May 25, 2022
Wedding exits are the icing on the cake after your wedding day. It’s the final image your friends and family will have of you before you jet off with your new partner. As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen a ton of different types of wedding exit ideas and I’m excited to share my thoughts on each.
Sparklers are a modern but very common wedding exit idea. Gold sparklers can make for very pretty photos. If you decide to go for this idea, be sure to keep a few things in mind.
First, sparklers are very fun but they are still fireworks. Open bars and sparklers do not generally mix well. Consider how much alcohol you will be serving at your reception before getting your heart set on sparklers. Be sure to put the safety of your guests (and vendors!) first. If you really want sparklers and an open bar, think about cutting off hard liquor earlier or moving last call so guests have some time to sober up.
Alternatively, you can look into cold sparks (yes, this is a real thing) to prevent anyone – especially you! – from being burned by an errant sparkler.
Second, make sure to purchase the long, 36-inch sparklers. These generally burn for 3-5 minutes, which gives you time to make your way to the exit and gives your photographer plenty of time to capture the shot. It’s also good in case a guest decides to light their sparkler before it’s time (oops!). To make it even better, you can often run through more than once with the longer sparklers!
Confetti is a really fun and exciting way to exit your wedding. Confetti is usually very thin and therefore stays in the air longer than other materials. You can also choose between several colors (but depending on if it is day or night, you might want to consider sticking to your color palette). Here are my thought on this wedding exit idea.
The first option is to give guests confetti poppers. Confetti poppers release an explosion of confetti when pulled. They create a loud noise and can be expensive so it may not be ideal for wedding with a lot of guests.
A second option is to give guests little baggies of confetti you bought in bulk (cheaper!). Guests can easily open the bags and toss confetti as you pass.
Confetti usually looks better in photos during the day, and if you choose to exit in daylight, you can choose whatever pop of color floats your boat. On the other hand, if you exit at night, consider metallic-colored confetti so it catches the light from your photographers flash.
Some venues will not allow confetti on their grounds due to the mess. If this is the case for you, consider biodegradable confetti and see if your venue will accept the more eco-friendly, clean-up free option. (For more eco-friendly ideas for your wedding, we’ve got a post for you!)
Glow sticks have become a popular wedding exit prop in the last few years. They are relatively easy to find, inexpensive and don’t require the involvement of fire. From a photographer’s standpoint, glow sticks can be disappointing in photos. They don’t emit a ton of light and often get drown out in the flash your photographer needs to light you. However, there are creative things you can do with glow sticks like shutter drag (glow sticks are blurry but you are not) and the use of fun gels (changing the color of your flash).
As far as wedding exit ideas go, smoke bombs are definitely newer. They fall into the category of fireworks so some areas and venues cannot allow them due to city or county restrictions. Be sure to check the rules with your venue if you are considering this idea. Since each smoke bomb releases a good amount of smoke, not every guest will need one. That makes this idea cheaper than some but it also means some guests won’t get to participate as fully as others.
Smoke bombs look better in the daytime but can be accomplished at night. If you opt for colored smoke, keep your color palette in mind as the smoke will blend together in the air. For an additional twist (and some extra light), you can combine sparklers and smoke bombs.
This one is a throwback to traditional wedding exit ideas — the flower petal exit. This one can be a little tricky. Depending on the types of flowers you have, the petals may not stay airborne very long. When guests toss the petals, they can look clumped together and not floaty and soft. If you decide to go with this option, have your guests release the flower petals as you pass so your photographer can capture the petals in the air.
On the plus side, this idea is very eco-friendly!
Lavender exits can be good for the environment and smell amazing! However, similar to flower petals, lavender doesn’t stay airborne for long. Ask your planner or photographer to remind your guests to release the handfuls of lavender as you pass so you can capture it in photos.
A quirky wedding idea is the bubble exit. This classic exit works best during daylight. (If you are having a morning wedding, this one could be for you!) Bubbles don’t show up well in photos at night time and can be underwhelming in the dark. Couples often purchase small, unlabeled vials of bubbles to hand out as guests line up for the exit.
For daytime wedding exits, ribbons can be a unique idea and leave guests with a memento from your wedding day. Tie ribbons fitting your color palette to wooden dowels for guests to wave as you make your grand exit. I’ve seen couple add bells to the ribbons as well for a sound element. It can make for some really beautiful photos.
There are a ton of ways to make your wedding exit beautiful and exciting for guests. You can do modern, traditional, or totally unique. The most important thing is that your wedding exit reflect you and your partner. Choose an idea that makes you smile, gets your heart racing, or gets you excited about how the photos will turn out. I hope this list will get you started on finding what is right for you!