Throwing rice at a wedding is a tradition that is seemingly ingrained in wedding culture. Tradition says that tossing rice over the newlywed couple as they leave the ceremony will shower them with prosperity, fertility and good fortune. The small grains of rice are meant to drive the idea that a small seed can grow into a large crop, symbolizing a long and prosperous life together. However, in recent years, couples have started to shy away from the traditional rice toss due to the notion that it’s dangerous for birds that eat the grains and for the people who slip and fall on the mounds of rice. If you’re one of those couples who wants to partake in the tradition of the toss, but wants to use a fun alternative to rice, try these 8 creative suggestions.
Bright confetti adds a colorful touch to your exit and is a great way to get the party started. Provide confetti to your guests in individual pouches, or have buckets full of confetti at the end of each row. Your guests (especially the little ones!) will love throwing confetti in the air to celebrate your union.
Photo Credit: Jeremiah and Rachel Photography
2. Flower petals
Rose petals quickly rose to popularity as soon as couples started looking for alternatives to rice for their guests to toss. You can use petals from any of your favorite flowers and combine fresh petals with dried petals for a unique look. Add pretty leaves to the mix for an earthy and rustic feel. You can even add sequins or glitter for a sparkly and glamorous look!
Photo Credit: Sonal Shah
3. Dried lavender and herbs
Dried herbs such as lavender, rosemary and thyme all smell amazing, but they also make great tossing alternatives in a wedding. You can either invite your guests to help themselves to large bowls full of your chosen herbs, or give each guest an individually wrapped muslin pouch of dried herbs. Choose your favorite scents and start your marriage in a beautifully fragrant environment. Pouches of herbs can also double as wedding favors for your guests to take home!
Photo Credit: KT Merry
Pompoms are a great arts and crafts item for kids, but they also make great additions to your wedding! The best part about pompoms is that they come in a variety of sizes, materials and colors, so you can pick the best ones to match your wedding’s theme and color scheme. From little furry poms to larger crepe paper poms, there’s a variety of types for you to choose from. Or, mix and match for a fun eclectic combination!
Photo Credit: First Comes Love
5. Mini beach balls
Having a beach wedding? Mini inflatable beach balls are the perfect tossing item for your ceremony! Leave deflated balls on each of your guests’ chairs and instruct them to blow them up during the ceremony, then invite them to toss and catch them as you exit. You can have your names and wedding date printed on the balls to create a fun souvenir for your guests. Even if you’re having an indoor wedding, mini beach balls are a great alternative to tossing rice.
Photo Credit: Stephanie A. Smith Photography
If you still want to emulate the feeling of tossing rice at your wedding, but want to go a more eco-friendly route, you can provide your guests with birdseed to throw instead! It’ll look similar to a traditional rice toss and you’ll be feeding plenty of happy birds.
Photo Credit: Kristina Hill Photography
7. Paper airplanes
Channel your inner child by folding up paper airplanes for your guests to throw. Or, leave the airplanes unfolded with instructions so your guests can participate! When the planes are in flight, you’ll have the most perfect photo opportunity. You can have your paper planes match your wedding’s color palette. Just be cautious of the pointy end of the airplanes!
Photo Credit: Corbin Gurkin
One easy to distribute and easy to clean up alternative to the traditional rice toss is bubbles! Bubbles are so fun to blow and they look fantastic in photos. You’ll be exiting your ceremony as newlyweds in a dreamy wonderland.
Photo Credit: Joel Gillie
There are so many creative ideas to use instead of rice during your exit from the ceremony. Bubbles and birdseed go along the self-cleaning route, while confetti and pompoms will require some cleanup. Make sure you double check with your venue to see if they’ll allow your tossing item of choice. Whatever you choose, make sure your photographer captures plenty of pictures – they’ll be absolutely priceless.