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Friday, August 8, 2008

Old Traditions Made New

There was a time when it seemed that everyone engaged in the practice of throwing rice at the bride and groom. Then word came down that this practice endangered the birds (later proved to be not true) and there was also the fact that guests slipped on rice, so people looked for alternatives.

Here are some of the things that people have switched to in recent years:

Birdseed (although this should only be done at city weddings, since birdseed contains non-native invasive species)

Rose petals or freeze-dried rose petals

Lavender buds

Confetti (which has to be cleaned up)

Grass seed (when on a lawn)

Glitter (shudder)

A balloon drop (probably less in favor these days due to the repercussions for wildlife and the environment)

One poster noted that for a European-style wedding she attended, coins were thrown

Fall leaves for an autumn wedding (which obviously involves some care and planning)

Fake snow for a winter wedding

Of course, what goes up (or out) must come down. Things thrown end up in the bride's and guests' clothing and hair, some venues have restrictions (fresh rose petals stain; rice and confetti and other items must be cleaned up), so some weddings planners/brides and grooms have opted for things that don't have to be thrown at all. Some of these involve elaborate orchestration, but here are a few:

Bubbles using biodegradable soap

Having guests wave ribbon streamers

Having guests ring bells (including jingle bells for a December wedding)

Sparklers for a nighttime wedding (pretty but lots of planning. Guests must be spaced out enough so that no one gets burned and care must be taken when children are present)

Kazoos or other noisemakers

Butterfly releases (although there are limitations regarding weather, and one should, of course, make sure this is done in a humane fashion)

A pair of doves released as the bride and groom depart the church (again, one wants to do this in a humane fashion)

Still, other people are opting to skip this tradition altogether. What do you think? And, have you seen other alternatives as ways to send off/welcome the new bride and groom?

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Blogger Julie Hilton Steele said...

Well, this isn't a leaving the site thing, but it is related. Folks have finally figured out that writing on a car with shaving cream or soap ruins the finish. Wax works of course. And I have seen many a car filled with balloons. On the other hand, the newly married couples have taken to doing a "head fake" and planting a car they have no intention of using.

When one of my best friends got married, they had VW bug that the so-called friends of the couple lifted and chained between two trees, then hid the key. Needless to say, they weren't happy but can laugh about it years later.

Peace, J

August 8, 2008 at 5:34 AM  
Blogger Linda Goodnight said...

I like most of these new ideas, especially throwing coins! How about 100 dollar bills?? LOL

Julie, the VW story is priceless. I love it!

August 8, 2008 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Some of the things people are now throwing/releasing are just as bad as rice or worse. I think the entire tradition should be eliminated. The last wedding I was at blew bubbles but these tend to get in the eyes of other people and could be dangerous.

August 8, 2008 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

We had bird seed at our wedding and other family members have had the bubbles. Glad to know the rice myth was proven untrue.

August 8, 2008 at 7:48 PM  

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