Grand exits are an exciting way to cap off your wedding night. How you leave for the night has several factors from time of day, monetary factors, and even venue restrictions. In this post, we’ll explore the pros, cons, and cost of a variety of options so that your grand exit can be a success!

As always, if you have any questions for me, please feel free to call/text my cell, (918) 902-5663 or send me an email at, tabor@photosbytabor.com.

All my best,
-Tabor

Bubbles

Pros:

  • Everyone loves bubbles!
  • They are very reasonable
  • Accepted by every venue

Cons:

  • Difficult to see at night

Cost:

~$0.15-1.25/guest

Special Notes:

You’ll want to check reviews to make sure the bubble solution works. Buying in bulk will often render the best deals as well. When it comes to bubbles for night time grand exits, it may be tempting to get the kind that glow in the dark. I have yet to see a “glow in the dark” set that actually glows with any level of intensity.

Confetti

Pros:

  • Pricing is reasonable
  • Easy to organize for your guests
  • Easy to store and transport

Cons:

  • Not widely accepted by venues
  • Messy cleanup
  • Difficult for *most* photographers to light at night

Cost:

~$0.50-1.50/guest

Special Notes:

When evaluating how much confetti you should purchase, you can factor about 8 oz / guest. A quart bag is 32 oz, and though it may be inexpensive at about $2.00-6.00, it will only take care of 4 guests. If you are having a confetti exit at night, consider having at least a little bit of lightly colored and/or reflective confetti in the mix, which will allow a pop of contrast in your grand exit photos. Conversely, if you are having an exit in the daytime, utilize a splash of darker tones for the same effect. As for the fun, specialty, and often more expensive confetti that looks pretty, there is little advantage to the appearance of the confetti during the grand exit since it is moving rapidly, and is not the primary focal point at that time. This is one of those times when the effect of quantity can outweigh “quality”.

Confetti Poppers

Pros:

  • Many options stay attached to the container
  • Easy cleanup (for those that stay attached)
  • Attached options are accepted at nearly all venues

Cons:

  • More expensive than confetti
  • Fewer customizing options
  • Can be more difficult to buy in bulk

Cost:

$1.00-$3.00/guest

Special Notes:

There are a lot of options out there for confetti-poppers. Before you purchase any of them though, you’ll want to check a couple of things;

  1. Will your wedding venue even allow confetti poppers? What if they stay attached to the canister they leave from?
  2. Make sure when purchasing that you either get the kind that stay attached or not depending on your needs. (You certainly don’t want a hefty cleanup bill from your venue if you accidentally order the wrong type!)

Fiber Optic Wands

Pros:

  • Colorful!
  • Fewer timing concerns, (don’t burn out quickly like sparklers)
  • Unique

Cons:

  • More expensive than most options
  • Simple color choices
  • Hard to see in daylight exits

Cost:

$2.50/guest

Special Notes:

I love fiber optic wands, and would enjoy seeing them again at future weddings. When checking on Amazon, it looks like there is only one distributer that sells quality fiber optic wands. One of the things I noticed, however, was that they sold packs of 12 for $29.99 or individual wands at $11.99. It would be important to make sure that you are indeed buying bulk packs when ordering. Other than that, I enjoy this option!

Fireworks

Pros:

  • Guests can sit back and enjoy the show with you
  • You can control the total budget
  • You’ll have a great reason for a big show

Cons:

  • Can get expensive quickly
  • Venues will often be restrictive
  • Someone from the wedding will need to maintain the display

Cost:

$150-450

Special Notes:

If you are going the firework option, you’ll want to get a variety of types. If your venue allows it, you can get some sparklers for the kids to enjoy with their parents, though you’ll want a bucket of sand/pea gravel, or water to make sure the sparklers are extinguished. Enjoy picking out some of the big fireworks that you’ve always wanted to get for the 4th of July, and sit back to enjoy the show!

Glitter

Pros:

  • D.I.Y. option is very affordable
  • Looks great day or night (with proper lighting)
  • Fun for your guests

Cons:

  • Not widely accepted at venues
  • Cleanup can be a chore
  • Time consuming to stamp and scissor cut foil paper for the d.i.y. option

Cost:

$0.25-1.50/guest

Special Notes:

Consider combing confetti with your glitter to add the size dimension to your grand exit display. Glitter, though fun, is rather tiny. can still look awesome when launched from a cup so it stays gathered. If you want to add confetti, then your guest can throw it by the handful since density is less of a factor.

