Photographing grand exits at weddings is my second most favorite wedding event to cover, right after first looks. The photos are always adorable, and it ends the night with a bang. A little planning goes a long way to help make your final farewell go off without a hitch.
Check with your venue
As you’re planning what to do for your exit, check with your venue to see if they have any restrictions. Some do not allow sparklers, while others despise confetti. Have a few ideas in mind to avoid disappointment. If you're dream is to incorporate a firework show or floating lanterns, be sure to ask your local fire department about fire danger levels in the area as well.
Put someone in charge.
If you don't have a wedding planner, be sure to put someone in charge of getting everyone outside and set up, as well as getting your transportation in place. If the keys aren’t going to be kept in the car waiting for you, make sure you have them before you exit (Zach and I learned this the hard way on our wedding day!). Make sure the person in charge checks with the photographers to ensure they are set up and ready before telling you to go ahead and exit.
TIP: If you choose to exit with sparklers, make sure they are not lit too early. You don’t want them to be extinguished by the time you get outside!
Stop halfway through
As you can imagine, exits are a bit crazy to capture! Low light makes fast movement difficult to capture, so stop in the middle of the tunnel for one last kiss. This gives your photographer a chance to get the perfect photo before you’re on the move again.
Make a dash for the car
As tempting as it may be to give lots of hugs and say one last goodbye before getting in your vehicle, when you’re swarmed by guests it makes it very hard to capture great imagery of your final farewell. Once you reach the getaway car, hop in and go!
Consider a staged exit
If you don’t have your photographer scheduled late into the evening, consider doing a staged exit. It doesn’t take many people to pull off, just your bridal party or a few family members would be enough. Then you fake an exit, sparklers, confetti, or bubbles in all! I think of this as a win/win. You get cute exit photos and don’t have to pay for a photographer all night.