what happened to throwing rice at weddings how the wedding rice toss is changing at modern weddings

It’s one of those old-fashioned images we all remember from childhood: a newly married couple rush down the steps of the church to their car while their friends and family shower them with wedding rice. The idea of throwing rice at weddings may still be in our popular consciousness, but if you’ve attended any weddings in the past 20 years chances are you’ve seen few, if any, actual examples of wedding rice in practice. Although people have been tossing rice at weddings for thousands of years, its use at the contemporary wedding is in decline. Fortunately there are a couple of eco-friendly wedding rice alternatives for all you modern brides that’s bringing back this traditional image in a unique way.
History and the Decline of the Wedding Rice Toss
But before we discuss alternatives we’re left with the questions, “Where did the wedding rice toss come from, and where did it go?” Weddings are nothing if not an outlet for traditions, and throwing rice is one of the oldest that’s still practiced today. Tossing rice at weddings owes its origins to the ancient Celts, for whom it was a symbol of growth and fertility. This special symbolism, possibly combined with the fact that it’s simply fun to throw confetti and it looks beautiful airborne, has made throwing rice a ubiquitous part of weddings in western culture for most of its history.
Two developments have changed that in recent decades. First is the popular misconception, sometimes attributed to Ann Landers, that the rice tossed at weddings gets eaten by birds, expands in their stomachs, and hurts or kills them. The good news for birds is this myth is completely untrue — birds actually eat grains of rice in the wild to supplement their diets, with no ill effects. Unfortunately for the tradition, however, this myth continues to be widely circulated.
The second and most significant reason for the practice’s decline is simply that many churches and venues prohibit it. Tossing all that rice at your wedding can make a huge mess, one that the venue is left to clean. There is also an issue with the shape of rice grains, which are usually round, as they can roll underneath shoe heels and create a slipping hazard, making rice an insurance liability that many churches are unwilling to accept.
Bubbles as a Wedding Rice Alternative
If you were contemplating a wedding rice toss at your ceremony, don’t worry, because there are wedding rice alternatives you can try instead. If you were ever a kid you should already be familiar with our first suggestion, and that’s blow bubbles. That’s right, bubbles are an airy, almost dream-like wedding rice alternative that look spectacular and leave nothing to clean up. You can even find wedding bubbles that are packaged in bottles with shapes like hearts, doves, and bells to distribute to your guests. Imagine 30 or more of your friends and loved ones, all blowing bubbles simultaneously, and you can get a sense of just how grand this practice can look.
And if you’re worried about that soapy water getting in your hair or on everyone’s nice clothes, don’t be. Most wedding bubbles are made from a solution that is non-toxic and non-staining, making them safe for kids and your dress. In fact, you can even place a few kids in charge of the bubble blowing on your big day. This is a great way to make children feel like an important part of your celebration, and we guarantee you won’t find a more enthusiastic group of blowers.
Biodegradable Wedding Rice Alternatives
The second wedding rice alternative gives the tradition a real 21st century makeover. Ecofetti is a water soluble tossing confetti that’s also fully biodegradable. Ecofetti can be thrown like wedding rice, only it’s lighter and tends to stay airborne a little longer. It’s described as being safe for the environment, does not present a slipping hazard, and once your wedding is over it can be hosed away in minutes or, according to the manufacturer, left to dissolve on its own within about 48 hours.