A wedding without a send-off is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly - delicious, but not quite living up to its full potential. All jokes aside, the send-off has been around for many centuries across many cultures. As a symbol of good fortune and prosperity of the marriage, wedding guests would shower the couple with grains at the end of the ceremony. While the contents of the ceremonious toss have changed throughout history, the meaning behind it remains the same. To help you sift through all the modern options out there, we've put together this list of unforgettable things for your guests to toss, ring, or wave to celebrate your new life together as a married couple.
Make sure to delegate someone to instruct the guests on what the plan is. Some of these exit ideas rely on uniformity to look their best while others are meant for chaos.
Paper Airplanes //
We're starting the list off strong with one of the most unique ideas we've seen yet - paper airplanes! Because paper doesn't give off light like some of these other options, we highly recommend doing this inside in a well-lit area OR choosing a photographer/videographer with the proper gear and knowledge to be able to capture this exit in all it's glory. To do this, have pre-folded airplanes handed out as guests line up, make the tunnel 15-20ft wide, and tell the guests to cheer as you come out and lob the planes over your head when you and your spouse kiss. Alternatively, you can have your guests cheer and toss them as you run past, but to get the look where the space above you and your partner is full of planes, try to get them to do it at the same time.
If you're looking for an exit that doubles as a late night snack, think about using popcorn as a wedding exit! About halfway through the night, have a popcorn station set up and get to poppin'. The smell alone is sure to drive those hungry dancers to grab a popcorn box. (This is also a great opportunity to get personalized popcorn boxes for a cheap, unique wedding favor people can use again.) Have a bunch of pre-cooked popcorn guests can fill their buckets up with as they line up and have them cheer and toss as you and your partner run through to end the night! It's simple, bio-degradable, and perfect for photos!
For the wedding venues that banned wedding sparklers or for the couple that don't trust their guests around fire, bubble exits are becoming increasingly popular! Due to the soapy film that creates the bubble, they look really pretty under the direct light of flash photography. They're cheap, mess-free, and make for a beautiful send-off. Not much instruction is required with this exit. Simply hand each of your guests a bubble bottle as they line up and tell them to start blowing! The more bubbles they can make, the better the photos and videos.
Pom Poms/Wedding Ribbons //
Another mess-free send-off idea is wedding ribbon. Wedding ribbon comes in many forms, but it's usually a string of white or pink ribbon attached to a stick. Because the guests aren't physically tossing anything, a tighter tunnel makes for fuller photos and videos. For a more fun/creative look, hand out decorated pom-poms. We've seen couples go as far as to offer rivaling football team pom-poms for guests to choose and flaunt their team colors. Cheap, easy, fun!
Herbs & Flowers //
A timeless take on a timeless event! Tossing herbs and flowers is a great way to fill the air with great smells and respect the earth as well. We love this option because it gives you the freedom to customize your wedding exit even mor by gathering all your favorite scents and dried flowers, fill a biodegradable cone, and hand them out as the guests leave. Tell your guests to toss the contents of the cone high as you run through for a rainy shower of flowers and herbs! You'd think it goes without saying, but make sure to tell the guests not to throw the cones. Only the items inside the cone. Some of our favorite fills are lavender, rosemary, and sage!
Streamers & Confetti //
A lot of couples drastically underestimate how affordable wedding confetti and streamers really are. With the vast amount of options out there, there are a couple of different ways to approach this. If you go the confetti cannon route, try opting for a biodegradable option to help with the cleanup and only hand out a handful of cannons while having the rest of the guests just cheer as you run or possible give them sparklers to hold. Most cannons on the market are chock-full of confetti, so each guest having their own is overkill. For a more inclusive option, there are handheld, spring-loaded streamers on the market that stay attached to the cannon. While this isn't biodegradable, you can have all your guests simply throw away their cannon at the end of the exit for an easy cleanup.
Lightsaber & Wands //
We are all about making weddings uniquely YOU! For those into some of the cult classics, try incorporating that into your exit with a lightsaber or harry potter wand exit. Just like with regular wedding sparklers, have your guests form an arch and cheer as you run through!
Saber Arch //
This one is reserved for our military couples and typically used after the ceremony instead of as an end of night send off. A saber arch is a tradition where swords are used to salute the newlyweds. The head usher commands the fellow ushers to "draw swords," upon which they hold up the blades to form an arch for the couple to pass under. Not all military personnel are allowed this honor, but for those that are permitted, it's a beautiful way to end a wedding ceremony.
As we get closer to the end of our last, these last three exit ideas are about as extravagant as they come. Fireworks are a great way to end the night with a bang! After the last song, ask all your guests to head outside and stand 5-10 feet in front of them to set ourselves apart in the photos, sit back, and enjoy the show! At some point during the finale, your wedding photographer should give you the cue to kiss for the most amazing photo opportunity of the night! We cannot stress enough the importance of hiring a licensed pyrotechnic who has experience with weddings when choosing this option. You drunk Uncle Larry is not a qualified option!
Cold Sparklers //
We promised we weren't going to include sparklers in this list because there's not much unique about them anymore, but we believe cold sparklers are the exception. These "sparks" are generated with electricity and have no heat to them. You could feasibly hold your hand right over the source without any injury! This is unlike wedding sparklers where guests have suffered up to third degree burns due to misuse and carelessness. Whether you have one on each side of the aisle or maybe a unit right behind you, this option is sure to light up the exit and make for a classy send-off no one will forget!
Second Line Parade //
This is for all of our NOLA couples or for those who just love parades! A second line signifies the start of a new beginning for the bride and groom. A brass band leads the couple, the wedding party, and the guests from the ceremony to the reception while playing upbeat rhythm and blues. The couple usually leads with decorated parasols and the guests join in with handkerchiefs and cocktail napkins in hand. The energy from these type of parades are unmatched! Masks, dancing, and laissez-faire attitudes are happily accepted for this send-off!
There are no wrong answers when planning your wedding exit. Choose something that defines you and your partner without worrying about what your guests think. If none of these modern options fit your style, try something more traditional like rice or birdseed! At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is the memories made with all of your loved ones as they celebrate you and your spouse. If you're looking for a wedding photographer and videographer in North Florida that has experience with all types of exits, head on over to our contact page to get in touch and hear more about how much we love what we do!