It’s been a long well known tradition to toss rice at the newly weds once the ceremony is over and everybody is ready to celebrate. The classical rainfall of rice is a fun and happy way for friends and family to wish the couple many happy years to come.

However, for those concerned about the environment there are various eco-friendly alternatives that will still ensure joy and happiness without causing any harm. Following are some eco-friendly solutions to make the event memorable.

Note: the idea that rice will kill birds is an urban legend. It is said that the bird will swell up and burst after eating it. In reality, rice does not harm birds. If this was the case, all Asia where rice is heavily produced, would have an extreme shortage of birds. More about this can be found here.

Eco-friendly rice

For those that think rice is part of the ceremony and a marriage cannot be carried having the newly weds showered in it, there is good news. Several companies now may eco-friendly rice that will not promote weed growth. Look for these special statements on the rice packages found in wedding supplies stores or online.

Rose petals

Another great alternative is showering the newly weds with many colorful rose petals. Ideally these should be white, light pink, pale lavender or pale yellow. For people concerned about wasting rose petals unnecessarily, a good alternative is using petals made out of cloth These petals will nicely come down slowly and will not stain the bride’s wedding dress nor will they leave a messy and slippery trail from people walking on them.

White doves

A romantic alternative for those looking for alternate but original ideas is to release some white doves from a cage. The white doves may be rented from a company. The doves are not meant to be set free but are rather trained to come back. This is a good idea to ensure less messes and cleaner areas, as long as the doves do not decide to fly over the guests and leave a ”long lasting memory”.

Butterflies or balloons

Just as doves may be released, so may colorful butterflies and balloons. However, the butterflies more likely then not will not return, once set free, however they will be very colorful and joyful to watch. Some butterfly breeders have some butterfly species specifically selected for this event. Balloons of course, must be the ones that will go straight to the sky to work out. Many people like them personalized with the names of the newly weds.

As seen, there are various alternatives to the classical toss of the rice tradition. Rice can be messy, slippery to walk on, may attract rodents and may cause weeds to grow in the grassy areas nearby the church. The above can be great ideas for those people that want to think out of the box and make their wedding quite unique without harming the environment.