Here are 15 unique ideas for the grand finale of your wedding day. I’ll also share 3 tips you should keep in mind no matter what sort of special exit you plan for your wedding day.
Do I Even Need One?
If you are considering whether you even want a send-off, I highly recommend them. It helps structure the night and keeps guests excited for what’s next. The pictures of your send-off (assuming your photographer stays till the end) are the last ones in your gallery, the final page of the story of your wedding day. Don’t leave this to chance, plan ahead for an amazing finish.
Here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing. Use one of these, or come up with something unique to you and your fiancé!
3 Main Categories of Send Offs
There are three categories of send offs – experiences, props, and transportation. You can do one or a combo of the three.
Send Off Transportation
Let’s start with special transportation. If you love fairytale endings, or horses, or New Orleans, consider a mule-drawn royal carriage.
If you like the idea of a nice car whisking you away, but also want to be frugal, go Uber Black.
For a vintage, classic look hire a Rolls Royce for the job.
If you’re in the city, you like simple, but picturesque, pedicab may be your mode of choice. Sparkly tennis shoes are a nice touch, BTW!
If you own a motorcycle, that’s pretty cool too.
If you’re the adventurous type, game for a bigger thrill, you’ll love this. It’s not practical everywhere, but we have an event venue onsite at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport and they offer a helicopter exit for newlyweds. There’s a viewing deck for the guests to watch the couple take flight right outside the venue. It’s not as expensive as I expected, and you can’t beat the wow factor!
An interesting getaway vehicle is a sendoff in and of itself but combine it with a prop to get the crowd involved.
Although tipsy guests with fireworks have made me a little uneasy from time to time, I cannot deny the romance of a sparkler exit. Guests really love sparklers, and with a little choreography and planning, the pictures are “on fire”😉.
Another option in the fireworks department is colored smoke. They sell these in a much safer version than the ones you have probably lit on New Year’s Eve or Independence Day. The colors are endless, and ya know smoke bombs are … the bomb.
For a no hassle, no burn risk, no clean up option, consider streamers! They are now being made where the streamer actually stays attached to the launcher, so no mess. Plus they’re exstreamly fun. (Sorry I’m in a punny mood.)
For more mess, consider confetti. Flutterfetti is a brand that makes biodegradable confetti that shakes out of a small wand. I’m a big fan of the stuff. I think I’m leaning towards color confetti, especially for a post reception send off.
Send Off Experiences
If you want to kick it up another notch, match your prop and transportation with a full out experience.
Second line parades are something we’ve discussed in our NOLA Wedding Traditions video. Beyond a great tradition, they also can serve as a send off. To make this work as a send off, have the brass band enter the venue, circle the dance floor 2-3 times, and then lead a parade. Many people have the parade end at their hotel block or favorite bar for an after party. We had a couple second line into a sparkler exit and then Uber Black to her hotel. It was good.
If you have some extra cash in your budget, and I get it many of you just lol’d. But if you do, hire a firework production company for a 3-5 minute firework show at the end of the night. It is truly a gift to your guests.
If you have a favorite type of music, that is a little different bring them in for the last 15 minutes and have them lead your guests out. This is probably the highest energy option. Drumlines are my favorite so far.
If you’re a sports fan, make your exit all about it. Play your fight song, or the team hype song. Get flags and poms and have your guests line up. We even had a couple with a run through sign. It turned out to be too cute to destroy, but now I’m waiting for a couple to do a legit run through.
I promised some insider tips for every send off, so here you are.
Send offs take choreography and coordination. Do not attempt anything complex without someone to coordinate. That’s not one of the tips, just a precursor to the tips…
Announce or post the send off plans early. This allows all the guests to be prepared for what time the reception ends and ensures they don’t miss the good stuff.
Make sure your emcee has specific instructions on how to announce the send off. If there is a surprise element, write a script for what he needs to say/not say. Make sure you a lot enough time to actually end the wedding on time even with the send off plans. You want the necessary professionals to be in present.
Parents or closest family and friends should be closest to the exit vehicle so you can kiss them farewell as you leave. This is that little moment that if planned for has a big memory attached to it. Tap here for the moment from father of the bride when she missed telling her dad goodbye. Tear jerker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0zEKFnhfiQ
Now you are ready to plan your own send off, filled with one or some combination of all these fun ideas. Thanks for reading this blog and happy wedding planning!