The wedding send-off is one of the most EXCITING parts of your celebration. All your friends and family lined up to see you off on your way to your honeymoon. Everyone’s cheering and dancing. Probably even a lil drunk at this point (; It’s the last part of this day that you’ve spent a year (maybe more) planning. Take it all in as you run down the aisle to your decorated car.
What do you envision when you picture this final moment? If you want some inspiration, you’re in the right place. I’ve photographed about 100 weddings and have seen lots of fun ideas for send-offs. Here are some of my favorites:
One of the great things about flower petal send-offs is that flower petals are biodegradable! Have your guests make 2 lines, and as you and your partner run down the aisle at the end of the night, they toss the flower petals in the air! This is a great send-off idea for Spring and Summer weddings!
Quick tip: Have your guests start throwing the petals before you pass them, because if they wait til you’re right in front of them, you’ll be far ahead by the time their petals start to fall!
Sparkler exits are a classic – and for good reason too! One thing I love about sparkler exits is that most of the time, the exit is happening after dark, so the sparklers add lots of light, helping with the photos!
I have 3 main tips for sparkler exits: 1. Get the LONG lasting sparklers. You will need them. If you use the short ones, half of them tend to be burned out before everyone’s are even fully lit. 2. Don’t start lighting the sparklers until the couple is READY TO GO. If the sparklers get lit before the couple is ready, they’ll be all burned out before the couples starts their exit. 3. Have multiple lighters to light the sparklers. Light every 5th or so sparkler, then have the guests help light each others’.
Bubbles are another really fun send off that I especially love in the Summer! Once again, have your guests make 2 lines and begin blowing their bubbles BEFORE you pass them to make sure there are bubbles all around you and not just behind you!
Slip N’ Slide
If you want a fun, creative exit, this is the one for you! Set up a long, white slip-n-slide and have your guests line either side and cheer as you and your partner run and sliiiide to your getaway car! Your guests will love this one!
Jumping in the Pool
This is another one of my favorites. At the end of the night, gather up your bridal party and you all jump in the pool! This is such a fun one that also engages your closest friends and family.
Ribbon wands are a really easy send-off! Simply have your guests make 2 lines and wave the wands as you and your partner run down! This one is mess-free which makes clean up at the end of the night easier.
Glow sticks are a really fun send-off idea for after dark! You can wear them around your neck and arms and have your guests wave them up and down as you exit! This makes for really fun photos.
You could hand out confetti cannons to some of your friends, or give everyone a handful to toss as you as you run down the aisle! One thing to note about confetti is that it’s really difficult to clean up and a lot of venues don’t allow it. If you’re doing an outdoor send off, you can make confetti out of leaves so its biodegradable!
Smoke bomb send-offs are another creative exit! All it takes is about 2 of the grenades. I’ll link the ones I recommend here. I recommend placing these at the very back of your send off line, one on either side. Then you run through the smoke and down the aisle to your car!
Cheering / Tunnel
If you don’t want to worry about using any props for your send off, a really simple send-off that’s still fun is simply having your guests make 2 long lines. They can either reach up their arms and make a tunnel for you to run through, or they can simply cheer as you make your exit.
Lavender or Rice Toss
This is another common send-off idea that’s pretty easy! Simply give your guests a small bag of rice or lavender to toss at you and your partner as you run down the aisle!
Picture Rapunzel and the floating lights. Have your guests send off lanterns as you make your exit. This one is really pretty, but can be hard to execute. I recommend practicing beforehand so there’s a few people in the wedding who can help others do it properly. And make sure you’re in an open area where the lanterns won’t catch or land on anything life roofs or power lines.
Balloons are a great idea for a send-off that isn’t dark yet! Hand each of your guests a helium balloon (I recommend white or your wedding colors) and they simply hold the balloons and cheer as you make your exit. You can even include confetti in this exit too! Don’t have your guests release the balloons because not only is it bad for the environment, but also, if they let the balloons go, there won’t be any balloons in your exit photos!
If it’s dark out when you do your exit, a great alternative to regular balloons is LED balloons! These make for such fun photos! Once again, have your guests make their 2 lines and hold the LED balloons while you run down the aisle!
Silly string is another fun exit – especially for summer weddings. Your guests love to be involved in your exit, so this is a great one for that! Have your guests blast you with silly string as your make your getaway to your car!
Fireworks / Sparkler Fountains
Fireworks are SO FUN. You could quite literally launch fireworks into the sky behind you, or you could have sparkler fountains which have a very similar effect as fireworks. If you want sparkler fountains at your wedding, I recommend hiring DJ PBaby.
Lighted Fiber Optic Wands
If glow sticks and ribbon wands had a baby, it would be this. These are a great idea for send-offs after dark. The movement of the wands makes a really cool effect in photos!
Bonus Send-Off Tips
Ever heard of a fake send-off? Let’s say you’ve chosen a venue that is also providing your stay for you and your guests or family. In this case, you won’t actually be leaving the venue at the end of the night. Or, perhaps you’ll be partying til midnight, but don’t want to pay your photographer to be there that long. You could do a fake send-off! We treat a fake send-off like the real deal, except that you go back to partying after!
A few of the great things about fake send-offs are that it’s usually lighter outside still, your guests aren’t totally drunk yet so it tends to be safer, and you’ll have more guests present! By the end of the night, a lot of people have left. So doing an earlier fake send off allows you to share this moment with more people, save money with your photographer, and be safer overall!
And finally, if you want to get the most out of your send-off photos, remember that it’s okay to run down the aisle (c’mon, you’re excited!!), but don’t full on SPRINT. I like to tell my couples to do more of a jog or dance down the aisle! Take your time and take it all in because this is the last moment of your wedding day! And then, stop and kiss halfway down the aisle, and then again at the very end! This will get you some beautiful photos to end the night on.
Leave-No-Trace and Be Safe!
Whatever type of send-off you do, it’s important to practice leave-no-trace, respect the rules of your venue, and make sure that the send-off you choose is safe for your environment!
If you’re still looking for a photographer for your wedding, inquire with me here! I provide LOTS of resources for my couples (like this blog) to help them get the most out of their wedding day!