Replacing the Rice | A Collection of Modern After-Ceremony Traditions

By, August 28, 2013

So, let’s say you’ve just tied the knot, and married the love of your life. As you return down the aisle, as brand-new newlyweds, how would you like your guests to express their joy?

Traditionally, brides and grooms have provided guests with something to throw or release in celebration. The origin of this custom can be traced back many years, when wedding guests began throwing rice at wedding couples. Rice was chosen because it signified a prosperous life, and also represented fertility for the couple.

Like most wedding traditions, this one too has evolved.  Instead of rice, many couples are finding a symbolic alternative that reflects their personalites. For example, recent weddings we’ve photographed have featured items as diverse as streamers, flower petals, balloons and bubbles. The options are endless!

To inspire you, we’ve collected celebratory images from recent weddings, and categorized them below. Check out our top rice replacement picks!


It’s always nice when an item fits within the color scheme of the wedding, or ties in with the theme and decor.  For this high-fashion wedding, guests released oversized balloons that made a statement, as did the bride’s dress!



For those searching for items with deeper meanings, white doves or butterflies are a great choice. Doves have a multitude of meanings, such as peace, fidelity and joy. Also, the color white signifies eternity, making doves a fitting option for a wedding. Butterflies are popular too, because they represent new beginnings, good fortune and joy. As they take to the sky, spreading the good news of the marriage, these delicate and beautiful creatures create an amazing experience for guests!



Bubbles and flower petals are widely used for ceremony celebrations, and understandably so. Both items are beautiful and romantic, and are fitting for a day filled with love.



If you’re looking to make your guests laugh, then maybe it’s a good idea to buy inflated heart balls for them to peg you with!  After all, love tends to hit you square in the face when you’re least expecting it, right?


No matter which item you choose for this celebratory tradition, you’re bound to end up with great photos that reflect your personality, and a cherished memory on your wedding day!

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