Five Awesome Alternatives to Throwing Rice at Your Wedding

First, let me explode the urban myth about rice thrown at weddings, usually outside the wedding venue or reception when the newlyweds run the gauntlet of well-meaning wedding guests pelting rice. Urban myth has it that when birds eat the rice, the grains swell in their tiny stomachs to the point that they explode, sometimes in mid-air. I’m happy to report that birds can eat the rice with gusto, because this gruesome end will not come to pass.

You may be wondering why we throw rice-or anything, for that matter-at the happy couple. Like bouquets, veils, something old, etc., it’s a long-standing tradition that may date back beyond ancient Rome or Egypt, when the custom was to throw things at newlyweds for good luck, fertility and abundance. That being the case, I think I’d prefer to have aphrodisiacs and $100 bills tossed my way.

Even though there’s no truth to the myth that rice kills birds, we’re still wasting food when we spill the grain all over the steps and sidewalk. Why not opt for these alternatives instead?

Bird Seed

Perhaps the best choice, bird seed poses no danger to birds who, ultimately, will serve as the clean-up committee for this tradition. The guests are happy they had something to throw, the happy couple knows they’re doing something environmentally beneficial, and the birds, well, they wind up just as happy as the newlyweds. And giant bags of wild bird seed cost very little, making this a win-win-win!

Biodegradable Wedding Poppers

The operative word here is biodegradable. Launched by a safe, spring-loaded device, wedding poppers eject a white confetti mist of biodegradable, tissue-paper confetti and streamers. Once again, you don’t have to worry about clean-up, and truly, it’s like being the guests of honor in a ticker-tape parade!

Wedding Bubbles

The only problem you might have with wedding bubbles favors is that, if you place them on the reception tables by each person’s plate, your guests might not be able to resist filling the air with bubbles long before you run the gauntlet to your getaway car. Let’s face it. Blowing bubbles is fun. It’s not really a problem, but you might want to have a few extra containers of wedding bubbles handy just in case.

Rose Petals

Real or artificial, rose petals create a beautiful, going-away shower, not to mention fantastic wedding photos of the moment. Especially with artificial rose petals, there may be some clean-up required, but those photos will make it well worth the time.


It’s late in the evening when the newlyweds depart the reception for their honeymoon. Imagine how an aisle formed by two long lines of sparklers will look, not only in photos, but as you run down the aisle to the car! What a way to go! Clean-up is as simple as having a trash receptacle nearby for guests to drop in their burned-out sparklers.

If there’s something to be learned here, it’s this: Rice is nice, but bubbles are less trouble!