One of the biggest traditions at a wedding is the ceremony exit! It’s such an exciting time, as the couple walks back down the aisle as a married couple. It’s the moment that the couple is cheered into their married life, and take their first steps together! As a wedding photographer, I love ceremony exits! In fact, I like them more than the end of the night exits. End of the night exits are not as flattering as ceremony exits and can be much harder to organize, so I recommend my couples to focus on the daylight ceremony exit. Also, using an item like sparklers is very dangerous!
First, the biggest problem with having an end of the night exit is the lighting. It’s late, it’s dark and most likely, everyone has had a few drinks and have been dancing all night long. Everyone is tired, sweaty, and it is not always the most flattering. Evening photos will not turn out as pretty as your daylight, so why not ensure you get the best pictures!
Traditionally, the couple is the first to exit the church and ceremony. By having this special moment of just you two walking down the aisle, your photographer is able to capture this sweet, and intimate moment. Think about how much glee and joy you are going to have right after saying “I do”! This is a special moment you need to capture.
Your reception is about having fun and enjoying yourself, and your guests! If you do an end of the night exit, your pictures will not turn out as well. Guests will be sweaty, your makeup and hair will not be as perfect. By doing the exit after the ceremony, everyone is fresh, awake and so excited!
At the end of the night, most of the guests might have already left. Especially some of the older guests, who you might want with you during your exit pictures! Some guests might have an early flight and need to leave early. By having your exit pictures taken right after the ceremony, you guarantee that everyone will be there!
Your photographer really only needs about one hour of dancing photos to get the story and feel of your party. You do not need 4 hours of dancing pictures! By having your photographer end after a little bit of dancing, and not staying the whole reception, you will free up money to spend on other things! You can spend that saved money on an amazing album, or another part of your wedding.
Rounding up your wedding guests is not an easy feat. It is very time-consuming to gather your guests, especially at the end of the night. After a few drinks, they are tired, and normally not as into gathering around. In fact, it can take 15-30 minutes just to round up guests! By having your exit after your ceremony, you are guaranteed everyone is there, without wasting 20 minutes of your night waiting for guests!
While sparklers can look fun, they are very dangerous. I personally have burned, and I have heard of many couples getting burned. These are extremely hot fire sticks, given to the hands of potentially drunk guests. There also might be children, who are at risk of getting burned as well. Even more, as the bride and groom, you have to be the ones to walk through the sea of fire, which can be very dangerous for you as a couple! A sparkler exit is very hazardous, not only for your guests, but for you, and your vendors.
Keep in mind many venues do not allow sparkler exits, and some planners will not coordinate any activities with sparkles.
When you are planning a ceremony exit, there are so many fun things you can use instead of sparklers! If you are getting married outside, keep the environment in mind! You don’t want to litter, or have to clean up the mess, so make sure to use bio-degradable products that will not hurt in the environment. I love flower petals, lavender, bubbles, or waving ribbon wands.