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What To Throw At Weddings Instead Of Rice

Against The Grain: Alternatives To Throwing Rice At Weddings

Why Do We Throw Rice At Weddings? [Curious Customs]

Have you ever heard that its bad for birds to throw rice after a wedding ceremony? That the rice expands in their stomachs and they die a painful death? According to Truth or Fiction, its a big ol wedding legend, started in the 60s at the suggestion of advice maven Ann Landers. In reality throwing rice has been done for years all over the world as a symbol of fertility and good luck. The real hazard is the groom being blinded, or your great uncle slipping and falling on the errant bits of rice littering the walkway.

TOP ROW:1. Classic Rice being thrown at a wedding in Florence, Italy, featured on Snippet & Ink.2. Pom poms are a playful touch in this otherwise elegant ceremony on Style Me Pretty.3. Incoming! Neon paper airplanes certainly pop against wedding white.4. Offbeat Bride shared this photo of a flower-child fantastic bride under a stream of petals.5. If the bride and groom are nostalgic for their rave days, there are always glow sticks. Via Ruffled.


Why Rice Is Banned At Weddings

by kippure-admin | Oct 14, 2016 | Interesting Titbits, Wedding Receptions

Can Birds Die From Eating Rice?

Picture the scene. The happy couple have just exchanged their vow and theyre leaving the church to start their new lives together. The guests gather outside to throw rice at the bride and groom, an ancient tradition associated with good luck and fertility, but just as theyre about to start, someone cries out Stop! Didnt you know that rice kills birds?

Its a myth so pervasive that its been referenced in TV shows like The Simpsons and Cybill. The theory is that wild birds who eat the rice will be harmed when the grains soak up stomach fluids, making them explode. Concern for wildlife has been so great that in 1985, a bill known as An Act Prohibiting the Use of Uncooked Rice at Nuptial Affairs was introduced in Connecticut to protect birds who might be unwittingly harmed by leftover rice. The politician introducing it even went so far as to claim that several ministers had told her that after weddings they frequently saw multiple birds keeling over from being poisoned.

How harmful is rice really?

Ned Johnson, a professor of biology at Berkeley who lectures on avian diets simply stated its a myth.

Still dont believe me?

Let science have the final word.

In 2002, biology professor James Krupa carried out a series of tests to see whether there was any credibility to the myth.

So why do so many wedding venues ban rice?

Things To Consider With Confetti Alternatives

Try to be as creative as you can when thinking about what you want to be thrown on your wedding day. Think carefully and consider all theoptions available and be one hundred percent sure you are happy with your choice. Below are some things to think about when making your choices:

  • Can you allocate someone from your wedding party to take care of supplying your guests with your chosen item?
  • If you choose petals, will freeze dried ones last longer?
  • If you decide to use birdseed, you should probably expect a few extra visitors, namely birds, to arrive for the party!
  • Releasing live animals such as doves and butterflies takes a lot of organisation. You will need to ensure that the animals are healthy and come from a good supplier.
  • Will your option stain or damage your clothes? See if you can get a sample of your clothing to test it on, especially if you are using bubble mixture.

One cause of concern for venues is that these items can be extremely untidy and difficult to clear away after the wedding guests have left so you willneed to ensure you ask permission to throw anything. In a lot of churches they may ask you not to throw anything inside the church but wait until youare in the church grounds.

Whatever your chosen ‘sprinkling’ is, savour the sensation of it falling around you because it is another memory for you to lock away in yourmind and is another ‘confirmation’ of your marriage vows just as much as those words proclaim you man and wife!

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Seven Rice Tossing And Send

Instead of throwing rice, what other ways can we punctuate the conclusion of our wedding reception? We’re not into releasing anything that may have a negative impact on the environment.

What are y’all doing to signal the end of the ceremony or party?


This was an awesome question we pulled from the Tribe. Back in 1996, an Ann Landers column warned readers of the dangers of rice tossing to hungry birds . But why should you limit yourself anyway? Here are some funky alternatives for your send-off.

