How to Make an Unforgettable
— By Lorna Urwin
02 February 2017
After the vows have been said and a pronouncement made - or after the revelry of the reception is over - it’s fitting to give your guests the opportunity to mark your first steps into married life with a suitably festive send off. Follow the tips below to make your exit in style!
Plan for practicality
Image by Rensche Mari
You want your exit to be unforgettable for the right reasons – not because something went awry! Be sure to sort the practical stuff first and foremost:
- Check with your venue for any restrictions on what you can use.
- If anything will be left behind, have a cleanup plan and the right tools (dustpans, sweeping brushes) on hand.
- Offer clear instructions on what will happen and when.
- Have helpers available and well equipped to assist and/or hand out items to guests. For sparklers, don’t forget to have plenty of lighters on hand so that people can light them more or less simultaneously.
For end of the night reception exits:
- Ensure all the required vendors are aware what time things will wrap up. The DJ or band will need to know when to play your chosen ‘last dance’ song, the MC or coordinator to signal guests that you’ll be leaving and help corral them into position by the door and the photographer to enable him or her to get into position.
- Have someone check your means of transport is waiting outside. It may sound obvious, but an exit is much less effective if the couple isn’t able to go anywhere once the well wishes are over!
Get showered with love
Image by Lena Kozhina
Showering the bride and groom with a flurry of confetti, rice or equivalent is a truly jubilant send off! Not only is this fun and incredibly photogenic, it has symbolic meaning too. Historically the tradition of scattering rice or wheat symbolized a wish for prosperity and fertility for the happy couple.
Wheat and rice are still perfectly good options – contrary to popular myth rice is not harmful to birds, although it’s definitely one of the trickier items to clean up! But there are so many memorable alternatives, too:
Whether projected from poppers or tossed from packets, paper confetti is a classic. Bonus points for using biodegradable, earth friendly options.
An original, slightly quirky alternative toss! Paper planes pair especially well if your wedding is travel themed.
Images by Jose Villa Photography and Depict Photography
Delicate and romantic, petals are a great choice for the natural yet elegant bride. As a bonus, they look just as beautiful carpeting the ground as they do in the air.
Lavender, rosemary, thyme, mint, eucalyptus leaves
Another natural approach to the toss exit, dried herbs or other fragrant leaves used alone or in combination make for a unique and sweet-smelling exit. These are also the perfect candidates for a DIY confetti bar, (one of the hottest trends for 2017!).
Images by Sandoval Studios Photography and Andrea Dozier
Autumn leaves or leaf cutouts
Best used for autumn weddings, using leaves from the ground is a wonderfully green (and free!) option for tossing. If you have the prep time to do it, using novelty hole punches in the shapes of hearts or flowers to cut shapes out of leaves makes these look a little more festive.
No cleanup (venue permitting) and good for wildlife? There’s nothing not to like about using birdseed!
Image by Dixie Pixel Photo
If your venue isn’t keen on confetti (or you don’t relish the idea of having things thrown at you) there are plenty of other options that will deliver that unforgettable exit.
Kit your guests out with small bubble makers for instant atmosphere with nothing to clean up after! Add in a bubble machine for extra power.
Ribbons attached to dowel rods might sound simple, but it can look wonderfully colourful and festive! Combine with bells or other musical accompaniments (maracas, even kazoos) to give a fun, carnival feel.
Image by Dixie Pixel Photo
As far as evening exits go, it doesn’t get much more magical than sparklers! Don’t forget to be vigilant with sparks, though – dresses have been known to get damaged from them.
For a similarly luminous option but without the spark hazard, glow sticks are a funky and colourful alternative!