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

Posted by
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. Loving all the ideas and we just might go with Kazoos and Fruity Pebbles!! I’ve seen it done at weddings and it looks like confetti. So different and cost officiant especially since you can get them in bulk for cheap. =)

    • We’re planning on Fruity Pebbles. After all, they’re affordable, edible, colorful and we don’t have to pick them up after our outdoor ceremony and reception.

  2. We are having the ceremony and reception at a hotel AND staying at the hotel.. so how would we incorporate a sendoff???? Thanks in advance bc I’m dumbfounded!

    • You could have your send-off happen when you walk back down the aisle. Or, you could have no send-off at all – it’s not required 🙂

    • Maybe you and your new spouse could leave the property to go have a celebratory drink or maybe plan something with just you and your wedding party? I really wanted for our bridal party to go out and bowl while still in wedding gear, but ended up scrapping the idea. Either way, if you have some reason to leave, you can still have the big send-off/chasing the new couple to their car event. 🙂

  3. I love all of these ideas! We’re getting married in a private wood, so no fireworks or lanterns, but yes to a mess. I plan on using my shredder and an old dictionary to create biodegradable confetti (paper is mostly eco-friendly, right…?)–but after seeing that gorgeous mix of seeds and leaves and flower petals, I’m tempted to supplement the confetti with rosemary and wildflower seeds. Mmm…all the confetti possibilities!!

  4. I am strongly considering getting biodegradable fake snow for our confetti toss, it is more expensive than paper but it makes for easy (read: no) cleanup and I think it feels magical!

    • At our wedding we’re going to be using swan and crow feathers that we’ve gathered together, we used swan feathers and rose, lavender and orange flower petals at my best buddies wedding earlier this year and everyone loved it.

  5. Okay, so my ceremony and reception are taking place in the same building. Our church has a gymnasium that our reception is taking place in. It ends around 5:30pm when would be a good time to do the send off?

    I was thinking maybe making some yarn pompoms but I don’t know if I have the time or really like the idea. I love bubbles, but they are so messy. I’m trying to find something for about 100 people that is enviromentally safe and cost friendly.

    I’m not sure about the seeds because birds hate me and I would be picking them out for days!

    What would look great in pictures, fall slowly for pictures but not be so difficult to get rid of? Please help, my wedding is June 1!

  6. My friend and I spent several evenings creating ribbon wands with little jingle bells attached. Whatever we did at the venue we would have to clean up and I’m just not wanting to make anyone deal with stuff stuck in the grass of an outdoor wedding. Plus I like the idea that people will want to take the wands with them for souvenirs and the bells will be just enough jingle to make it fun but not overpower anything. The hardest part, at first, was finding enough ribbon in the right colors. Yay inter webs! After getting all the materials gathered and painting the dowels, the actual process of putting 90 wands together took about a day. Overall it took a couple of days (watching paint dry….) I think with everyone standing and waving all that ribbon around it will look really festive and fun. I’m really looking forward to that.

  7. Anyone ever try the sprinkle thing I saw on Pintrest? I know it can stain your gown because of sweat melting the sprinkles, but I don’t really care about that….. I want sprinkles! Good idea????? What do you think?

    • We did sprinkles! They WILL go down your dress/into your bra, and get EVERYWHERE (hair, eyes, mouth) but we LOVED it! And the pics turned out great!

  8. My husband and I walked down the aisle to a garage of paper airplanes! It was amazing and our guests had so much fun writing messages/drawing pictures on them before the tossed them towards us

  9. I was going to punch paper hearts out of old books to use as confetti. I am hoping this will work. Lol

Read more comments

Comments are closed.