Fun Alternatives To Throwing The Rice

What to Throw at Weddings Instead of Rice

by Niki – Inspired Bride

Whether its to save on clean up efforts or to modernize the rice-throwing tradition, there are a ton of great alternatives. Here are just a few that you can consider:


The bride and groom leave the reception hall through a beautiful cloud of bubbles blown by the wedding guests and wedding party. This is a super cool alternative to throwing rice, and a wonderful photo opportunity.

Ringing Bells

Its a tradition in some cultures to ring bells as the bride and groom leave, to scare away evil spirits. Not only is this a fun alternative for today, but it can be really beautiful and a fun experience.

Throwing Flower Petals

Flower petals are a romantic and fun alternative to throwing rice, plus theres no need to clean up afterward like there would be with confetti.

Bird Seed

Tossing bird seed is not only a great alternative to throwing rice, but its a fun treat for the birds after the reception is over!


For an evening ceremony, have guests hold sparklers in the air as the bride and groom leave the reception hall. This makes for a gorgeous photo opportunity and a pleasant send-off.

These fun send-offs are great alternatives to the traditional rice-throwing send-off. You dont have to be limited to these, either. Use your creativity and imagination to come up with something fantastic that fits your wedding theme and personality!

Read Also: Venue Comparison Spreadsheet

Why Throw Anything At The Bride And Groom

Apparently the tradition of showering a newlywed couple with items such as confetti, rice or even birdseed began hundreds of years ago in Rome andancient Egypt. The throwers believed that when the seeds fell on the married couple that they would bestow fertility to the duo and make their union afruitful one.

Over the years, as society has become more environmentally aware, the tradition has had to adapt slightly. In the past, confetti consisted of nuts andgrains but this has now been changed to coloured shaped paper and rice or birdseed has been forbidden in some areas for safety reasons as there havebeen occasions where guests have fallen over or slipped on the rice and injured themselves.

Natural Alternatives To Wedding Confetti

Throwing rice or confetti on your wedding day can be a fun and gorgeous tradition that lets all of your guests celebrate with you as you leave your ceremony as husband and wife for the first time.

The tradition may hark back to the representation of prosperity and fertility for a couple, but now its used more for a great celebratory photo op.

While grains of rice or wheat made way for paper confetti, many couples are now looking for more eco-friendly options that dont necessarily involve so much mess.

Bio-degradable paper options, bubbles, sparklers and ribbon wands are all popular alternatives for couples wanting to have that celebration with their guests still, however theyre still artificially made. So if youre not afraid of the mess and are looking at having a more natural substitute to confetti options at your weddings, here are a few ideas.

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What Can You Throw At A Wedding Besides Rice


  • Pom-poms. My favorite alternate to rice has to be the pom-poms.
  • Bubbles. Possibly the sweetest and most summery option is the bubbles.
  • Glitter.

Subsequently, one may also ask, what can you throw at bride and groom?

Second, we highly recommend coordinating with your planner to seamlessly pull off whatever exit idea you choose.

  • Glow Sticks. The Light and Glass.
  • Dried Lavender. Bri Cibene Photography.
  • Paper Airplanes. SO Photography.
  • Pom-Poms. Megan and Seth Photography.
  • Ribbon Wands. Milou + Olin Photography.
  • Confetti.
  • Sprinkles.
  • Bubbles.

Also, can you still throw rice at a wedding? It’s Completely Okay to Throw Rice at Weddings Tossing rice as the newlyweds exit their ceremony or reception has been a wedding tradition for a long, long time. Apparently rice can‘t expandand therefore harm birds who eat itwithout being cooked first.)

Furthermore, what can I throw instead of confetti?

Fresh or dried rose petalsRose petals are already a popular alternative to confetti, and they’re also a great alternative when it comes to natural options for your day. You can choose to have them in just one colour to match your wedding theme or use a whole range of colours to really make your exit pop.

What is the purpose of throwing rice at a wedding?

Wedding Exit: Alternatives To Throwing Wedding Rice

Why do people throw rice at weddings?

I really don’t want my guests throwing rice or birdseed when we leave the church. Are there any other festive ways our friends and family can bid us adieu?

Definitely! Bubbles are a fun, inexpensive way to jazz up the recessional. Your guests can then take them to the reception for a bubbly send-off at the evening’s end. Throw on a personalized ribbon with your name and wedding date and it doubles as a favor! Check out the The Knot Wedding Shop for everything bubbly.

