An oft-repeated legend debunked

While researching nuptial facts for a possible second book, I came across one sorry tired old piece of washroom wisdom. The myth in question? That sweet little birdies will gorge themselves on tossed rice, which then expands in their tummies, killing them in a variety of ghastly ways.

Could someone tell that to all of the birds that live near rice paddies and rice processing plants because they don’t seem to have gotten the message. From Truth or Fiction: “The folks at Birder’s magazine, Birdwatcher Digest, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the USA Rice Federation all agree: Rice causes no harm to birds. There are varieties of birds that routinely eat rice in the wild and with no harm. As one observer put it, if rice caused birds to explode, there would be bird parts all over Asia.”

Aren’t they sweet?

That doesn’t mean rice rules. It’s outlawed in many venues because it makes for slippery sidewalks and is a real pain to clean up. Plus, it gets EVERYWHERE (as does birdseed, by the way). For those who think a wedding is no wedding at all unless people are allowed to chuck stuff at the newlyweds, there’s always biodegradable confetti, rose petals, designer wedding “rice”, lavender, and non-staining bubbles

Better yet, don’t toss anything at all. Wave a handkerchief at the departing couple or blow them a kiss. A brief search reveals blogs and forum posts by former brides who had a dickens of a time picking the rice out of their updos and the lavender bits out of their bodices.

And some of those bell-shaped bubble blowers? I don’t want to alarm you, but be careful where you source them. Most wedding bubbles are made of so-called dry soap that won’t leave any wetness behind, but that’s most, not all. Before you invite your guests to pelt you and your sweetie with a barrage of bubbles, test your batch by blowing a few onto a tissue or piece of scrap cloth.

…as an aside, if you’re feeling charitable, I received an e-mail from a certain Amena and Chris, who are endeavoring to win a wedding giveaway by attracting enough votes. Should you feel so inclined, follow the link and give them your vote. Normally I wouldn’t link to something like this — I don’t know them from Adam, after all — but I rather admired the spunk they displayed by e-mailing to ask for help from the blogging world.

6 Responses to “An oft-repeated legend debunked”

  1. Pencils says:

    I spent a lot of energy and went through a lot of stress about what was going to be tossed at our wedding. Because our ceremony was on a terrace, the management said no real rose petals, someone could slip. Only artificial, which I refused to use because they’re not biodegradable. I asked about freeze-dried, they said no, I think not quite understanding the point. So I got ecofetti, and mixed it with some lavender and freeze-dried rose petals (figuring they’d never notice.) I had my husband fold cones for them, as he’s good at that, and we filled them and had them handed out. And….no one tossed any! Sigh. Didn’t occur to me to put little signs on the cones, I thought it was obvious. Never assume! All of this was so I could have photos of us walking back down the aisle in a haze of petals, and it didn’t happen. Still, I love the photos of us walking down the aisle, we look so happy.

  2. Alaina says:

    At the end of my reception, all the remaining guests formed a tunnel outside with their hands and my husband and I ran a very happy gauntlet. No tears or prolonged farewells, and very eco-friendly!

  3. srah says:

    I like the idea of waving a handkerchief. That could be a nice combo wedding favor/gauntlet-thing.

  4. C* says:

    We were surprised with a bubble send off, which was something I really didn’t want, but was sort of fun. The pictures of it are terrible though…in all of them I am covering my face trying to keep the bubbles out of my contact lenses.

  5. Twistie says:

    Alaina, I think that may be the nicest variation I’ve heard of yet. No muss, no fuss, nothing to clean up, no cost, and truly a beautiful representation of community support.

    Besides, being pelted by birdseed darn well HURT! And even without an elaborate updo, I was still getting the crap out of my hair two days later. Humph.

    (is all grouchy about being bushwhacked by people who knew I didn’t want anything at all thrown)

  6. Toni says:

    Don’t forget that sparklers can leave burn marks on the dress.