The Timeless Traditions: Throwing Rice

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2006

Tossing rice is a custom from the ancient world that has long been popular in the United States. Everyone, even young children, can gleefully participate in the post-ceremony practice that symbolizes the showering of abundance and fertility on the bride and groom. If you don't want to use rice, you can borrow other ideas from around the world. In France people throw wheat, a symbol of bounty, after the ceremony. Italians rain candy and sugared nuts over couples, for sweetness in marriage.

Breaking Tradition
For a less conventional display, how about giving your guests flower petals or paper airplanes made of lightweight patterned papers? Or choose biodegradable confetti, which is even easier to clean up. If you prefer that guests not toss anything, use the decorative paper to make banners attached to long, thin dowels, for waving in the breeze. Guests can also blow bubbles, or serenade you with little bells or other noisemakers (for examples, see Creative Send-Offs).

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