It’s easy to jump into planning the beginning of your wedding day, but the ending of your wedding day is a thought that comes later. I’m sure you’ve been to weddings with varying exits, from Sparklers to Bubbles, Glow Sticks to Ribbon Wands. You’ve probably even experienced a “faux exit” at this point in the wedding game. (If you haven’t, a faux exit is literally what it sounds to be. A pretend exit, done mainly for pictures. The couple typically returns to the reception following this exit, while photography & videography often conclude their hours of coverage.)
The Faux Exit is a great option for those wanting to do an exit from the reception for the sake of pictures, especially night time sparkler exits, but they aren’t ready to shut the party down and the photography/videography coverage they purchased just won’t get them to the end of the night. Some couples will treat this “Round 2” of the reception like the “after-party”, and continue on with those that want to stay out later. I really like faux exits because they create an “end” for the guests that don’t want to stay too late into the night (especially if there’s a drive involved), but they also want to experience all the traditional (or non-traditional) “moments” of your reception.
It’s not for everyone though. For some couples, the faux exit is just that. Too faux. And they’d rather extend time, or reprioritize their photography timeline to make sure they can do the exit when they truly intend to leave. No “Round 2” or after-party here, or at least not with everyone.
Enter the Alternate Exit. I remember watching old black and white movies with my mom growing up. She loved those types of movies, and in all the ones that included marriage, guests would toss rice as the couple exited the church or courthouse. First, let me say, I am not advocating the use of rice. Let’s protect our birds. What I am advocating for is a “Ceremony Exit”. You (a.k.a. your coordinator or whoever is doing your setup) provides your guests with the article or object you want them to use (whether that be to toss at you or wave) as you make the walk down the aisle as a married couple. These could be left on the seats, ready for your guests as soon as they sit down, or even passed out as they enter the venue.
The first wedding I witnessed this at was Christina and Trevor’s. They knew that their reception was going to be more than just a “reception.” It was going to be an epic party. And it was. I’ll be honest, I have no idea how late the party lasted after we headed out. Christina didn’t like the idea of a “faux exit” and didn’t want to end their reception early only for the sake of photos, so the “ceremony exit” was the perfect alternative. They provided guests with rose petals to toss at them as they made their walk down the aisle, and as far as non-sparkler exits go — this has been my favorite exit to date.