Wedding Details | Recessional Tosses, Getaways, Exits & Sendoffs

Did you know that “throwing things” at a newly married couple is actually a very old tradition? Dating back to the Ancient Roman and Egyptian times, the intention was to wish the newlyweds good luck, sometimes even fertility and abundance depending on the items thrown.

Nowadays, many items are thrown or tossed at the newlyweds during the recessional (the walk back up the aisle as husband and wife) or the exit at the end of the night. Some of my favorite modern day tosses include rose petals, pompoms, confetti and beach balls. I’ve rounded up these favorites and more to inspire you today, along with the pros and cons of each and where you might be able to purchase them. Plus, a myth or two debunked along the way. Let’s get this party started!

wedding rice toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

It was tradition for a long time to throw (uncooked) rice at the bride and groom as they exited the church following the ceremony. It was then said that the uncooked rice would be ingested by birds, expand in their stomachs, and cause the birds to explode. People, concerned for our feathered friends’ well-being, chose to switch to birdseed after that.

PROS: Very light, inexpensive, won’t hurt (much) when thrown, visually pretty

CONS: Slippery, possibly painful cleanup, birds go poof!

MYTH DEBUNKED: Contrary to what people may have heard, the whole birds-going-poof!-after-eating-uncooked-rice thing is a load of hooey.

WHERE TO BUY: Many companies will say they sell special “wedding rice”. Don’t be fooled. They are simply taking giant bags of rice from your local supermarkets, packaging it up all pretty, slapping a fancy label on it, and charging you WAY MORE than is necessary. Especially when you can do all of that yourself.

Photo by Ed Peers Photography via Snippet & Ink

wedding confetti toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

Confetti. Any shape or size, as long as the word confetti is there, you know it’s going to be a good time. Why? Because confetti is the bestest. Yes, you heard me, the bestest :)

PROS: Colorful, light, completely customizable, can be purchased in bulk, visually very pretty

CONS: Painful cleanup (indoors it’s not so bad because you have access to a vacuum cleaner, but outside you might not be so lucky)

WHERE TO BUY: There are dozens of shops on Etsy, and Amazon, Artistry in Motion, to name a few.

ECO-FRIENDLY: Confetti is now eco-friendly and biodegradable. Places like saveoncrafts, Beau-coup and others now sell it in an array of colors.

Photos: via Martha Stewart Weddings, by Angelica Glass via Martha Stewart Weddings

wedding balloon release, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

One of my very favorite sendoffs… the balloon release! Isn’t it so pretty?

PROS: Visually very pretty, completely customizable

CONS: They fly away, cause problems for the ozone, and may be hazardous to animals

WHERE TO BUY: Your local Party City

ECO-FRIENDLY: Balloons are now eco-friendly too. Note that while the balloons are biodegradable, the ribbons oftentimes attached to them are not. Sad trombone.

Photo by Landon Jacob via Southern Weddings

wedding silly string recessional, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

And the award for the funnest recessional toss ever goes to… the silly string (aka spray string) toss!

PROS: Totally fun for both the guests and the bride and groom

CONS: Messy, sticky, slippery… Does anyone know if this stuff breaks down?

WHERE TO BUY: Party City, Walgreens, Amazon

Photo by JL Photographers via Oh Lovely Day

wedding rose petal toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

One of the most popular recessional tosses involves rose petals. Personally, I love the idea of showering the bride and groom with rose petals as they walk back up the aisle together as husband and wife.

PROS: Visually very pretty, light, fragrant, colorful, Earth-friendly

CONS: May be slippery, may wilt quickly in high temperatures

WHERE TO BUY: Local flower shops and online wholesalers like

Photos: by Andrea Murphy Photography via Style Me Pretty, by Miranda Laine Photography via Style Me Pretty: Texas

wedding ribbon wands getaway, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

A rather unique and very pretty getaway doesn’t involve tossing of any kind, only twirling and swirling of ribbon wands :)

PROS: Visually very pretty, no messy cleanup

CONS: Very girly, some of your more manly grooms may not approve, slipping on one of these babies could end not-so-pretty

WHERE TO BUY: Romancing Juliet

Photo by Corbin Gurkin via Southern Weddings

wedding pompoms toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

Another of my very favorite recessional tosses… because who wouldn’t want to pelt the bride and groom with pompoms? :)

PROS: Totally fun for everyone, colorful, cute, light

CONS: Messy, messy clean up, not so eco-friendly

WHERE TO BUY: local craft stores like Michaels and A.C. Moore and Joann Fabric

Photos by Amelia Lyon via Style Me Pretty

oatmeal recessional toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

This is one recessional tossing item I hadn’t thought of before… oatmeal!

PROS: Smells good, wouldn’t taste half bad if caught in an open mouth, eco-friendly

CONS: Very dusty, possibly slippery

WHERE TO BUY: Your local grocery stores, of course.

Photos by Jessica Claire via Green Wedding Shoes

wedding recessional lavender toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

You won’t find a prettier smelling recessional tossing item than lavender! Showering the bride and groom with bits of lavender is simply dreamy, no?

PROS: Heavenly scent, visually very pretty, Earth-friendly

CONS: May be slippery

WHERE TO BUY: LocalHarvest, Etsy, saveoncrafts

Photos: by KT Merry via Dreamy Whites, by Julianna Collett Photography via Style Me Pretty: Canada 

butterfly release, butterfly wedding recessional release, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

Another popular sendoff that makes my heart flutter is the beautiful and delicate butterfly release! If I’m being honest, I actually like this a bit more than the also-popular dove release.

