December 17, 2019
Nobody enjoys thinking about the END of their best day ever. Regardless, wedding planning means planning all the little details, from beginning to end. The exit — whether it’s a faux exit or a formal exit — will need some planning too.
The exit is a photographic opportunity to capture the bride and groom leaving their reception to head for their honeymoon. A faux exit, or controlled exit as I like to call it, is set up before the reception is over. In a controlled exit, guests create a human tunnel to “send off” the newlyweds. But then they all return to the party right after. In a formal exit, the party ends right after the exit ends.
Typically formal exits are placed at the very end of the night. Controlled exits can happen at any time during the reception, typically shortly after the cake cutting.
I am a big fan of controlled exits for a number of reasons.
Have I convinced you to choose a controlled exit (faux exit) over a formal exit? Here are some tips to make it memorable and efficient.
Narrow down who you want present at the controlled exit. The best controlled exits tend to include just the bridal party, or the bridal party and immediate family. Once you start pulling every second cousin and high school friend, things will get chaotic super fast. Keep it simple and enjoy this moment with only those closest to you.
We all love a good sparkler exit, but many venues don’t allow sparklers to be lit on the grounds. While there are plenty of other alternatives, even those may be prohibited. I once photographed a wedding where nothing was allowed — no bubbles, flower petals, leaves, sparklers, nothing. But don’t fret, I still made it work! We simply had guests cheer with their hands in the air as the couple ran through the human tunnel. So make sure to ask your coordinator before choosing your exit aesthetic, and keep your photographer in the know early on.
If your venue doesn’t allow sparklers or bubbles, I promise you can still have a beautiful, fun faux exit. There are a lot of other options out there. Glow sticks. Fist bumps. High five tunnel. Have your bridesmaids hold their bouquets over your heads. Have everyone clapping. Ribbon twirlers. Get creative!
If you care more about partying with guests than capturing your controlled exit, consider alternative timing. Maybe we can capture a special exit from your ceremony instead! Plan to have bubbles or sparklers as you leave the chapel or ceremony space rather than having one at night.
Give your photographer multiple chances to capture the magic. She may ask you to run through more than once! So enjoy this moment. You can have more than one shot to get an amazing photo of your controlled exit. Don’t put so much pressure on guests or yourselves to get it right the first time. Make it fun, lighthearted, and easy on everyone.
This is a must have shot!! Once you’ve run through the tunnel (once, or a few times), share a celebratory kiss! You just did the dang thing!
Whether it’s planning a faux exit or waiting until the end of the night, choose a photographer that will make the moment special for you! While my package includes 8 hours, I offer additional coverage a la carte for more traditional couples! Let’s chat about how we can make this moment just as dreamy as the rest of the day!
Copyright 2021. Alexandria, VA wedding & portrait photographer.
Serving brides and grooms in the Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, & Maryland region... and beyond!
Copyright 2019. Design by Emily Nicole Photography. Photography by Emily Schneider.