Annabella asks: “I’d love the tradition of throwing rice at the bridal couple, but I’ve heard that if the birds eat the rice, it will hurt them. Should I let go of the tradition and look for an alternative?”
Dear Annabella: It’s no doubt that birds would prefer to eat seeds instead of eating rice, but the rice absolutely will not harm them. There are a number of authoritative sources that dispel this myth. The USA Rice Federation in Houston has said that the myth is “absolutely unfounded.” On the contrary, they claim that migrating ducks and geese depend on rice fields that flood in the winter. They feed on the rice which keeps them fattened up, so that in the spring they can fly back north to their nesting grounds.
The Curator of Ornithology and a professor of biology at the University of California at Berkeley, Ned Johnson is an expert lecturer on the subject of the food and feeding of birds. He agrees that this is a just a myth, feeling that birds of any size can safely eat rice!
An article, “Debunking The Rice-Throwing Myth” on HudsonValleyWeddings.com, will give you even more information on the subject. So there’s no reason why you can’t have this item on your wish list — unless you prefer to go alternative and have guests blow bubbles, or throw bird seed, or petals.
These days, items being hurled at newlyweds can run the gamut from the traditional to the outrageous! Readers, what kinds of things have you seen (or thrown) at the new Mr. and Mrs.? Jot your comments in the box below, or to submit your own question to “The Wedding Guru,” E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.