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!
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.
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)
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.
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?
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 FiftyFlowers.com
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
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
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.
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
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)
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
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
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