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Tossing Traditions: Rice, Rose Petals, and Other Fun Things to Throw at Weddings

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Some traditions die hard — and some get reinvented, often into something even better than they were originally. What do you make of this alternative to rice-throwing?

Dear Wedding Guru: “I always dreamed of being showered with rice when my husband and I depart the church. On the other hand, I really like the idea of putting a new spin on an old tradition. Do you know any alternatives to rice-throwing? Whatever you suggest, please make it eco-friendly.”

(See answer on next page)

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Dear Valley bride-to-be: There are several alternatives to having your guests throw rice. How about handing out small bottles of bubbles and have them all blow bubbles at you? (I should warn you that some fabrics will stain if a bubble lands on them.)

Another option, although a bit more expensive, is to release butterflies or doves as you exit. The downside: animals sometimes behave like animals. (That’s another way of saying that accidents can happen!) You can also consider throwing birdseed; you’ll find it at pet shops that sell tropical birds.

Some couples have their guests throw petals, usually rose petals. That’s also a little pricey, but not much cleanup is necessary — plus, it’s eco-friendly. A spinoff from petals is to have your guests throw lavender buds. It’s pretty much the same idea as petals, and it’s also biodegradable. I don’t recommend throwing confetti or streamers, since they’re not eco-friendly and do require a lot of cleanup.

You might want to consider handing out tiny silver bells for guests to ring when you leave the chapel. If your budget allows, you can have the bells engraved with your names and wedding date. That way, the bells double as wedding favors!

Now, back to rice. Although it’s a pain in the neck to clean out of your hair and clothing, it is eco-friendly and relatively inexpensive. Whatever you decide to have thrown (or not), check with the church caretaker to make sure that there aren’t any rules or restrictions about this tradition. Otherwise, have fun with it!

» Read more from The Wedding Guru blog
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2011
» View our Wedding Guide

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