaids in champagne dresses, groomsmen in tuxes
Photo by Jana Williams Photography

- Flower petals. Either dried or fresh, these are especially lovely options for pictures. Unless you choose white petals, the dried variety will likely be preferred by the venue if the walkway is paved, in order to avoid the risk of stains.

- Lavender or other herbs. Lavender blooms have the benefit of being both small and plentiful, making it very similar to confetti. This will also smell wonderful as you take your newlywed recessional, and in the future the scent may bring back that memory. 

- Birdseed. If you worry about rice or chunks of glitter being harmful to birds, this is a safe bet. As an added benefit, cleanup is unlikely to be an issue because it will be eaten up!

- Leaves. You can use full-sized leaves, whether small or large, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk did at their wedding, or get a hole puncher and make your own organic confetti. 

- Seed paper or biodegradable confetti. Dissolvable “paper” (often made with corn starch) makes it less of a problem if not every little piece is picked up. Natural paper filled with seeds will grow new flowers when planted!

- Coconut flakes. The snow-like visual makes this especially popular for winter weddings, and as with herbs, it smells great! However, you’ll want to make sure no guests (or staff!) have any coconut allergies, as that applies to skin contact as well as ingestion. 

For more ideas, read a guide to creating an eco-friendly wedding and discover how to make a grand entrance at your ceremony

Authored by: Emily Lasnier