Against the Grain: Alternatives to Throwing Rice at Weddings

Have you ever heard that it's 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, it's 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. 

So, you're relatively safe with rice. But! If you're dead set on something else, there are tons of other options for colorful, festive and fun send-offs for the happy couple. Just be sure to check with the wedding venue for any restrictions. Here are a few ideas:

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.


BOTTOM ROW:
6. And you thought rice had a potential for danger. Although this couple, from Project Wedding, seem just fine with all the fireworks.
7. Mini beach balls seem appropriate for this beachy wedding from Jet Fete.
8. The rhythmic gymnasts in you might choose ribbon wands, like these from Style Me Pretty.
9. This happy couple, from On A Bicycle Built For Two, chose colorful confetti for their Australian wedding. (Just ask about any extra clean up fee.)
10. Bubbles are inexpensive and don't make a mess. Johnny Fenn captured this photo of his niece, and her new husband, leaving the church on their wedding day.

(Images: as linked above)