Wedding Trivia: RICE THROWING Rice has been used as a symbol of fertility and as a wish for a "full pantry" in various parts of the world from ancient to modern times. In the past, rice was not the only thing thrown at the bride and groom as the left the wedding. Wheat, instead of rice, was thrown in France, figs and dates were thrown in Northern Africa, and a combination of coins, dried fruit, and candy was thrown in Italy. In some European countries eggs are thrown!Rice is not harmful to the birds that eat it, but an article in California professing this to be the case, has caused birdseed to replace rice at most weddings. Flower petals, confetti, baubles, and balloons are often used today instead of rice.