wedding exits & send-offs
Wedding send-offs are often seen as a “grand exit” at the end of the night, where the bride and groom run through their remaining guests and into their escape-mobile, which will (of course) take them straight to the airport to immediately board their plane for their exotic honeymoon…. or so the photos would have you believe… They can, however, take place at any time - before / during / after the reception - and can be followed by your ACTUAL exit, or more hours of dancing and fun. The most common “exit” still involves sparklers, but here are some other creative ideas I’ve seen in the past!
Sparklers are still the most popular exit I see at weddings - and rightfully so. They’re bright and romantic, they photograph well, guests love them, and they’re affordable. HOWEVER - check with your venue! Many are starting to ban sparklers for a variety of reasons, and if they DO allow them, they require the extra-long type made specifically for weddings! Be sure to give your photographer a heads-up BEFORE the end of the night if you’re planning an exit so they can get set-up and ready!
These mini lanterns I saw were chosen specifically because this venue didn’t allow sparklers or any “exposed flame,” but they were just as beautiful (even more, in my opinion) than sparklers would’ve been and creative the most incredible, whimsical exit I’ve ever seen! They doubled as favors for the guests and housed tealights that the coordinators pre-lit about five minutes ahead of time for guests to get lined-up. Highly recommend!
I’ve had a couple weddings use glow sticks instead of sparklers, because they have a night-time exit and wanted something different. If you go down this route, be sure to consider your options - white vs. multi-colored, extra long sticks that will bend when you wave them and potentially last longer, etc.
These are STUNNING and so peaceful, but may be cumbersome for your entire guest list to take-on. You can purchase paper lanterns like this one from just about anywhere, but practice lighting them ahead of time - it’s a slow, gentle process, but these lanterns cast the same warm glow that sparklers or lanterns would and have been said to also bring the people launching them good luck!
Now we’re getting into types of send-offs that don’t include their own light - this was actually a real send-off at the end of a reception, but definitely needed to be done indoors so that we could see the dried flowers people threw out of their paper cones. Bonus : everyone smells better when all is said and done :)
Ribbon wands are SO fun and pretty, and have the advantage of being pretty customizable. You could use a simple wooden dowel for the ‘wand,’ or paint them gold / silver to match your overall look. Similarly, you could choose just about any color(s) or thickness for the ribbon itself, and it’s fun / safe for everyone involved!
Again, tying colors / themes together, flower petals can tie-in beautifully with the flowers in your bouquet, centerpieces, etc, and make for the prettiest walk down the aisle - love this soft send-off!
Bird seed, like (real) flower petals, has the advantage of being super gentle on the environment - it doesn’t require clean-up, is easy to launch from a paper cone, and the birds around your venue will love you for it!
Paper confetti comes in about a million colors / shapes / sizes and even metallic materials now! It makes for a really fun walk down the aisle after you’ve just said “I do!” and if you buy the thicker larger kind, photographs beautifully!
If all else fails and you KNOW you’re going to be finishing the night with a bar crawl and 100 of your closest friends, why not bring your photographer along with you?