Seven rice tossing and send-off alternatives for a very dramatic exit

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Even more confetti!
Instead of throwing rice, what other ways can we punctuate the conclusion of our wedding reception? We're not into releasing anything that may have a negative impact on the environment.

What are y'all doing to signal the end of the ceremony or party?


This was an awesome question we pulled from the Tribe. Back in 1996, an Ann Landers column warned readers of the dangers of rice tossing to hungry birds (p.s. it's a myth!). But why should you limit yourself anyway? Here are some funky alternatives for your send-off.

Seeds, herbs, and other stuff from nature

Like Sarah and Liz above, you can use natural confetti to add major fun (without bodily harm to you) and still be eco-friendly. Biodegradable confetti is light, falls slowly (for awesome photos), and dissolves in water. Or you could try plantable seed confetti which will grow into wildflowers.

Our entrance, covered in leaves, petals and seeds
Siobhán and Fran had a shower of leaves, petals, and seeds.

Confetti leaves, petals and seeds caught in Fran's hair
Here's a close-up of the flora as it finds its way into Fran's waves.

Sarah and Derek opted to provide seeds for the guests to toss. At least you know there will be hungry critters waiting to clean up after it's all over!

Dorkfest 2010
Hayley and Patrick mixed dried lavender and rosemary for a lovely scented send-off.

Reusable pom-poms can also be fun to throw. Then gather them up and give your cat the time of his life.

Flower Petals

Like bubbles, flower petals are a more traditional choice. But depending on what you choose, they can look pretty awesome.

Homemade petal toss cones
Brianna and Charles crafted these petal toss cones from the envelope liners in their invitations. It also had a note that read, “Please toss these petals at the end of the ceremony to ensure the couple a rosey future.” You could substitute traditional rose petals with wildflowers or silk cherry blossoms.

Wildflower bouquet, flowers in her hair, flowers raining down. Tribe member SilverSandalled looks flower-child fantastic.

Wee! Time to process to the mandap to join Suraj & my family!
We recently featured this gorgeous couple. Liz was given a flowery welcome as she made her way to her groom, Suraj.


Wish lanterns were traditionally used in Asian celebrations, but we're seeing more and more of these beautiful send-offs worldwide. You light the small fuel cell and the hot air lifts up the lantern just like a hot air balloon. Wish Lantern makes a biodegradable version out of bamboo and rice paper, so you can light the sky with less guilt.

Ella and Ben received these lanterns from Ben's mom to light at the end of the evening. How awesome would it look with lots of these in the sky? Giant sky lanterns ready for lift-off in many colors.

Party Poppers and noise makers

Party like it's 1999 with New Year's Eve-inspired props. Party poppers, streamers, biodegradable balloons, noise makers, and vuvuzelas (just kidding!).

the party poppers were a favorite.
Kate and Christopher gave their guests party poppers for a little celebratory feel.

party popper favors
Oh, and they had their FACES on them! Side note: they also had their faces on guitar picks.

Send Off Band
Emily and Rush had a music theme, so they made their entire wedding a “send-off band” with mini clappers!


Sparklers get a lot of play these days as well, but you can't deny their photo-magic abilities. Step one: dark night. Step two: run through sparklers. Step three: ??? Step four: profit.

making our exit
Caitlin and her groom left their reception in style with sparklers aglow. She says, “Sparklers are hard to coordinate, but it is possible to get them all lit at once!”

This shot is amazing. The sparkles are super huge too. Michele and Stuart couldn't look more cute in this light.

Mini flags

The great thing about mini flags is that they double as favors and guests can use them whenever they feel inspired to cheer. Plus, there's no clean-up and no noise, just fun.

Paper flags for send off
Tribe member Kashiitan crafted these name and date flags for her guests. We've got some tutorials if you're in a DIY mood too: iron-on mini flags and “yay” flags!

Tutorial for these iron-on minis!

Tutorial for these “yay” flags!

The Internet approves
Dina and Desiree geeked out with emoticon mini flags.


Think you've seen bubbles done a million ways? Think again. Bubbles can be creepy for Halloween weddings, fairy-like for a Renaissance wedding, and a little shot of irony for an edgy rock wedding.

Smoke Bubble Machine
FOG BUBBLES! Erin and Sam's Dia De Los Muertos, Halloween, masquerade wedding had a few themes going for it, but fog bubbles fit into every one.

