One of the most common traditions that are seen at weddings is the act of throwing rice at the couple after the ceremony has concluded. This tradition can be dated back to ancient Roman times and is fairly common throughout history, even though the tradition has changed quite a bit throughout the years.
Traditionally, it was believed that throwing grains at a married couple would help with fertility and would help them to grow a large family. Now, however, it is mostly completed out of tradition. During ancient times, wheat was used instead of rice and was considered a sign of fertility.
The bride would carry a sheaf of wheat on her shoulder and wedding attendees would toss plaintively at her as young unmarried girls would attempt to catch them in the hopes of following in her footsteps soon; similar to the same tradition we follow today as the bride throws her bouquet away.
This tradition began to alter when Queen Elizabeth took the throne. Wedding attendees then began baking the wheat into cakes and crumbling it over the bride’s head. That soon gave way to the wedding attendees eating the cakes rather than crumbling them, however this was expensive and left them looking for a more cost-effective way to participate in the wedding.
Eventually, they settled on one using cheap white rice, which was affordable and still allowed them to feel as if they were dissipating in the wedding party and celebration efforts. This tradition continued throughout modern history and is still an important part of planning a wedding.
However, there are now many couples who are looking to forgo the traditional rice throwing for something different. Some do not wish to leave behind remnants of their wedding by throwing rice because it can become slippery and make it difficult for people to travel down sidewalks that are covered with rice.
Rice can also be very messy and many brides wish to avoid the mess that is left behind. This leaves brides searching for options that are unique and fun, but does not have the mess that is involved with traditional rice throwing. Some of popular alternatives are sunflower seeds and rose petals. Some couples are beginning to forgo bleeding behind any trace of their wedding and are opting for bubbles instead.
One item that has recently come to light regarding throwing rice at weddings has been a danger to animals and wildlife who may later consume the rice. This especially applies to birds that might scoop up the rice and eat it.
One theory that it has caused many to forgo the rice throwing traditions is that it is harmful to these birds. However, there is no scientific proof behind these claims and reports of it are simply speculation.
If you are looking for a way to keep the tradition alive that make it somewhat unique, there are many options as you can choose from to replace the rice. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try something new and fun for your wedding.
However, if you do try a new method of celebrating your nuptials in place of rice throwing, be sure that you leave instructions for your guests that are easy to follow and that they can participate in easily.