Grand Exit?

When Sister D’orsay was married we blew bubbles as they exited the church. I’d seen several couples having rose petals, bubbles, sparkles, eco-fetti, confetti, etc. thrown on them as they headed back down the aisle as well. I’d also seen photos where it looked like the couple was leaving for the night, or ones that looked like they were being announced into their reception.

Do you guys feel as though there is a set time to do this? We’re having our ceremony/reception at the same place, so I’m not sure at what point we would feel the least silly to have a “throw things in the air” type of reception. We’re also likely to use car pooling to get back, so we probably wouldn’t do it as we leave at the very end of our reception, either.

Here are a few possibilities:

Sparklers: I LOVE how these look in photos, I just have a fear of feeling like we’re on Monday Night Football, or getting burned:


Rose petals: They’re not so eco-friendly depending on where they come from. Also, I feel bad for the poor flowers who must’ve been strangled for these petals:


Eco-fetti: I worry that I’ll be picking it out of my dress the whole night:


Bubbles: Cute, but a no-go. Sister D’orsay used them and I really don’t want a single element of our weddings to overlap. Right down to the bubbles. (This is not Sister D’orsay, below)


I originally had the idea of having our guests refold the ceremony programs into paper airplanes. The more I thought about it, the more I envisioned a cardstock airplane stabbing me in the eye”¦


(I really didn’t think I’d find anyone else having done this! Then I found this shot from Weddingbee PRO Anne Ruthmann!)

So, what are you using for this moment, and when are you having it? Any advice on how this would work for a single location?


Mrs. D'orsay

Baltimore/Lancaster UK
Wedding Date:
August 2015
Down to the River to Pray
That Wedding: The Ring Ceremony
Add a comment


  1. Member
    catrelle83 292 posts, Helper bee @ 10:40 am

    Sparklers! But we’re also having an evening/night ceremony and reception, and we have a set time that we’re bookin’ it to the getaway car, so folks know when to grab and light sparklers. Also doesn’t hurt that there is a ginormous, open-365-days-a-year fireworks place 10 minutes from our venue :-)

  2. Member
    cannotwait 2168 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:51 am

    we couldn’t resist sparklers!
    my sister had birdseed, and it ended up down her dress & very uncomfortable
    I know you said ‘no bubbles’ but a friend did bubbles during their first dance, that made it seem less awkward, but instead more enchanted…something like this could work, since you aren’t having a true exit

  3. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:06 am

    I love the sparklers too but am afraid of a spark burning our clothes.

  4. Member
    jaimers45 1 posts, Wannabee @ 11:19 am

    I am getting married on the fourth of July and I really want sparklers. Does anyone know where to get the best kind for weddings. Our reception site will only allow ones with minimal spark? I don’t really know where to go about that!!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    bree72, Guest @ 11:21 am

    We used ribbon wands! Very fun in pictures, but really only useful if it is still daylight. We were married and had the reception in the same place, so we just went back inside until everyone was lined us, and then re-emerged. It worked out fine.

  6. Member
    MexicanGirl 724 posts, Busy bee @ 11:27 am

    i will love to have sparkles but it’s complicated inside a church and outside there’s not enough space… i thought on petals also but my heart hurts just thinking about that poor beheaded roses…instead, we’re doing the traditional ‘rice throwing’ while we exit church… but i’m afraid (and aware) that it will go into my eyes or my hair!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    lb_bride, Guest @ 11:36 am

    “I really don’t want a single element of our weddings to overlap. Right down to the bubbles.”

    I totally understand! My sister is getting married a few weeks before me, even though my beau and I got engaged first and we’ve had to change our wedding details so many times because she thinks “that’s a good idea! I’ll do that too!” I’m very happy for her getting married, but I wish she could’ve picked a different date. I feel like all our guests are just going to be saying, “oh. this again.” It’s hard to find unique ideas because we have such similar taste.

    I think the sparklers are a great idea, but I don’t know if you really need them to throw anything at you!

  8. taffy Member
    taffy 3081 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:42 am

    I am totally into the idea of the “grand exit”, but don’t know how to work it out since our wedding and reception is in the same place! I think we might just arrange an exit photo with the bridal party and immediate family. Also, our venue won’t let us throw anything, so that’s a bit of a puzzle. Let us know what you pick in the end! :)

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    MK, Guest @ 11:55 am

    Hi everyone! I’m a longtime lurker but first time poster. I just got married in December. My husband and I had everyone ring jingle bells as we exited the church and it turned out to be so cute! I bought some jingle bells at a craft store and then my grandmother tied them all to beautiful red ribbon. The bridesmaids and groomsmen (We had nine of each!) stood on either side of the steps to the church and everyone else stood at the bottom of the stairs and rang the bells as we exited and church and got into the limo. It was very festive and extremely fun.

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 12:04 pm

    I love the ribbon wands! We’ll be using those too :)

    D’orsay: I completely understand the sister thing. My FBIL/FSIL just got married and I cringe at the thought of hearing “this is just like ___’s wedding”.

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Erin, Guest @ 12:05 pm

    We ended up not doing anything because we were also at the same location for ceremony/reception, and we stayed until the party ended. However, friends (who also had a wedding at the same site) had bubbles as they recessed down the aisle, which was fun. The bubbles were handed out to everyone before the ceremony began. And in retrospect, we could have done something when we re-entered the reception hall after signing the marriage certificate.

    My favorite exit is with bells! That’s what we would have done!

