The best wedding send-off ideas.
Traditionally, when the newlyweds are leaving their reception at the end of the festivities, rice is thrown to send them on their way. But as weddings become more modern and personalized, couples are opting for more creative wedding send-off ideas. Not only that, but it’s becoming common to see a toss moment after the couple takes their first steps as husband and wife when the newlyweds leave the ceremony or even as they walk up the aisle!
Whether you are having a beach wedding, traditional church venue or are getting married in the backyard, we have the wedding send-off idea for you. By offering your guests fun wedding send-off props such as glow sticks or flower petals, this will be a fun day for both you and your guests! Read below to find the wedding send-off idea that’s right for you.
Amazing photo ops aside, the celebratory wedding exit is an age-old tradition that dates back to Roman times. (Grains were tossed at weddings to symbolize fertility—of crops and for the couple.)
If grains aren’t your thing, there are tons of other items your guests can toss (or ring or wave!) at you to send you off on your wedding night. In fact, there are two opportunities to make a grand exit—after the ceremony during the post-“I do “s recessional, or at the end of the night when you’re leaving the reception. Want the best of both worlds? Make the ceremony exit into a fun moment, then organize a grand getaway for your event’s finale.
If you’re ready to plan the ultimate wedding exit, check out our favourite send-off ideas pulled straight from real weddings. Better yet, we’ve made all the inspiration shoppable so you’ll have no trouble recreating any of the options yourselves. Yep—all the supplies you need are readily available on go-to sites like Amazon and Etsy! Prepare to say “ta-ta” in style.
A couple of tips before we begin: First, always clear your wedding send-off idea with your venue. Second, we highly recommend coordinating with your planner to pull off whatever exit idea you choose seamlessly.
Perfectly Unforgettable Wedding Send Off and Exit Ideas
When planning a wedding, there are many details to be attended to. In the whirlwind of planning, one of the most important details often gets overlooked: the grand wedding exit. The exit can consist of anything from lighting wedding sparklers to ringing cowbells. If you are searching for one-of-a-kind ideas to end your big day on a high note, you have come to the right place! Here are thirty of our favourite wedding send-off and exit ideas to make your special day extraordinary.
After months of planning, you’ve married your best friend, took a million photos with your friends and family, ate some amazing cake, and danced the night away. Now, all that’s left is the grand finale – your big wedding send-off! Wrap up your wedding in an unforgettable style that reflects your personality with inspiration from these ten creative ideas. Still, a word to the wise – an awesome wedding send-off is something you will want to remember forever, so be sure to check that you have enough coverage time with your videographer and photographer to capture this magical moment!
First, on our list, wedding sparklers are one of the most spectacular ways to make a grand exit from your wedding reception. This timeless tradition will light up the night sky, creating a magical ambience as well as beautiful photos for you to look back on for years to come.
Perfect for a wedding send off—no matter the season—bubbles will add an elegant yet playful touch to your event. In addition to looking beautiful in photos, bubbles will provide endless fun for your guests, both children and adults alike! Did we mention they don’t require any cleanup?
We love this wedding send off an idea for a fun-filled daytime event. Brightly coloured balloons will add to the festivities and create the perfect photo op for guests. Want to add a special touch? Linen Tablecloth suggests having guests attach well wishes for your future or packets of seeds that will fall to the ground and grow flowers long after your wedding day!
These dreamy lanterns have been used throughout history at festivals and celebrations in Asia. Releasing these lanterns into the starry night sky will add a romantic touch to any wedding farewell and create a beautiful backdrop for photos as they illuminate the sky. You might even have guests attach well wishes for the happy couple.
For the romantics out there, you cannot go wrong with delicate flowers or flower petals for your send-off. This classic wedding staple can easily be customized to your taste and budget. We love the way this couple created rustic paper cones for the petals, adding a decorative touch.
Personalized flags are a one-of-a-kind idea for a quirky wedding send-off. You can customize the flags to your taste, and even include your name and wedding date to create a unique wedding keepsake for guests. This is an affordable and creative exit idea that doesn’t require any clean up after the big day!
If you are planning an Autumn wedding, what could be better than incorporating the fall foliage into your grand exit? Not only do they create a seasonal backdrop for wedding photos with friends and family, but leaves are also a free and environmentally-friendly option that will not create any waste.
What could be more celebratory than departing your wedding through a sparkly tunnel of streamers? Available in a variety of colours and textures to go along with your wedding theme, streamers create a magical exit that you and your guests will not soon forget.
Setting butterflies free symbolizes new beginnings and happiness. (Just make sure to find a butterfly release company that ensures the safety of the butterflies, first and foremost). The butterflies will flutter about the new couple before flying free, making for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity and a final wedding memory you’ll never forget. “These are always so pretty, and it is a sweet way for guests to let them go with good wishes for the newlyweds.
Send doves soaring off into the sky as you and your beloved head to happily ever after. As with the butterflies, just ensure the safety of the doves comes first. Releasing doves symbolizes good fortune and prosperity, everlasting love, and peaceful home—what more could we ask for?
Toss Oversized Glitter
Why oversized? It’s easier to clean up than regular glitter, and it will show up better in your photos. Just don’t forget that this is a glitter that we’re talking about so it will stick to your skin and hair, especially if you’re a bit sweaty from a night of dancing.
