Re: Since at that time rice was cheap, clean, and white,
Rice replaced wheat in those situations. In the past, wheat was thrown at the bride but that changed during the reign of Elizabeth I and the wheat was baked into small cakes. The wedding guests then felt deprived of anything to throw at the bride but rice was cheap, clean and white so they decided to throw that at the bride instead.
That tradition continues today. When a newly married couple exit the church, the guests throw either rice or confetti all over them.
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