Brides often ask me about their exit strategy…not from their marriage, but from their reception! LOL. So I thought it was high time I write a blog post on how to plan a great exit. I hope these tips help in planning memorable wedding exits for all couples planning on one!
1. Plan to hire your wedding photographer and videographer for at least ten hours if you want a “real time” exit.
In order for you to have a day that doesn’t feel rushed and to have detail shots as well as any “getting ready” portraits, it’s essential that you hire your wedding photographer for ten hours in order to have enough time for the exit. Of course, if you plan on doing some of the other options below, like a “fake exit” or a grand reception entrance, you may not need this. But otherwise, you need the extra time.
2. Remember that your guests (especially the elderly and those with small children at the wedding or back home) will assume it’s time to leave after the exit…even if it’s early!
If you plan on even staging a fake exit, you will have a mass exodus directly following the exit. So plan accordingly.
3. If you are planning a fake sparkler exit, consider just involving close family and your bridal party. Or keep it small with a sparkler entrance to your reception!
If you keep it small, there is less of a chance of someone getting lit…and I don’t mean that in the exciting way! It’s also less likely people will leave if mass groups of guests don’t even know it’s happening. And why does it have to be just an exit? You can begin your reception with some sparklers and kick it off in style!
4. Consider other lit elements in the background as well.
Why do wedding exits have to just involve sparklers? You can have other lit elements in the background as well like Kenny and Tracy did at the covered bridge at Walden Hall!
(Brooke and Mike used bubble machines at night in the front of their church!)
5. Try a more intimate exit.
Who says you need a crowd for a memorable exit? Even the rain and a nor’easter hasn’t stopped me from photographing an epic exit moment and what could be better than an intimate kiss at the end of the evening in the rain?
6. Think outside the box.
Sparklers are exciting…especially the anticipation of wondering if someone will catch on fire…LOL…seriously though, there are other ideas for an intimate exit like approved fireworks!
7. Balloons, Balloons, Balloons.
LED balloons are a way to involve all the guests…even the little ones…whereas sparklers may not be the safest choice for weddings with smaller guests. Just make sure you put them all on a steady light, NOT the flashing ones…that’s IF you want them all on at once in the photographs!
8. Walk, Don’t Run.
You do NOT need to be a race car running through your exit. In fact, you will have more memorable photos if you stop a couple times on the way down to kiss, dip, laugh, etc. And then at the end, try a slow kiss for that special shot!
9. Remember to buy the right venue-approved gear!
Did you know that you need special, long sparklers designated for weddings if you want them to work? Yup. Otherwise they will fizzle out too soon and be even more dangerous! AND you need to make sure you plan something that your venue approves and stage it in the right area as well. You don’t want to be responsible for burning down a venue. Instead of risking the flames, why not have a special final dance like Megan and Ben’s final glow stick dance at Walden Hall?
10. Consider a ceremony exit instead of a reception exit!
Who says the impressive exit has to be reserved for the reception? How about some bubble machines for your ceremony exit?
Have fun planning!!!!
Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding
Photographer, Baltimore Wedding Photographer and Maryland Wedding Photographer. She is also a
Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Arizona Wedding Photographer
and a Destination Wedding Photographer!