25 Wedding Send-Off Ideas for Making an Unforgettable Exit

Sparklers, streamers, and beyond...

Updated 12/11/19

Photo by Sam Hurd Photography

The bride's been kissed, the garter's been tossed and the cake's been cut—now it's time for the grand finale exit. It's easy to make your wedding exit just as exciting as your entrance with a little help from your guests. Whether you're timing it at the very end of the special night or as you depart from your ceremony venue, en route to the reception, this fun tradition is always super fun and interactive for everyone. And who can forget those epic photos that are captured as a result? From streamers to sparklers to balloon releases and beyond, here are our favorite wedding send-off ideas.

1. Lighting the Way With Pillar Candles

Your guests can light the way out with romantic pillar candles so you and your love exit through a sweet sea of candlelight.

2. Waving Streamers

Provide your guests with colorful streamers to wave at you as you leave the wedding. The vibrant colors will make for eternally exciting wedding pictures. And, naturally, you can coordinate the streamer colors to the colors of your wedding.

3. Releasing Balloons

Have your guests release a sea of biodegradable balloons into the sky for a truly uplifting moment. This is best for a daytime wedding so you can watch as the balloons ascend into the sky.

4. Releasing Sky Lanterns

If your wedding reception will end after dusk (as most weddings do), you can have your guests release sky lanterns as you take off. There's nothing more romantic than watching these pepper the sky. (Use battery-operated lights, however, instead of an open flame, which can lead to a fire.)

5. Tossing Flower Petals

Move over flower girls, blooms aren't just for tossing along the aisle anymore. A post-nuptial petal toss is a pretty and festive way to kick off the rest of the day's celebration.

6. Blowing Tiny Bubbles

Streamers and petals are pretty, but require extra post-ceremony cleanup. Bubbles double as fun favors with less mess—just don't get too sticky.

7. Releasing Butterflies

Entrust a few appointed guests to release butterflies as you depart (just make sure to find a butterfly release company that ensures the safety of the butterflies, first and foremost.) Setting the butterflies free symbolizes your new beginning together and the happiness that will accompany you on your journey as a couple. The butterflies will flutter about the new couple before flying free, making for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity and a final wedding memory you'll never forget.

8. Releasing Doves

Send doves soaring off into the sky as you and your beloved head to happily ever after. As with the butterflies, just ensure the safety of the doves comes first. Releasing doves symbolizes good fortune and prosperity, everlasting love, and a peaceful home—what more could we ask for?

9. Tossing Oversized Glitter

Why oversized? It's easier to clean up than regular glitter, and it will show up better in your photos.

10. Tossing Sequins

Just like glitter, you can't go wrong with sequins if you're looking for a super sparkly exit.

11. Setting Off Confetti Poppers

Like glitter, the confetti will explode everywhere and make for colorful pictures. There's less sparkle and shine, but easier cleanup.

12. Tossing Artificial Snow

There's really nothing more perfect for a winter wedding exit than handfuls of artificial snow tossed on the bride and groom as they make their way to the getaway car.

13. Throwing Leaves

For a fall wedding, leaves are totally on theme. As an added bonus, gathering up leaves in gorgeous autumn hues is totally free. You can also consider adding glitter to the leaves for some extra wedding shimmer.

14.Throwing Beach Balls

Having a beach wedding? Consider having your guests line up on either side of you and tossing beach balls back and forth as you exit. Pro tip: Use mini beach balls and have them customized with your wedding date or initials—that way, they can double as wedding favors.

15. Waving Ribbon Wands

For a sense of rustic whimsy, create ribbon wands for your guests to wiggle back and forth as you make your great escape.

16. Waving Lighted Branches, Glow Sticks, or Fiber-Optic Wands

Some venues aren't entirely amenable to the idea of open flames. So what substitute can provide brides with equally spectacular visuals without breaking the rules? If you're looking for a no-flame sparkler, consider lighted branches, glow sticks, or fiber-optic wands. Battery-operated lighted branches or wands offer a similar effect to actual sparklers.

17. Tossing Rice

A traditional rice toss will also lend wedding pictures a cinematic feel. The tradition dates back to Roman times, and the tossing of rice symbolizes fertility and prosperity.

18. Waving Pom-Poms

Pom-poms come in a variety of sizes and colors and make for another really fun way to wave off the couple.

19. Tossing Sprinkles

For an extra delicious exit, have guests toss handfuls of sprinkles your way. Did you know you can buy sprinkles in bulk, up to twenty-five pounds?

20. Ringing Bells

Skip any kind of toss and have your guests ring tiny bells as you depart for a melodious goodbye.

21. Throwing Paper Airplanes

Imagine paper airplanes soaring back and forth above you as you and your honey walk toward your getaway car. We're not talking about the kind of paper airplanes you threw back and forth in eighth-grade geometry, either. Make yours out of origami or craft paper in hues that complement your wedding colors. It's one of the most whimsical, one-of-a-kind wedding send-off ideas.

22. Tossing Whole Flowers

Petals are nice and quaint, of course, but twist the tradition by having your guests throw entire flowers (with or without stems) at you. From daisies to roses to lilies to baby's breath, you can't go wrong.

23. Channel the Force With Light Sabers

If you're a Star Wars enthusiast, offer your guests sabers to light up as you leave the wedding reception. This is another send-off that will double as an awesome wedding favor.

24. Tossing Lavender

This is one sweet-smelling exit—gather up lavender for your guests to toss. A lavender toss would be especially lovely at a wedding in the summer or the spring.

25. Setting Off Sparklers

Last but not least, there's the classic wedding send-off: sparklers. A sparkler-studded exit is a great way to glam up a casual wedding or add a sense of whimsy to a formal celebration. Present extra sparkler sticks in custom wrappers with your name or monogram for an easy wedding favor.

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