Smoke Bubbles
Can't… not… touch!

Bubble celebration!
Emmalyn and Gavin get mystical in their period garb and bubble cloud. I love the little peek of the bubble blower in the background. She's working hard.

Tats, rock chic, sunglasses… and bubbles? Definitely not expected and definitely cool. Elli and Jason rock their send-off like celebs.


[related-post align=”right”]But just be careful not to get carried away with the bubbles like Bich and Justin. Oh puns, I heart you.

What are you guys planning to have thrown your way? Paper airplanes folded from your programs (Thanks, Mich!)? Fake bricks? Leave 'em in the comments!

Offbeat Bride Vendor

This post features vendors from our curated Offbeat Bride Wedding Vendor Directory. They're awesome and we love them. If you're a vendor let's get you in here!

Comments on Seven rice tossing and send-off alternatives for a very dramatic exit

  1. There are some amazing ideas in here. I am especially impressed with FOG bubbles! I have never heard of such a thing before and they look so spooky and cool.

    Lanterns look great but I have had such trouble with them in the past. We had some for a friend’s circus-y birthday party. Unfortunately after lighting them in the garden, a bit of wind and the house nearly set on fire. There had to be a brave rescue attempt and lots of stamping…

  2. We’re giant nerds, and we wanted to work that into our ceremony while still keeping it classy. Our recessional was a string quartet arrangement of “The Throne Room” from Star Wars and our cake topper was made from legos. But my favorite part had to be our exit from the church when we gave everybody a nerf gun to fire.

    • Where did you find this idea? Also, do certain nerf guns work better than others? Our home is near a lake and there are many birds in the area. During the summer, I enjoy feeding them, but because of the foliage I can’t throw as close to the bank as I would like to. I had the idea of filling a nerf gun with seed and spraying it off our deck, but I couldn’t find anyone else on the internet that had/has also used this method. Yours was the first I have seen and would love any insight that you can provide. Thanks!

  3. If anyone decides to use seeds or the wildflower mix, please be careful to pick ones that are for sure native or non invasive to your area. “Wildflower” mixes often have species which are horribly invasive depending on where you are.

  4. Oh man, I love the fog bubbles. They’re so freaking neat in person! I wanna carry one around for every entrance I make. Ever. For all of time.

  5. yeah, this. my partner and i want to get married in his parents’ back yard, and i think they’d be PISSED if we sprayed wildflower seeds all over the place.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely a matter of knowing your venue and asking about it beforehand. Better to be on the safe side.

      • If you’re getting married on a lawn, you could probably toss grass seed with the venue’s blessing 🙂

  6. I made bell favors for our wedding. The guests rang us out with them, and got to keep them as favors.

    • I’m planning to do this, I think, too. Well, in addition to the Millenium Falcon brooch favors XD Where did you get your bells?

      • I used the ball style bells. I had some on hand from a very, very old project, and I bought the rest from Michael’s, Joann’s, and Hobby Lobby. Our wedding was around Christmas time, so I was able to (eventually) run down the sizes and colors I wanted. But I seem to recall Hobby Lobby and Micahel’s both had the “bell” shaped bells in the wedding section in packs of 20 or so.

    • Me too! We used jingle bells tied with tartan bows for our Scottish Christmas wedding.

    • I attended a wedding where the couple were both musicians, and they distributed small triangles for the guests to “throw sound” at them as they left the church

  7. I want sparklers SO BAD. I can’t even tell you. But alas, they’re illegal in California. So if you’re planning on using the magic little firework on a stick, check with the state laws first!

    • Oh mans. I had a giant ’80s workout/interpretive dance video version of these when I was a kid. Ribbon wands are SO MUCH FUN.

      I think ribbon wands will be featured at my wedding. And bells. And maybe also bubbles. Maybe.

  8. We used lavender at our wedding. We also sort of turned around the order a bit. After leaving the church where we got married, my new husband and I ran off for an ice cream cone and a few private moments together — one of my favorite parts of the day, truly. Our guests went back to our house, where we were having our reception. We were the last to arrive, and they lined our driveway and tossed lavender buds. I liked this timing because: 1) We didn’t have to worry about the rules at our ceremony venue; 2) Everyone could participate, and it was a delightful and laughter-filled start to our reception; 3) We could stay as late as we liked at our party, without worrying that older guests were trickling out to head to bed before a traditional “send off.”

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