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Y Poppers And Noise Makers

Party like it’s 1999 with New Year’s Eve-inspired props. Party poppers, streamers, biodegradable balloons, noise makers, and vuvuzelas .

Kate and Christopher gave their guests party poppers for a little celebratory feel.

Oh, and they had their FACES on them! Side note: they also had their faces on guitar picks.

Emily and Rush had a music theme, so they made their entire wedding a send-off band with mini clappers!

Fun Wedding Toss Alternatives

Even without the slender white grain, your wedding exit toss tradition can still be complete. Although you might have considered birdseed, you may still want to steer clear of using it, as many venues prohibitions on rice also extend to other hard grains and seeds. Typical alternatives might include rose petals of blowing bubbles, but plenty of ideas can be found if you scour the Internet. TheKnot contributor Bridget Clegg presents a wide range of creative possibilities, including paper airplanes, ecologically friendly confetti, feathers and glitter. Releasing balloons or sky lanterns are also unique alternatives.

The question of whether to toss rice at your nuptials requires a complex answer. With the exploding birds myth proven to be false, many locations still snub the tradition for other reasons. Youll need to follow your venues guidelines governing what substances you can include in a post-celebration sendoff, and try other fun choices that dont require extensive cleanup or jeopardize the health of your attendees. With a little research and creativity, your exit toss can still be a memorable, lovely moment.

Read Also: How To Become A Wedding Officiant In Nj

Still Rice May Not Be A Good Idea

You might be surprised to discover that rice tossed at a nuptial celebration can pose more problems for your human guests that to your wild, feathered friends. Many venues still forbid its use for many reasons, including safety and preventing a wide range of minor annoyances. A 2007 Reuters piece revealed that the practice has been banned in Venice, Italy, due to the massive numbers of pigeons attracted to eating the grains. On the blog of the Kippure Estate, a popular event venue in Ireland, an that some establishments still outlaw its use because of difficult cleanup and potential hazards for slipping and falling.

The Reason Behind An Indian Bride Throwing Rice During Her ‘vidaai’ Is Beautiful Beyond Words

What to Throw at Weddings Instead of Rice

When the daughter gets married and leaves her parents’ house, she throws back rice as a symbol of reassurance to them. It means that despite leaving behind her home, she will continue to pray for their material and spiritual prosperity.

ByNeha Gargi Last Updated: Dec 4, 2021 | 23:45:49 IST

Among numerous other things, a wedding is also about traditions and rituals. Nearly every aspect of a wedding has some sort of significance attached to it, whether it is applying haldi to the bride and the groom, or pledging marriage vows around the Agni. Some of these traditions might seem trivial, but in reality, they are done for a purpose.

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Alternatives To The Rice Toss

The rice toss originated as a way to wish the newlywed couple a good harvest, but there are so many other creative, fun, and bird-friendly ways to revamp the tradition. Here are 18 sweet, sentimental, and silly ideas for your guests to send you off after you and your new spouse say “I do.” And share your own rice toss alternatives in the comments!

Send Off Ideas For Wedding Exit At Night

  • Pin

Its your wedding day and you are about to do your grand exit. You may be asking yourself, what can I use instead of sparklers at a wedding? Or what do you throw at weddings instead of rice? Well, the good news is that there are many fun options to choose from . We have also included many eco-friendly wedding send-off ideas.

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Does Rice Really Kill Birds

Sometime in the 1980s, concerns were raised among the public about the perceived deadly effects of dry rice on birds. The idea goes something like this: the little creatures would swoop down and ingest raw rice grains, which would then swell up from moisture and rupture in their stomachs. documented and debunked this urban myth in , but by then, the misconception had already been circulating for nearly 30 years, spread by well-meaning authors and even famous advice columnist Ann Landers. In fact, a Connecticut state legislator went as far as sponsoring a bill against throwing rice at weddings in 1985. Nevertheless, ornithologists have debunked this belief time and time again. In fact, rice is a popular choice among avian animals, and ducks and geese frequently ingest it before their long flights of migration.

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