13 Ways to Leave Your Wedding Reception

A sparkler send-off at a wedding reception.

One of the things most couples fail to think about when planning their wedding is the end of the reception. This makes sense, since so much focus goes into the ceremony and content of the actual party. However, making a grand exit has become more popular over recent years, and it’s definitely a detail that’s not to be overlooked. There are many creative and memorable ways to exit your reception and allow guests to do a “send-off” as your celebration draws to a close. These also make for a great photo op, so think again about letting your photographers leave early from your event if you go with any of these ideas.

1. Sparklers

Using sparklers as you exit your reception is a popular choice, but for good reason! Have someone instruct wedding guests to create a line along the path of your exit so they can wave their sparklers as you make your way out of the venue toward your getaway car. You’ll always remember this glowing end to your party and it makes for great photos.

2. Paper Airplanes

Have your guests get creative during your reception and fold paper airplanes so they can throw them as you walk out of your celebration. You can also have these custom-made. Another great idea is to hand out pre-made paper airplanes as seating cards.

3. Glow Sticks

Especially if your event ends late in the evening, glow sticks make for a fun exit for you and your guests alike. You can have your DJ or band throw these out into the crowd during dancing and ask guests to bring them outside of the venue with them for your exit.

4. Paper Lantern Send-Off

A wedding reception send-off of paper lanterns.

A paper lantern send-off is one of the most picturesque and special ways to make the end of your wedding reception special. As you exit, allow your guests to send lanterns off into the sky with you. You can ask them to make a wish for you as a couple as they send their lantern soaring into the night sky. However, make sure to check local laws as far as these lanterns go because not all cities and states allow them.

5. Sprinkles

An option that’s not only colorful but also economically friendly is to have your guests toss sprinkles as you walk out of your reception. These are easy to obtain and are inexpensive to buy in bulk. Talk about a sweet exit!

6. Cheer Pom Sticks

Got a favorite sports team you love as a couple? Show that passion by having your guests shake cheer pom sticks in those colors as you exit your reception.

7. Beach Balls

If your wedding is on the coast or has a beach theme to it, have some mini inflatable beach balls that guests can toss and volley as you make your big walk out. This is fun and will complement the theme perfectly.

8. Flags

Have buckets of festive flags for guests to grab as they line up to wish you goodnight and congratulations one last time. These can say fun phrases like, “Hooray!” or “Cheers to the new Mr. & Mrs.” Flags are fun to DIY or can be custom ordered.

9. Confetti

A bride and groom leaving their wedding reception as guests throw colorful confetti.

Nothing says “party!” quite like confetti. Have guests throw this colorful and festive paper into the air as you make your exit. You can give out little packets of this material or spring for confetti bombs, which are like push-pops that spit out a burst of confetti.

10. Bells

If you’re looking for something that gets guests revved up, have your guests shake bells. This will create a cool sound for you to leave your reception to. These can be bunches of small “wedding bells,” larger cow bells, or even jingle bells—perfect for a December wedding!

11. Instruments

Allow your guests to express their musical talents with some instruments as you walk out of the big day! Tambourines, maracas, or even kazoos can create a melody for you to exit to.

12. Silly String

Looking to make a bit of a mess (in a fun way)? Silly String makes for a playful exit that your guests will absolutely love!

13. Birdseed

If your exit is taking place outdoors, have your guests do something great for the flying friends around the area. Hand out birdseed for everyone to throw as you make your grand exit and these creatures will be feasting for days to come.

As all eyes are on you in these last few moments of your big day, make a splash with one of these fun and unique exit ideas.

Find Amazing Vendors