Six Top Tips for Making an Amazing Ceremony Exit
A Wedding Celebrant’s Perspective
As a wedding celebrant, I know that there is certainly a very different feel at the end of a wedding ceremony, to the beginning. Any nerves have mysteriously disappeared, you have got through the most formal part of your day and found that it was rather enjoyable. Everyone is happy and there is a wonderful atmosphere, the celebrations will soon be in full swing.
Leaving the ceremony space together, hand in hand, having made your vows and promises, exchanged rings and shared your first kiss, is a really joyous occasion, and a well-planned exit makes the moment last just a little longer.
With the help of sparklers, flower petals, confetti, bubbles or a great song for everyone to sing along to, you can ensure a perfect, personal, memorable and unique ending to your wedding ceremony and signal the start of the fun, fizz and celebrations.
There is no set way to make an exit.
The way you and your partner choose to leave your ceremony space can be as original and imaginative as you want it to be. You can use this final part of your wedding ceremony to set the tone for the fun and celebrations to come, perhaps let it reflect the theme of your wedding or most importantly, let it say something about the two of you as a couple, as you take your first steps towards your future lives together.
360 shades of white
Choosing a wedding celebrant for your wedding day, means that you are not confined to holding your ceremony inside a licensed structure. This creates an endless choice of wedding venue, including woodlands, fun fields, beaches, tipis, glamping, camping, pubs, gardens and village greens.
As a result, seating has become far less formal, hay bales, travel rugs, wooden benches, tree stumps have replaced the formal pews of churches and registry offices.
The traditional processional of the bride walking up the aisle, keeping her back to the guests throughout the wedding ceremony, is losing popularity, with many couples choosing to seat their guests facing the bride as she arrives. This ensures that everyone an amazing view of the bride’s arrival, and of the ceremony itself.
It also means that guests don’t get to see the back view of the bride until she turns to leave. As a wedding celebrant, I have seen many wonderful and thoughtful touches that really capture this moment.
A beautiful bride, Alice, wore a stunning, classical dress, and when she turned to go, WOW, the back was slashed to the waist with the lightest, sheerest lace, that caught the wind and gave us glimpses of her back. It reflected a little rebel streak!
Another bride, Louise, painted the soles of her shoes in Pillar Box Red nail varnish – and we got a flash of red devilment as she walked back down the aisle, rather demurely, hand in hand with her partner.
A bride whose woodland wedding was decorated with green herbs including sage, laurel and rosemary, matched this foliage in her pinned up hair, again, this wasn’t seen until she turned around to walk away with her new partner.
All lovely little elements of surprise that help to make your wedding special, memorable and unique.
Have a receiving line.
If you want to ensure that you greet all your guests, and spend an equal amount of time with each of them, a great way to do this is by having a receiving line.
I always practise this at the wedding ceremony rehearsal, and run though the choreography with any bridesmaids, or other significant people, so they know exactly what to do and will be able to organize the guests into a line.
As a wedding celebrant, one of the best things about having a receiving line, is that I get a minute or so to spend with the happy couple, at the end of their ceremony, whilst they wait for their guests to assemble before going to greet them. It’s always a lovely moment.
One fantastic couple, Lisa and Shaun, got engaged at Reading Festival. Their festival wrist bands were special mementoes of the joyous occasion. Their wedding ceremony was held at Weston –super – Mare Grand Pier. As Lisa and Shaun greeted their guests on the receiving line, they gave them each a Mr. and Mrs. wristband, entitling them to an hour’s free pass in the amusement arcades.
Wedding favours with a truly personal, unique and memorable touch.
Capture the perfect confetti throw
The tradition of throwing rice over a newly married- couple goes back to Roman times, when it was symbolic of being showered with abundance.
Confetti throws are great fun, however, lavender, flower petals, rose buds, bird seed, autumn leaves or dried herbs are also very pretty, and may be more fitting for your wedding ceremony. They will also create picture-perfect moments for your photographer to capture.
The confetti can be loose or placed in paper cones or little boxes. