The Truth About Flower Petals and Rice at Your Ceremony

Ceremony & Vows, Planning Tips
Truth About Flower Petals Rice Ceremony

Photo: Kurt Boomer

Some of the most classic wedding moments include the flower girl scattering flower petals as she walks down the aisle and guests tossing rice as the couple leaves the ceremony. But are these wise options? Should couples consider alternatives? An etiquette expert weighs in.

I want my flower girl to scatter rose petals down the aisle and guests to throw rice after we exit our ceremony. Who is responsible for cleaning all this up? Should I consider other options?
Any couple set on being showered with any kind of celebratory symbol should first ask the officiant if this option is allowed — and if it is, they should then take responsibility for the cleanup. Most churches ban guests from throwing anything at the bride and groom as they leave the ceremony for the reception, because cleanup is too costly. If you want rose petals, keep in mind that they are notoriously slippery. Instead of those, you can provide guests with tiny bottles of bubbles to blow during the recessional. Keep in mind though, that bubbles can stain your wedding dress. Other options include colored streamers or confetti, but the responsibility of cleaning the mess lies squarely with the couple.

See more: 7 Ways to Make a Dramatic Getaway

Many couples forgo scattering anything, for good reason. Rice is rarely used anymore, even though as a symbol of fertility it is deeply rooted in tradition. Rice can be dangerous for birds and other wildlife and it's almost impossible to scoop, rake, or pick up from grass or flower beds.

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