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. We got a bunch of kazoos for our recessional. I want everyone to just go to town having fun with them!

    • As a side note – for my brother and sister in laws wedding last year she handed out kazoos for the processional. When everyone was gathered together as soon as they saw us walk out the crowd BURST into the most horrendus version of the wedding march I have ever heard. It was amazing!! She was so nervous, and as soon as she heard the kazoos start, she laughed the entire way down the aisle. It was perfect!

      • Oh wow, that’s really amusing. We haven’t figured out the music for our ceremony yet, but if enough of my friends are able to make it … maybe I’ll ask them to kazoo the wedding march for me. Thanks for sharing that story!

  2. I totally want to use bubbles but one of our best men is allergic to one of the chemicals in most bubble mixes, Not sure I have the energy to mass produce my own.

    Be careful with the floating lanterns, some venues in the UK won’t allow them due to all the publicity about barns getting burnt down. Would be lovely for a beach or lakeside wedding through.

  3. The “Finally GEEZ” flag made me laugh so freakin’ hard. My husband and I were together for almost five years before we got married, and my sister actually (jokingly!) said this when we told her we were getting married. If I had known about this before my wedding, we would have had these flags or something a lot like them.

  4. We had our guests sign the tail of a kite at the end of the ceremony and when they were done my husband and I ran off into a field to fly it with our guests running behind us.

    • What a beautiful idea! Might be my hormones, but I got a little teary eyed picturing that!

      • It was great. My mother was a mess! And the morning after the wedding my hubby and I ate breakfast together and read all the well wishes and messages of love written on the kite tail. <3

    • I love this idea. I have really been struggling to find a “guest book” concept that made sense for us. Since we are doing a beach wedding, I love the idea of flying the kite on the beach after our farewell brunch. I feel like the tail would need to be quite large to serve as a guest book and I am wondering if you would need some kind of special pen. Can you share a little more about what you used?


  5. I love all these ideas, and I’m so glad to have a space to ask about this tradition because I have never see it done: do couples usually have a recessional send off (post ceremony) AND a send off in the evening when they leave? Or do you pick one? What does the emcee or celebrant or whomever say? How do you get people set up to send you off after the reception without standing around awkwardly waiting for people to gather their signs or sparklers? I’d love some thoughts on the logistics of this.

  6. So I think I’ve been thinking of “poppers” all wrong in my head!

    Does anyone know what you call the tiny little fireworks kids throw on the ground to make a loud pop? I’d love to somehow incorporate those into my wedding (especially if I can find a very green version!), but I can’t for the life of me find what they’re called (I thought *these* were poppers).

    • Oh man, so upset that link didn’t work. I have recently become obsessed with angry birds and your post intrigued me. Lol

  7. Please, no lanterns. Even the bamboo variety can kill livestock, either because they eat it directly or if it lands in a pasture and gets bundled up into the hay/silage bales.

    There are also reports of them causing fires and of being mistaken by the emergency services for distress flares.

    • I love the look of them, but have always wondered what happens when they land?

      Because wouldn’t the remains make an awful mess?

      I was surprised they were even legal to be honest, as letting off even one of these in summer, when most weddings are, could be a massive fire hazard… 🙁

      • Personally, I always though the whole lantern eventually catches fire and (supposedly) burns up entirely before landing. Maybe I should think about these things more….

  8. OMG FOG BUBBLES!!! My wedding is in a week. I must find a way to have these before then!

    • Halloween stores are begining to pop up around, and THEY SELL THEM!!! I think they are, like $30-50. Get thee to a Halloween store!!

  9. Assuming everyone’s dressed for it, I think squirt guns would be pretty awesome. Bonus if its in August or July.

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