By Trina Machacek

Wedding season is any season. Winter weddings are all warm and from my line of sight a little stoic. In a winter coat, wool dress and suit kinda way. Summer weddings are light and flowing. With dresses of cotton and suits of, well really in my neck of the woods suits of white cotton shirts, jeans and boots. You know, summery attire. No matter what time of the year a few things are standard at weddings. Well they were standard. Like throwing rice.

Now before you throw out the rice throwing event because of whatever the newest reason for not throwing the rice let me talk a bit about this wedding tradition. When I got married I loved the rice throwing. From making the little packets of rice wrapped up in plastic and covered with netting and tied with ribbon in colors of the wedding, to getting pelted leaving the church. It was all fun and I wouldn’t deny any newlyweds that. Before writing this little do-dah, I of course Googled throwing rice and the birds exploding and all the stuff being touted by non rice throwers. Seems that Ann Landers really propagated this misinformation around 1988.

So after I did some research it seems that it is okay to throw rice at the bride and groom. Birds can eat rice and not fly off to explode. Throw to your hearts content. Or not. It is totally up to the wedding planner and the happy couple. Okay the bride, and of course the bride’s mother. But! Yes a rice filled “but.” Be aware, be very aware, that there will always be someone to try to rain on your decision. Which could just cook your rice and make it harder to throw—the birds though may like the rice cooked. Who knows?

When rice became taboo other things became acceptable. One was bubbles. I had no idea that you could go to a store and buy these cute little individual bubble making devices to hand out to wedding guests. When the new couple emerges from the church in your minds eye can you get a glimpse of family and friends with these little plastic bubble factory things all blowing air in the faces of the couple? Spitting and sputtering trying their best to cover the couple with bubbles?

Not sure I would want all that soapy air blowing in my face.  The bubbles are kinda cool though. The chance of any bubbles actually touching the new Mr. and Mrs.? Like one in a zillion. Not like rice that they will be picking out of hair and their car for days and days. My vote, in case you haven’t guessed yet, is for the rice.

As I was in the throws of Google I also checked out another thing I did as a kid. In Reno, Nevada where I grew up there is a wonderful little man-made lake called Virginia Lake. It was built in the 30’s and it is a lovely spot to sit, saunter or a gaggle of other activities. As a kid we were taken there to feed the ducks. Bread. Yes, put me in duck jail, we fed the ducks bread. Today that is frowned upon. I feel so sorry for the ducks that apparently I led down a bread lined garden path.

But I do not for one minute regret the memories of seeing my mom save the ends of the loaves of bread to take with us on those outings. I believe now that she needed that time out of the house with three little munchkins as a new wife and mother in the 60’s as much as I loved going. I wonder if she ever gave thought to feeding the ducks and swans rice? Could have been some very interesting events with ducks and swans full of bread and rice exploding on the little lake and her scooping up her brood and speeding off in our green 1955 Ford Station Wagon with wood on the sides. Very interesting indeed.

Rice. Bubbles. Bread. Oh I have one more. Come on it’s me! This one I will admit I have quit doing. Adding red food coloring to the sugar mixture I make for the humming birds of summer. Not because of some “report” that the redness is bad for the little guys. Not in the least. I stopped because I ran out of red food coloring long ago. The little hummers didn’t seem to care. So I just let my lazy self quit making a big mess in my kitchen with red everywhere.

If we use our hearts along with our heads we will make good decisions. Of this I am sure.

Trina lives in Eureka. Her funny book, “They Call Me Weener” is available on or email her at for a signed copy.