When the ceremony is done, it’s traditional for the bride and groom to exit amid a shower of starchy foods, namely rice. Why rice? Grains like rice (oats and barley were also popular) have been tossed at newly married couples for many centuries, perhaps as far back as ancient Rome. Throwing grains, nuts, or seeds is meant to encourage prosperity, good fortune, and fertility.
But rice has fallen out of fashion lately after some debate over whether it is bad for birds to eat and because, well, it can hurt. The stuff is hard, gets into your clothes, and can make people slip if there’s too much of it on the ground. If you’re set on rice, check out bird and people-safe options like this Designer Heart Rice available at The Knot.
If you’re not keen on the traditional route, consider some other popular options. Rose petals are a lovely and soft alternative, and handing out small bottles of soap so guests can blow bubbles can also create a beautiful scene if the weather cooperates. Make sure to check with your venue about what you can or can’t litter the ground with on this one. Some people like to release doves or butterflies, but this often doesn’t go as cinematically as you might have hoped because the birds can be finicky and the butterflies can be fragile.
To avoid a mess and to better ensure the exit you want, a lot of people are opting for noise-makers to accompany the post-ceremony procession. Some couples hand maracas out to guests; you can also try small bells, clackers, or finger-cymbals. One local couple even handed out kazoos. These noise-makers can be engraved with a nice message and double as your guest favors. That way one day years from now maybe one of your guests will open a drawer and exclaim, “Hey, there’s the kazoo that helped ring in my best friend’s wedding!”