January 26, 2024

If you are deep in the details of planning your wedding, lets take a second to breathe, relax, and fast forward  all the way to your wedding day. You are in your dress, you say your “I do’s”. Up to this point everything else has gone swimmingly. Now you are at your reception, you are now waiting to walk out the doors for your grand exit. You see through the glass doors the two rows of people who love you and celebrate you and your spouse’s big day. You think about what your grand exit is going to look like and you begin to get jittery. It’s time for you to walk out and greet those people. This blog post is for you to own your wedding reception's grand exit.

The first thing you need to know before everything happens is what kind of exit you are doing. We have seen so many kinds of props used for exits: streamers, confetti, rose petals, glowsticks, bubbles and most commonly sparklers. Each one creates a unique image. Knowing which one you are going to use and discussing it with your photographer before the wedding day will ensure that they are ready for any surprises that may come their way. This foreknowledge gives them time to prepare and plan in order to capture your vision for the exit.

The second thing is, if you are using a prop, make sure you have more than enough of that item so that no matter if you have 30 people at your exit or all 300, everyone can have at least one. This also helps the photo and the video since the image and footage will appear more full with more of your preferred exit item. Obviously, you can’t control how many people are at your grand exit. However, one way to circumvent this is to do a faux grand exit about an hour or an hour and a half before the actual ending of your wedding. Doing a faux exit will allow those wedding guests who may have to leave early to still celebrate the last scheduled event of your wedding day.

Thirdly, have your coordinator or photographer tell guests when to light up the sparklers or begin to set up the exit props. The worst thing is to be in the middle of your private last dance when someone has to come rushing in to tell you the sparklers are going out (Trust us, this has happened to us a couple times). If someone comes and coordinates the timing, even if your guests may have had a little too much to drink, the resulting pictures turn out beautifully. Working with your coordinator or photographer can also help to avoid some overly inebriated guests from getting in the way of the perfect moment.

Lastly, do the thing. While you are doing it, have some fun. It is supposed to be a fun time. However, depending on lighting setup and how the cameras cooperate (often in darker environments they have a hard time focusing on the subject), the photographer may ask you to go through it a couple of times. Do not let this upset you. They want to capture the moment as best as they can with the limited resources available, while understanding your sparklers may not last as long as they want. So strut on through that tunnel of people that love you and be ready for the big kiss in the middle. Hold it for a couple of seconds so that the photographer can properly capture the kiss. If a dip happens, make sure that the groom dips the bride perpendicular to the camera so that the photographer can get the whole dip.

These tips are to help you own the grand exit. The hope is that you enjoy the last part of your big day and it happens and is captured the way you imagined it. But more than anything, have fun with it! As the last part of one of the biggest days of your life, it is time to celebrate with those that you love, with the person you love the most, and the grand exit is the farewell to one part of your lives, but the entrance into a brand new adventure together!

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