Break the wedding rice toss tradition with these beautiful and eco-friendly wedding send off ideas for a picture perfect exit.

What to Throw at Weddings Instead of Rice

Getting hit by handfuls of rice might not seem like fun, but it used to be a staple at weddings in the past. Historians say the Ancient Romans tossed wheat at the bride and groom because they believed the crop symbolized fertility and good luck. The tradition lasted through the Medieval Era up until the mid-80s when Connecticut banned rice because of a popular myth that uncooked rice killed birds. Later, scientists proved uncooked rice, even the instant and quick-expanding kind, would not explode in birds’ bellies thanks to birds’ strong digestive systems. By the time they figured that out, couples had already started using alternative toss items including confetti and bubbles.

Around the world, the traditional wedding toss varies—candy tosses in Italian weddings for a ‘sweet’ marriage, dove releases in French Polynesian weddings or secret wedding ceremony exits in Venezuela.

The wedding ceremony toss marks the end of the wedding formalities and the beginning of the reception and party. Fun photo opportunities come out of the wedding toss, so it’s tempting to get creative and make a statement your guests will remember.

Here are five wedding toss ideas that aren’t rice:

1. Dried Herbs, Flowers or Leaves

Dried herbs, flowers or leaves are a beautiful alternative to throwing rice at a wedding.(Image source: TOP Inside Weddings, BOTTOM LEFT Raffaele Ciuca, BOTTOM RIGHT

Dried lavender, rose petals, wildflower petals, potpourri, dried olive leaves are fragrant and earthy, giving wedding exits a fairytale look. This option might be more expensive unless you have a herb and flower garden in your backyard to harvest from. Try visiting your nearest local florist that grows in-season, native flowers, to avoid the energy used up in shipping and delivering. Be mindful of potential allergies your guests might have to fragrances.

2. Biodegradable Confetti

What to Throw at Weddings Instead of Rice - Biodegradable Confetti
Biodegradable confetti is a beautiful and eco-friendly alternative to throwing rice at a wedding.

(Image source: Megan Alcock Photography)

Far better for the environment than the micro-plastic filled alternative, biodegradable confetti such as heart-shaped seed confetti flutters down on you and your partner and looks great on wedding tables at your reception. It comes in packets of 350 pieces and is available in a variety of colors, including pink, mustard yellow, teal, aqua, emerald green, tangerine, and more. When planted in soil, the hearts grow wildflowers which will create a habitat for important pollinators.

3. Paper Airplanes

Paper airplanes are unique and fun alternative to throwing rice at a wedding.(Image Source:

Paper airplanes are playful and evocative of our childhood, imagination, travel, and simplicity. This option potentially holds a deeper meaning, especially if you and your partner met while traveling abroad or had a long-distance relationship for a year or two. Source your paper from your recycling bin or opt for biodegradable seed paper to be as eco-friendly as possible.

4. Bubbles

Bubbles are a picturesque alternative to throwing rice at a wedding.(Image Source: TOP Reel Special, BOTTOM Sugarbird Weddings)

Having your guests blow bubbles is a beautiful option that will easily enhance your wedding exit photos. Just be sure to make an eco-friendly non-toxic bubble mix.

5. Coconut Shavings

Coconut shavings are an alternative to throwing rice at a wedding.(Image Source:

Coconut smells good falling on you, looks like snowflakes, and it’s compostable too. It’s also a fun idea for a tropical destination wedding.

Before you decide, contact your wedding ceremony venue to make sure it allows your wedding toss idea, as some churches and event halls prefer to avoid extra clean up and hassle. Check that none of your guests have allergies to your wedding toss idea—it’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want anyone sneezing for the rest of the night.

Want to break the wedding toss tradition altogether? 

If you want to forgo a wedding toss altogether there are also ways to enhance your wedding exit without creating a mess. For example, have your guests hold LED candles, sparklers, or balloons. Just keep in mind that the oxidizers and binders in sparklers are not biodegradable and balloons should be properly disposed of.

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