Whether it’s the end of your ceremony or the end of the reception, you can make your wedding send-off or exit unique and fun! Every year I see more brides come up with fun themes and ideas to make their exits unique to the couple and their wedding. A question brides often ask is, “what is the difference between a send-off and exit, why should I do one, and what are some options?”
What’s the difference between a send-off and an exit?
After shooting countless weddings, I have heard the words “send-off and exit” used interchangeably. Typically a send-off happens immediately following the ceremony, as the couple is en route to their reception. An exit usually happens either at the end of the reception or (for various reasons) a faux exit is planned a few hours before the official end of the night.
Why should I do an exit or a send-off?
I always tell my couples, this is your wedding day, and you don’t NEED to do anything you don’t want to do! So why do one?
- It can be a lot of fun! Guests love getting to be a part of the celebration and showering the newlyweds with flower petals or lavender is not only pretty, but it also makes for stunning photos!
- If you choose to wait until the end of the evening, it’s an excellent way to nicely tell your guests that the party is over 😉
- Doing a faux-exit a few hours before the end of the day is a great way to let older family members or guests with younger children feel like they can leave earlier but still get to participate in the entire day.
What are some creative and fun wedding send-off or exit ideas?
Bubbles are fun, inexpensive, and easy to find year-round. Kids and grandparents alike love getting in on the fun! Not only can bubbles look great on camera, but they are also a perfect option for daytime exits or send-offs. Associate shot for Erika Melson Photography
2 Toss Lavender
If you need only one reason to choose lavender, let it be that their fragrance is beautiful! I shot a wedding in the middle of summer, and the heat made the scent of lavender waft through the air as everyone anxiously awaited the exit of the bride and groom! Make sure you order enough lavender! An article by Lavender Fanatic said, “Figure a tablespoon or so per guest. One pound of dried lavender should be enough for 50 guests unless some guests grab much more than you had planned-which happens with lavender. People absolutely love the fragrance and go back for more!” There is no such thing as too much lavender!
3 A vintage Getaway Car
Nothing says classy quite like a classic car, am I right? A fun way to add some nostalgia is to add cans to the back of the vehicle! It’s an old tradition that lets everyone know there are newlyweds nearby! Add some flowers and a cute sign, and you’ve got yourself a getaway car that is uniquely you!
4 Pop the Champagne
Champagne and weddings go together like PB&J! Often, popping the bubbly is seen during the getting ready part of the day, but you can share the fun with the entire bridal party! After all, these are your closest friends, so why not them in on all the fun? Associate shot for Erika Melson Photography
5 Streamer Poppers
Streamer poppers have all the action and none of the mess! While confetti looks great, it can make a mess, and some venues don’t even allow it for that reason!
6 Throw Bird Seed
Birdseed is cost-effective, and it’s an eco-friendly option! Celebrate the nuptials while feeding the birds! Guests can choose filled sachets and paper cones of seed, or grab a handful while lining up! This is another fantastic option for daytime exits!
7 The Sparkler Exit
The sparkler exit is quite possibly the most popular option for a good reason! Nothing beats that sparkle! You should consider a few things if you decide to do sparklers. Some venues consider them a fire hazard and either have strict rules or don’t allow them. Make sure you order some that are long enough. Sparklers range from 18”-36”. If you have many guests, go for the longer ones! If serving alcohol at your reception, you may want to opt for a faux exit since fire and alcohol can be chaotic. A faux exit is simply an exit where guests line up for photos before the end of the reception. This allows everyone to go back in and enjoy the drinks and dancing!
8 Light Up Balloons
Balloons are great for day time for daytime or nighttime, but glow-in-the-dark balloons are such a fun way to celebrate an evening exit! Second Shot for Amanda Somerville Photography
9 Release Butterflies
Incorporating butterflies in your wedding can be meaningful, and after they are released, butterflies can hang around for a while! Many times they will land on the happy couple!
10 Toss Flower Petals
Flowers are always a good idea, and tossing flower petals will always be in style. Guests can throw flower petals as newlyweds take their first steps back down the aisle, or they can be saved for the new couples’ exit!
Want to see some more exit photos? Check out Katie and Seth’s wedding !