You can’t go wrong with sequins if you’re looking for a super sparkly exit. Plan a sequin toss for daytime festivities or in a well-lit area as the sequins will need a source of light to refract for optimal glimmer. We recommend having a sequin or glitter toss somewhere with hard flooring (like pavement or wood) rather than grass or sand as cleanup is much easier.
Set Off Confetti Poppers
Like glitter, the confetti will explode everywhere and make for colourful pictures. There’s less sparkle and shine, but the easier cleanup. Replace a traditional confetti toss with a biodegradable version so the natural landscape surrounding your venue won’t suffer.
Toss Artificial Snow
There’s really nothing more perfect for a winter wedding exit than handfuls of artificial snow tossed on the newlyweds as they make their way to the getaway car. Of course, you can always opt for the real thing if you’ve had a falling of fresh powder on the big day, but this could turn into an all-out snowball fight. Either way, magical photos of a glistening getaway are a surefire result.
For a fall wedding, leaves are totally on-theme. As an added bonus, gathering up leaves in gorgeous autumnal hues is absolutely free (just make sure they’re completely dry and not damp). You can also add glitter to the leaves for some extra wedding shimmer, then prepare to dash off into wedded bliss amidst a flurry of golden autumnal goodness.
When Does A Bride & Groom “Send-Off” Happen?
A “Send-Off” takes place immediately following the ceremony. Traditionally, guests file through a receiving line and then gather outside of the church, or down away from the ceremony site to await the bride & groom. They then shower the bride & groom with something: rice, birdseed, confetti, bubbles, etc.
A “Formal Exit” takes place at the end of the reception. Traditionally, after the last song of the reception is played, guests usher the bride & groom off on their honeymoon. Since it is typically at night, sparklers, glow sticks, lanterns, and even fireworks are popular options to make this exit more formal & grand!
How Does A “Fake Send-Off” Work On A Wedding Day?
A “Fake Send-Off” takes place midway thru the reception. And it’s just that: a fake! The couple does not actually leave! Why would a bride & groom do this? Well, if they have a fun exit planned (with sparklers or glow sticks) and they want the majority of their guests to be present & take part, a “Fake Send-Off” can be a great option (especially if the reception is scheduled to go late into the night). Pausing midway thru the reception to “fake” a Grand Exit not only allows you to get great images with the bulk of your guests still present but it allows those who need to leave early to feel still like they completed the day & didn’t miss anything. It also means that you don’t have to book your photographer until the very end of your reception (which typically saves some money!)
No matter what you decide: having an outline of events printed in your ceremony program or on display at your reception will entice people to stay until it’s time for the Formal Exit. If your guests don’t know that a formal exit is occurring, they might not stick around!
A SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT SPARKLERS:
Sparkler exits are amazing – they are simply magical. However, please take into consideration that you are placing an extremely hot fire stick into the hands of your potentially very drunk guests. If you have an open bar at your wedding, please think thru the level of intoxication you foresee your guests reaching. Especially if you are waiting until the very end of the night (when everyone will be at their most tipsy) – sparklers have the potential to be extremely dangerous! There are boatloads of horror stories out there (a little Google searching will prove that), and the last thing you want is to end your perfect wedding day with a trip to the hospital. And unfortunately, the people who tend to be in the most danger are the bride & groom (they have to walk thru the tunnel of fire after all) and their photographer (who is usually trying to corral all of the intoxicated guests).
We’ve all seen those stunning sparkler-saturated send-off images or the shots of newlyweds riding off in a vintage vehicle toward the sunset. Still, you may not have realized that so much more goes into executing a wedding send-off than just waving goodbye and calling it a night. From ensuring your guests are in the right position to capturing the perfect lighting, if you’re planning on ending your reception with a wedding send-off, there are countless details to consider. Below, then, we’re breaking down pro tips for ensuring your goodbye moment is as Kodak-worthy as it is memorable. Read on for our top tips!
How to Execute the Perfect Wedding Send-Off
Know what your venue permits.
Some venues won’t allow for anything that could be considered a fire hazard (like sparklers), or decor items that are likely to leave behind a mess for them to clean up (like streamers or confetti). Make sure your wedding planner talks to the venue ahead of time to get a feel for what’s kosher (and what’s not) when it comes to the send-off.
Designate the send-off spot ahead of time.
Enlist the help of your wedding planner to designate the perfect wedding to send off spot ahead of time. She’ll know to talk to your DJ—and anyone else involved in the send-off—to ensure all pros are on the same page when the time comes for the send-off. After the last song, the DJ/Band should make an announcement telling everyone where to go, and your planner should already be in that spot ready to hand out the send-off items, or direct guests to the table where those are, and then let guests know where to line up.”
Use excitement to keep your guests engaged.
By the time you’re ready to execute your wedding send off, everyone may be a bit—shall we say?—boozed up. It’s important to keep their attention, and the best way to do so is by harnessing all of that playfulness and excitement that’s already in the room. Make sure you choose a DJ or band who can really play into the energy of the room and harness that energy to get all of your guests lined up and ready for the send-off in a timely manner.
As you can see, there are endless options for a memorable wedding send-off. If you decide to incorporate sparklers into your grand wedding exit, be sure to check out these creative sparkler ideas that will help you illuminate your special day in a magical way that you and your loved ones will not soon forget.