On Fridays we try to write about some fun new versions of old wedding traditions – in celebration of creativity in wedding planning. This week:
It was traditional for the guests and members of the wedding party to line up outside the church (or the reception) with handfuls of rice (or paper cones of rice) and gently toss the rice kernels at the happy couple as they exit to the safety of their getaway car and drive slowly off into the sunset. Now we all know rice isn’t very good for the bird population, so some folks have switched to bird seed (ouch) or butterflies (beautiful, but hard to control whether or not they fly when released – like these butterflies below who refused to leave the Bride’s bouquet)
or bubbles (now we actully really like this one if you coordinate the bubble blowing timing well).
But have you ever thought about trying something completely different, like maple tree helicopter seeds?
Our backyard is full of helicopter seeds each spring, and once those seeds dry out, they look gorgeous when you throw them in the air because they take their time whirling to the ground. Why not collect a bunch of seeds in the spring, dry them out, and have guests throw them in the air as you leave the ceremony. This way no one is pelting you with birdseeds or releasing butterflies too early, there’s no mess on your dress, and they are larger and easier to brush out of your hair. Warning: there is some indication that when eaten, maple leaves or seeds maybe harmful to horses, so skip this tip if you are getting married on horseback or on grandpa’s horse farm.
Not into having things thrown at you, but like the idea of a grand sendoff? One wedding we’ve been to gave all of the guests sparklers to light just as they were exiting the reception. These were beautiful and would fit in great for either a July or a winter wedding. The only downside is training your guests to light them at just the right time (and of course being specific that no one throw them!). I am happy to report that no one threw any sparklers at the one we went to.
Want something softer? You could think about flower petals. Rose petals usually fit the bill, as you likely are using roses in your ceremony somewhere so your florist is liable to have tons of extra petals. These are one of the softer options we came up with, just be aware that they don’t fall slowly to the ground, you have to have the right technique to make them seem to float in the air. But you could consider using smaller petals, like daisies, that might remain airborne a tad longer.
Going green? How about paper from a shredding machine? Then you can have someone else sweep it up and put it into the recycling bin – the price is certainly right and it won’t harm the environment. Just make sure guests can’t string together their pieces and get your personal credit card information, or the wedding may cost you more than you thought!
Throwing rice may seem antiquated, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer your guests the chance to send you off in style with a little creativity, and a little help from us.