You spent a lot of time planning the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Have you given any thought to how to end your evening? There are three big decisions to make:
Should you have a formal exit? Yes! A formal exit is the official end of the evening for everyone involved. Too often if there isn’t a formal good-bye, the guests just won’t leave. (Frankly, sometimes when you do have a formal good-bye, the guests still won’t leave!) Of course that is a good thing – it means your guests are having so much fun they don’t want the evening to end. The downside? Staying later than contracted can cost you big money – if the venue will even allow it.
If you know your reception will be too short for you and your closest friends, make plans to meet up at a bar for an after-party. You can still have your exit, you’ll just be the first ones to arrive! Whether you intend to come back and help pack things up (please don’t) or are heading off to start your honeymoon, I urge you to have a formal exit.
How should you exit? Many venues have limitations on what can be done for your exit. Birdseed is not as popular as it once was simply because it attracts birds where a venue may not want them hovering. We all know we aren’t supposed to throw rice – right? Bubbles are fun but can be messy for your guests and can be really difficult to capture in the photos. So what can you do?
Sparklers are still popular for a reason. They are a lot of fun to play with and photograph really well. Be sure to make sure it is okay with your venue and that there are no burn bans that are in effect. If you do opt for sparklers, I recommend the really long ones for maximum burn time. And plan for half as many as your guest count is. One more tip? Lighting the first one can take a while, but light the others off already lit sparklers.
Toss lavender. It smells wonderful, you can distribute it in cute sachets that your guests may take home, and of course it is biodegradable! I once had a couple that had their guests release Wish Lanterns as they left – what a unique idea! Do a google search and see what other options you can come up with.
How should you leave? Once you have passed through your guests, how are you leaving? Will your car be lavishly decorated and waiting? How about a limo? Limos come in all shapes and sizes – and colors – maybe that’s the ticket. Getting married at a resort? See if they have a golf cart you can decorate and drive off in (and circle back around). I once had a couple that drove off together on a motorcycle! Rent the car of your dreams for one day – or find a gorgeous vintage car for your farewell. I recently bought a red New Beetle convertible – and I offer that to my couples for their exit for a nominal fee. Getting married near a dock? Make your escape in a boat! Or for a uniquely Austin exit, how about a pedi-cab?
Whatever your exit strategy is, I urge you to have one. It’s just one more way to help you have a Carefree wedding day.