Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When Butterflies Attack

The tradition of throwing stuff at a wedding is a very old one. It began thousands of years ago when guests would throw figs and nuts at the bride and groom to encourage their fertility and prosperity. Gradually this evolved into throwing rice, which became temporarily taboo in 1996 when Ann Landers reported that rice is bad for birds. This quickly became the (now debunked!) urban legend that birds who eat raw rice could explode.

During the false exploding bird period, people in the western world started using alternatives to rice. It started with birdseed (good for the birds!), and then began to include confetti and rose petals.

Um, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to be pelted with thousands of tiny sharp projectiles on the “happiest day of my life.” Don’t get me wrong. I know that rice has exfoliation properties. But while I might need a facial before the wedding, I don’t want one at the wedding. I’ll bet bits of rice (or birdseed, or confetti) would stow away in my veil (and dress, and undergarments), leaving the housekeeping staff at the wedding night hotel tickled pink to try to pick that stuff of the carpet. Humph.

Not to mention the fact that the darned stuff is slippery. I can fall on my dignity (yes, that’s what my grandmother used to call it) walking on dry pavement in hiking boots. And this clumsiness runs in my family. My Pop just fell UP the stairs, while Mama once tripped over her sister’s dog and broke her toe. Mama’s toe, that is. The dog didn’t even wake up. If we had the slippery stuff at the wedding, my family and I would all be wiping out left and right.

The next wave of innovation was to release wildlife at weddings – mainly birds and butterflies. Two problems with this plan. (1) Sometimes the fluttery things won’t cooperate. My MOH has been pooped on by birds something like eight times in her life. If that’s supposed to be good luck, she’s the luckiest darned girl in the world.
And butterflies, which are shipped in their cocoons, might not have hatched yet, or (even worse!) their short little life spans might have already run their course, leaving the guests with a bunch of dead butterflies (and all the symbolism that entails). (2) Even more importantly, these transplanted little critters may not fit into the fragile ecosystem in which your wedding takes place, leaving them without the proper food to survive, or putting them into a place where their food source is endangered. Birds. Butterflies. Bad idea.
I love this photo of a butterfly release . . . . I call it, "When Butterflies Attack"

Bubbles have also become popular. I love me some bubbles. Although they are just soap and water, they can stain formalwear (not just mine, but my guests’ clothing too!). I don’t want my wedding favor to my friends and family to be drycleaning bills. People have also begun using sparklers. If I’m too afraid of flames to do the unity candle, why would I voluntarily walk through a ring of fire on my way outta the church?! Duh.

All this is pretty much a moot point for me. My church won’t allow projectiles or incendiary devices. So I’ve had to come up with another plan. That's what I'll discuss in my next post!


elaine brenner said...

The wedding I shot this past weekend did sparklers. They were giant! Like super-big corndogs or something.

This totally cracks me up...yes, the rice will be in your hair. When it is most inconvenient (ahem). In our "going away" picture (which, OHMIGOD what WAS I wearing?) someone is actually throwing the little pouch of rice right at us. Unopened.

Not the sharpest knives in the drawer...


Aimee said...

Try ribbon wands:

They're pretty cool.

redframe said...

you make me laugh! okay, its 2am, i'm going to bed! i'll be back.