12 Exit Ideas for Your Wedding!
Updated: Oct 12
Join any local facebook group focused on weddings and couples and once a week you’re likely to see the age old question. “Does anyone have any exit ideas for my wedding? Besides sparklers?” For a host of reasons you’ll see this question but the two main reasons we see are: 1) The venue will not allow it or 2) You have pretty much settled on sparklers, but just wanted to see if there were any other ideas out there you haven’t thought of already. Okay 3) You wanted to be different, nothing wrong with any of these. We see this question often enough, we figured it would be a good idea to compile a quick list of the most popular options we’ve seen couples use during our careers. Having shot over 400 weddings in the last 6 years with our team, we can definitely say, sparkers are by far the most popular option for your wedding exit, hands down. There’s nothing wrong with going with this option. They make for great photos, and the atmosphere they create with the light smoke is always fun. For anyone who decides to stick with the sparkler exit route, here are 3 tips to make sure everything runs efficiently and smoothly.
Tip 1: Make sure your planner, coordinator, or venue has a small blow torch to light your sparklers. We’ve seen a number of venues utilize a blow torch vs a lighter and it is sooo much more efficient in getting all of your guest's sparklers lit before you make your way through the aisle of sparklers. If it’s slightly windy or wet, a blow torch is a must! We’ve seen it take 10-15 minutes just to get all the sparklers lit for large weddings using a regular lighter.
Tip 2: If you have the option, get the bigger sparklers. One of thing things we’ve seen happen (and this goes back to tip #1) if it takes too long to get all of your sparklers lit, and you’ve opted to go with the small 30 - 1 minute second sparklers, there’s a good chance half of your guests' sparklers will burn out before you make your exit.
Tip 3: Last but not least, make sure you’re in place for your exit. If you have a good coordinator/planner they will take care of this, but for a lot of DIY weddings, we’ve seen couples get caught up trying to manage last minute end of the day things, and believe it or not, we have seen people miss their own sparkler exit because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Alright, so if you’re still interested in a sparkler exit alternative or your venue says you can’t do sparklers, here are some of the most popular options we’ve seen below!
They are usually very affordable. We’ve never seen any issues with set up or people being confused on how to use them. The only knock on glow sticks I will say from experience is they can be a little dull depending on the size and the ambient light situation, etc. This is something your photographer will ultimately need to adjust to, but our tip would be if you have the option, get big glow sticks! They show up better in photos and with the right approach they can create a fun motion blur lighting up your exit in a fun colorful way!
This option has become even more popular for recessionals from the ceremony but on occasion we have seen them used for a grand exit as well. A lot of venues may not allow one of these options so double check your contract or touch base with your venue contact beforehand to confirm.
This option is probably more for the star wars fans but we’ve seen it twice and it was a huge hit for those couples. If you’re not a star wars fan, think of it as a giant glow stick. Not insanely popular, but we have seen it and it is a sparkler alternative
This is probably the most popular sparkler alternative we have seen in the last few years and bubbles can make for a super fun exit on your wedding day!
Yes like the ones you see cheerleaders use. Pick some that compliment your wedding colors and rock it out for your exit! Simple, clean, and no mess to pick up later!
Another cool alternative we’ve seen for wedding exits is are ribbons. Usually we see them attached to a small stick, and we’ve also seen them with bells for noise as well. If you shake them fast and have your guests go crazy upon your exit, it makes for a fun and festive exit!
This is another fun option for your exit and done correctly it can make for some super cool exit photos! Our personal favorite in this category are the streamers that are attached to the tube they come from. They pop out like normal poppers/streamers but they are a little longer and given the fact that they are attached to the tube, there’s no ground clean up required. Simply pop them, and then pull them back up!
While we haven’t personally shot a cell phone exit, we have seen this option in other wedding blogs and features and this can be a simple easy way to light up your exit! It’s free and you can almost guarantee every guest at your wedding will have one!
Additional Sparkler Alternatives (…..not likely allowed at venues that don’t allow sparklers)
One of the coolest exit options for your wedding is a firework show! NOTE: This may not be something your venue can accommodate depending on their location. The few venues we’ve seen do this for their couples are usually in very rural areas. Bonus tip! If you can do fireworks with a combination of sparklers it’s the best of both worlds!
Smoke bombs can be a touchy subject, but they can make for epic wedding exits! If your venue won’t allow sparklers, they almost certainly won’t allow smoke bombs, but if they do, talk to your photographer about creating a fun smoke bomb exit!
We’ve seen these used several times for weddings but we haven’t actually shot one. They are amazing and they are exactly what they sound like. Think of it as a giant fountain/canon sitting on the ground shooting sparklers straight into the air. These are very impressive and can be a fun way to exit on your special day!
With the rate of new options constantly innovating the way we do things, there’s a good chance we may have overlooked something or there may be something new we’re not aware of yet. With this being said, these are the most popular wedding exit options and ideas we regularly see! No matter what you end up going with, we hope your exit is awesome!