The Grand Exit – Part One

The grand exit… what a great way to end your wedding celebration with a bang! While some couples may choose not to have a grand exit and just slip out at the end of the night with the last of their guests, many are looking for cool and unique (not to mention photo-worthy!) ways to leave their wedding. Although the days of throwing rice may be over, the options for what guests will toss, hold or wave during the bride and groom’s exit are endless! Choosing what your guests will use during the grand exit may seem like a no-brainer (“I’ll just have everyone wave sparklers!”), there is some planning that needs to go into your grand exit plan.

Sparklers – Chavvon & Larissa Photography

First, you should find out from your reception venue what items are permitted (or more importantly, prohibited) for a grand exit.  Some venues will not allow certain items, such as sparklers or confetti, so make sure you find out if there are any restrictions before purchasing your items. Although sparklers are really popular for grand exits, they are technically considered fireworks and are prohibited within Dallas and Fort Worth city limits. Even though your venue may allow them, if the Fire Marshall just happens to pay a visit during your event, you (not the venue) could be fined as much as $2,000, so just make sure this is a risk you are willing to take.

Glow sticks – Roe & White Photography

You should also consider the ease of clean up for the items you’ve selected. While picking up glowsticks at the end of the night might be easy (especially if guests take them with them when they leave), items like streamers or confetti certainly require more manual labor to clean up. And speaking of, who will be responsible for cleaning up after the grand exit? You certainly don’t want to assume that the venue handles the clean up, only to find out there is an extra fee or that they don’t do it at all! Make sure you know the venue’s expectations so you can plan accordingly.

Streamers – Celina Gomez Photography

In addition to sparklers, glow sticks and streamers, Hitched Events couples have also used bubbles, confetti, rose petals and even water guns for their grand exits! Regardless what you choose, a couple’s grand exit is sure to make for some great photos!

Bubbles (with small bubble machines assisting) – Tim Watson Photography

Flutterfetti – The Mamones

Water guns – Holland Photo Studio

Rose petals – Helmut Walker Photography

Keep in mind that around 25%-30% of your guests will depart before the end of the reception, so you likely won’t need one item for every guest. Of course, this percentage will vary from wedding to wedding, but just keep in mind that you can cut back a little from your overall guest count when making a grand exit item purchase.

When planning your grand exit, timing is everything… this is especially true if you plan on using sparklers! Make sure all of your guests are in place before your grand exit and that items have been distributed to each guest so they are ready to throw, wave or hold when the time comes. If you are using sparklers, be sure to have designated people helping to light the sparklers. (Of course, if you are working with a wedding planner, they will handle all these details for you!) A Hitched Events tip for sparklers: Start by lighting a few sparklers in the middle of the crowd and then use those lit sparklers to light the others. Not only are sparklers easier to light from another sparkler, but by starting in the middle, guests can light each others’ sparklers down the line towards each end, cutting the lighting time in half!  

Having a grand exit is not only a wonderful way for your guests to play a role in your wedding, but it also puts a solid ending to the festivities. There’s certainly no mistaking that the event has come to an end when guests are ushered outdoors to form a tunnel for the bride and groom to go through!

You’ve seen some ideas on how to get your guests involved with your grand exit, but how are you going to leave your venue? Check back later this week when we’ll discuss different transportation methods to whisk you away from your wedding!




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