PROS: Visually stunning, completely sweet, Earth-friendly

CONS: May be costly, you’ll have to tread carefully (you don’t want to step on one of these delicate beauties)

WHERE TO BUY: Swallowtail Farms, Butterfly Release Company

Photos by Michael Segal Photography via Style Me Pretty

wedding black eyed peas recessional toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

In the South, black eyed peas are a source of good luck. Southern Brides have begun incorporating them into their big day either by serving them as a delicacy at the reception or having guests throw them during the recessional or sendoff.

PROS: Unique, relatively light, inexpensive, a source of good luck, eco-friendly

CONS: Might hurt, may be slippery, messy clean up

WHERE TO BUY: Your local grocery stores

Photos by Millie Holloman Photography via Style Me Pretty

wedding mini beach ball toss, wedding recessional toss, sendoff, bride and groom exit, getaway

Last but not least, is another of my personal favorites… the mini-beach ball toss! All I can say for this one is yay! Because, really, who doesn’t love a mini-beach ball? They’re so cute! :)

PROS: Unique, light, relatively inexpensive, totally fun, easy cleanup, can double as a favor

CONS: Might sting if thrown too hard, popping possibility

WHERE TO BUY: Oriental Trading Company, Amazon

Photo by Kay English Photography

So there you have it! A TON of wedding recessional/exit/sendoff/getaway ideas for you to peruse and drool over. Honestly, there are TONS more, but I had to cut myself off sometime. Is there a unique wedding toss you’ve witnessed, been a part of, or even had at your wedding? Let us know in the comments below! xoxo


    • AlexandraAlexandra says

      My pleasure! I think I found it when you pinned it and I was simply in love with it! Great moment captured :) Thanks so much for coming to check it out, Chandra! xoxo

  1. Ashleigh says

    How about popcorn (not buttered of course!)? We are having a silent film themed wedding in an old vaudeville theater and really want to have the guests throw plain white popcorn afterwords… it is biodegradeable, white and fluffy (which will hopefully photograph well) and goes incredibly well with our theme!

    • AlexandraAlexandra says

      Oooh! That’s a GREAT idea! I love it and that it fits so perfectly well with your theme! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing, Ashleigh!! I’d love to see a photo someday soon ;) xoxo

  2. Rachel says

    Do you know anything about sending off those little paper lanterns? I thought it would be neat to do that, but know nothing about them, or even if that’s a good recession idea???

    • AlexandraAlexandra says

      Hi Rachel! Yes, many couples do that as part of their sendoff at the end of the night. It looks absolutely beautiful when it’s done too. I think it’s best to do this at night though – the glow will be prettier and last longer :)

  3. Kitty says

    I had guests toss lavender buds at my last wedding..the little sachets I made were one of my favorite memories..I had my hearts set on a balloon release this time around but because of the problems it may pose to the ozone and wildlife..I’ve settled on bubbles instead.

  4. Kai says

    My sister is having a football-themed wedding and their send off will be with rally towels (kinda like those Terrible Towels they wave at the Steelers stadium). Can’t wait to see how it turns out in two weeks!

  5. Ryann says

    Doing the beach ball idea!!!’-I have two trunks which I’m filling with the mini beach balls and putting a trunk behind each section of chairs-anyone have cute wording suggestions for my sign instructing guests to toss after we are announced???

  6. says

    Great blog entry! I too struggled with a unique idea for a wedding exit. I ended up sewing a bunch of bright, colorful fabric flags – and my bridesmaids handed them out to all my guests at the end of the night. There were about 100 total. It was AMAZING! The pictures turned out really well. And I’ve actually started selling them on Etsy since I had so many inquiries about them. Something different, festive and fun.

    • AlexandraAlexandra says

      Thanks so much, Amber! Your idea sounds amazing!! So exciting that it has been so successful for you and for other brides too! xo

  7. Megan says

    We’re going to thrown sprinkles at my wedding…same idea as the confetti, just a little easier to clean up, and what we might miss will either be eaten or dissolved when it rains :)

    • AlexandraAlexandra says

      We love the sprinkles idea too, Megan, for all the reasons you gave! I feel I must caution you though. After reading this article from one of our vendors and fav wedding planners, Danielle Pasternak, I was a little wary of the sprinkle toss. It’s great for a lot of reasons, but, as Danielle points out, if your guests hands are even a little bit sweaty the sprinkles will melt and the colors may wind up all over your gorgeous wedding dress. Just a little something to keep in mind. I have no doubt that your recessional or sendoff will be fun and gorgeous no matter what you choose :) – Alexandra, xo


  1. […] There are wedding traditions that go back thousands of years. OK, probably only a couple of things, but one of those traditions is throwing rice. No joke. Ancient Hindus and Chinese threw rice to bestow fertility upon the new couple. Ancient Romans threw olives and figs. Any thing that symbolizes fertility or prosperity (besides money, although, that would be awesome to help with wedding costs!) has been thrown at marital unions. Now, I could go with rice. I’m a fraction Chinese and a fraction Indian. But rice has gotten a bad reputation for hurting birds. image source […]

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