  12. latte Member
    latte 651 posts, Busy bee @ 12:06 pm

    Miss D, I have the same dilemma. I REALLY want to use sparklers but have no idea when/how to incorporate them. A BM even gave me 6 boxes she had laying around…

  13. pinotnoir Member
    pinotnoir 799 posts, Busy bee @ 12:13 pm

    We didn’t really do anything. In fact, it never occured to me to do anything until I was writing my recaps. I like the idea of something official when exiting the church but it just seemed like a logistical nightmare for leaving the reception…

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    lyndsay, Guest @ 12:21 pm

    Do anything but sparklers! Last two weddings I have been at did them and it has made for beautiful pictures but somebody has been burned at both and several guest had sparks land on their clothes and burn holes in them. My dad’s suit jacket was ruined at my cousins wedding and a little kid accidentally burned an elderly lady with one. At the other wedding people were swinging them in the air and a spark fell in a guy’s eye. Beautiful pictures but all the guest remembered was the disaster that followed the exit.

  15. Member
    MrsCPT 240 posts, Helper bee @ 12:23 pm

    We’re having a saber arch as we leave the ceremony venue, but that is probably not helpful to most. We are also having a butterfly release when we leave the reception venue (but, shh, that’s a secret). It helps that we are leaving before sunset though. Perhaps you could do this when you are walking down the aisle after your outdoor ceremony? Local “farmers” give you regional butterflies in “packets” where they are in hibernation.

    We considered a dove release (in lieu of the arch or after the reception), but the thought of droppings on my dress made me shudder.

    I like the ideas of ribbon wands when you enter the reception too.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Natalie, Guest @ 12:31 pm

    We used silver streamer poppers (bought them in the wedding section of our local party store). All the guests have to do is push a button at the bottom and these loooooong silver mylar streams come rushing out. And the best part is the end of the streamer stays attached to the little tube that it came out of. Clean up is very easy. They make for great photos too. If you want to see just send me a quick email. :-) nsucharski at gmail dot com

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Lynn, Guest @ 12:43 pm

    I love sparklers. I dug up an old post for you about a company that makes sparklers for weddings. These don’t cast off ash

    We did birdseed at mine. It does get stuck everywhere – hair, dress, shoes, underwear, etc.

  18. Member
    Luvbug6315 425 posts, Helper bee @ 12:52 pm

    Good Post.. I’m wondering the same thing!

  19. Member
    kourtann 205 posts, Helper bee @ 12:54 pm

    We are using ribbon wands! I saw them in a photographers photo and fell in love with it. It’s something that hasn’t been done to death (in fact, i’ve never seen it in person). Plus, I found a tutorial on how to DIY the ribbon wands yourself.

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    BaghdadBride, Guest @ 12:54 pm

    We used streamer throws….so much fun. Similar idea to the ribbonswands but BIGGER! much more dramatic/better pics. And as previous poster said, clean-up is SUPER easy b/c it all stays attached. You can see pics here –

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Wolff2Be, Guest @ 1:15 pm

    @Miss Taffy: us too!! we are having our ceremony and reception in a museum so I’m not sure that our venue would really allow us to throw things at all! I don’t even think we can have our flower girls put petals in the aisle. I would love for us to have a grand exit, but maybe we will come up with something for our grand entrance as Mr. & Mrs.

    I do think the paper airplanes is a cute idea though, Miss D. :)

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Emily, Guest @ 1:58 pm

    If you do sparklers, think it through! The last wedding I went to did sparklers, but only had two people light them, so by the time they got down to the end of the line to light them the people at the front of the line had already burned out! Either give each guest several to keep them burning or some really big ones! When the bride and groom walked through we were just cheering and waving burned up sparklers!

    We used applause as we left. Didn’t cost us anything, we had nothing to get ready and we didn’t have to pick up anything afterwards. It was fantastic, and I would advise others to think about it. The pictures still look good because you can see the joy on our guests faces as we left, even though they weren’t throwing/blowing anything!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 2:13 pm

    We just…kind of…stayed. Why would you want to leave your own party early?

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    GG+SB, Guest @ 2:13 pm

    We are doing dried lavendar from packets that will be in our programs as we exit the ceremony. We’re having the ceremony in a garden so it seemed to fit. But since the reception is 25 yards away/as is the hotel walking down the isle just seemed like the only time.

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but someone used those little fuzzyballs you can buy for crafts. They used the colors of their wedding, and then if you have a picky venue you’d just had to sweep or vacuum them up with a dust buster or the such.

  25. Member
    Libellule 2 posts, Wannabee @ 2:22 pm

    How about Plantable Confetti.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Kini, Guest @ 3:01 pm

    How about during your first dance?

    We might have everyone light sparklers for our first dance.

  27. Member
    englishmuffin 128 posts, Blushing bee @ 4:37 pm

    how about good old fashioned rice? cheap and eco-friendly x

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss AsB, Guest @ 10:51 pm

    I’m loving the sparklers idea myself. We are having our wedding and reception at the same location so our grand exit will be at the end of the night. It would probably be too dark for any of the other options anyway. Hope you find something that you look forward to!

  29. espresso Member
    espresso 1308 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:49 am

    I love the sparklers ideas as well! We couldn’t have them at ours since we were in the mtns (apparently they’re a fire danger of some sort 😉 but I think they look awesome. And I would love twirling one if I were a guest

  30. Member
    nannipoo 2 posts, Wannabee @ 12:10 pm

    Check out this shop – there are so many amazing exit ideas and affordable too!

add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors