Wedding exits/send-offs have been around since ye olden days (we’re talking Roman times) and were meant to symbolize the showering of the bride and groom with abundance and fertility. Traditionally, white rice and other grains were thrown, with the former being a more popular choice in recent history.

Today’s couple, and even some venues, have done away with rice tossing because it was said that uncooked rice would cause a bird’s stomach to expand and explode. This has since been debunked, but rice can still cause problems for venues; it can be quite slippery and a hassle to clean up.

Whatever your thoughts on the traditional rice toss, I have some alternative ideas for your wedding exit. Not only do they still make for great photos, but they’re eco-friendly to boot!

Groom holding the bride as he leans her back to kiss her while exiting and the wedding guests are holding up sparklers in downtown Austin, Texas.  Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Eco-friendly Wedding Tosses

Confetti - You can find a plethora of recycled/biodegradable confetti paper and natural herb/floral confetti, or you can make your own.

Dried Rose Buds - Place dried rose buds in a basket or individual cones and let guests shower you with the prettiest pink and red posies. You can even collect the buds afterward to use as decor in your home.

Flowers and Herbs - Set up a tossing bar where guests can fill a cone with flower petals (fresh or dried) or herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme. If there are any leftovers, invite guests to take some home as a favor. To be extra eco conscious, make sure you choose native species so as not to disturb the area’s ecosystem.

Photograph from behind a vintage Chevrolet car where the bride and groom are kissing in the back seat at Villa at Manzuelo Vineyards in Austin, Texas. Photograph by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikk Nguyen.

Leaves - Collect bay leaves or fresh leaves from your yard and local natural areas and use them as a literal “green” send-off toss. If you don’t want the whole leaf tossed, hole punch your collected leaves into confetti size bits.

Lavender - Delicate white and soft purple buds make lavender a perfect option for couples’ with a similar wedding color palette, but it will leave a dreamy scent around you and your guests.

Chinese Lanterns - There has been some controversy around these magical looking flying flames, with many saying the eco options are just as hazardous as the traditional lanterns. One of the biggest problems is that the wire and metal used inside the lantern can harm farm animals who may try and nibble on it once it falls back down. Luckily, many lantern makers have stepped up and started creating metal and wire-free options.

So there you have it! A handful of earth-friendly and fun send-off ideas that are still stylish and will give you gorgeous photos.

Looking for more eco-friendly send-off ideas for your big day? I'd love to share with you what I've seen other brides & grooms do! Hit the button below and let's talk!

Related: What To Look For When Choosing Your Wedding Florist and Help I Don't Have Any Friends to be My Bridesmaids

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