You’ve planned the dramatic entrance to the ceremony and the grand announcement as Mr and Mrs when you enter the reception, but have you planned for a spectacular exit?
As a previous wedding planner and photographer, I’ve attended hundreds of weddings and was surprised to find that most couples have not planned for a grand exit from the reception, a wedding tradition that seems to be going out of style, or maybe just overlooked?
I find that today’s couples don’t have a planned “send off” because they either want to stay and enjoy the party to the fullest or they stay to help clean-up. Both are valid reasons to forego the grand exit but there are alternatives to both scenarios.
We fully understand wanting to stay and party with your friends and family to the very last moment. After all, it’s not that often you get to have fun with all who are closest to you in the same place at the same time. If that’s the case, why not arrange for an after party? Or, if you are not leaving your reception until after the last guest departs in order to clean-up, why not either hire people to do that or enlist family and friends to help out? Please try to remember that even if you are hosting your own wedding and feel you have to remain at the function in order to oversee the clean-up, this day is in honor of you as a couple and this is your once in a lifetime event. Please try to leave the clean-up details to someone else.
If you decide to have a grand exit, consider having your DJ give you a 10-minute warning before they announce your “last song”. That way you have time to privately thank the people you want to thank or say goodbye to. At the same time have a friend, coordinator, or helper pull your decorated car, Limo, carriage, canoe, bicycle or whatever mode of transportation you have arranged, around to the location of your exit. Your DJ can ask your remaining guests to then join you on the dance floor for your last dance and after the dance, have the DJ ask the guests to proceed to the location of your departure. Have someone help to round up the guests (sometimes it’s hard to get people to move) and provide assistance in lining them up and providing props. In the meantime, the wedding couple can stay behind and dance one last dance with just the two of you as your guests gather at the exit location. After you have had time to reflect on the moment, walk (or run) to your transportation without stopping to talk, thank or hug. Just go.
Not only is it a great photo-op, but it’s also a way for the guests to send you off to your newly married life and a way for you to provide closure to the event.
There are many unique ways to do a grand exit; have the guests blow bubbles, ring bells, shake maracas, light sparklers, hold balloons, or wave streamers on sticks. The creative and unique ideas are endless and don’t have to be complex to be beautiful or festive.
Also, and most important, always ask the venue what is allowed and please abide by the rules. As a previous venue manager, I can tell you from personal experience that having to use a toothpick to pick confetti out of rock walkways can make for some very cranky venue personnel 🙂