Glow Sticks

Pros:

  • Very economical
  • Easy to see at night
  • Widely accepted at venues

Cons:

  • Not quite bright enough to illuminate the surrounding area

Cost:

$0.06-0.60/guest

Special Notes:

The thicker glow sticks glow a little brighter and are easier for the cameras to capture when they move than the thinner and longer glow sticks, however, the long skinny ones are often more fun for the guests. It may even be advantageous to allow guests to grab more than just one, even allowing your guests to enjoy them on the dance floor during the reception.

Horse & Carriage

Pros:

  • Elegant
  • Classy
  • Fun

Cons:

  • Less flexibility if you decide to have a grand exit an hour or so earlier/later than anticipated

Cost:

$Depends on service and vendor

Special Notes:

We love working with Ava K’s Carriage Service out of Sapulpa. You can find their website at, http://avakscarriageservice.com They are very reasonable on pricing, their horses and carriages are gorgeous, and their owners and staff are friendly too!

Lavender

Pros:

  • Not too expensive
  • Smells amazing!
  • Fun for your guests

Cons:

  • Difficult to see at night
  • Not widely accepted at venues
  • May have to stuff your own sachets

Cost:

$0.75-$1.50/guest

Special Notes:

Lavender tastes terrible! If you choose lavender for your grand exit, though it smells amazing you should probably not have a wide open mouth while it is being thrown. Smiling is always suggested for grand exit photos, but it can be hard to smile with a mouth full of lavender. 😉 As for buying pre-packaged vs by the pound, they come out to about the same amount. You’ll save a little by stuffing your own lavender sachets, and can factor in about 16 sachets per pound of lavender.

Popcorn

Pros:

  • Very economical
  • Excess can be included with reception gifts
  • Easy to photograph

Cons:

  • You may be spending a lot of time in front of the microwave or stovetop
  • Not widely accepted at venues
  • If there is too much excess, you may never want to eat popcorn again… =)

Cost:

$0.05-0.10/guest

Special Notes:

You could even double popcorn as a wedding favor by popping an excess and putting them in cute bags with twist-ties. The popcorn you throw doesn’t need to be flavored at all which should also help on cost.

Ribbon-Streamers

Pros:

  • Photograph well, especially during the daytime
  • Fun for all of your guests
  • Accepted by all venues

Cons:

  • Time consuming as a d.i.y. option
  • Difficult to light at night time
  • May not match with your wedding colors

Cost:

$0.50-1.25/guest

Special Notes:

Ribbon-streamers are fun for everyone, and can even be an easy d.i.y. project if you are up for it. One of the most appealing aspects to ribbon streamers is their simplicity and fun. Add the bonus of being accepted by every venue I can think of, and it’s a major win in the grand exit category!

Rose Petals

Pros:

  • Smell wonderful
  • Fun to throw
  • Elegant send off

Cons:

  • Hard to see at night
  • Can be expensive
  • Not always accepted at venues

 

Cost:

$0.50-3.50/guest

Special Notes:

There are a variety of variables that affect pricing for your rose petal send off. Consider roses vs other flower petals, fresh vs freeze dried, real vs fake, and online vs local. (I’m always a fan of buying local when feasible). You’ll also want to check with your florist to see what they can offer.

Sparklers

Pros:

  • Provide additional light during the grand exit
  • Fun for you and your guests
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons:

  • Venus often don’t allow sparklers
  • Can be difficult to light when windy
  • Takes a few minutes to get guests lined up and focused

Cost:

$0.75-1.50/guest

Special Notes:

Metal rods work better than wood rods, and length plays a role as well. They make sparklers that are ~12″ long and some that are ~36″ long. The shorter ones will last about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, whereas the longer ones will last about 4-5 minutes. The long ones are also fun for arching the rods, but feel free to mix and match to create your own effect! Also, remember to have a bucket of sand, pea gravel, or water to extinguish the sparklers.

Wish Lanterns

Pros:

  • Beautiful to watch when they fly
  • Fun for everyone to light
  • Each person can be in a group of 2-4, or have their own

Cons:

  • Not widely accepted at venues
  • Not safe to light/release if windy
  • Guests need more guidance than with most other grand exit ideas

Cost:

$0.50-3.50

Special Notes:

You’ll want to make sure they inflate all the way, otherwise, they become quite the fire hazard! It may help to clarify with your guests when to light and when to release. Ideally, someone could be given a test lantern before the wedding day so that they can test it out and let everyone else know when to light the lantern, and when everyone should release. Also, you’ll want to make sure the wind is not a factor that evening. Fortunately, winds tend to die down in the evening, but it’s still a factor to take into consideration. Also, the partner system works well for wish lanterns, that way one person can light while the other can hold the lantern up, and/or block the wind for the lighter).

I hope this was helpful for you! We are always looking for new and creative grand exit ideas, so feel free to let us know if you have one to add!

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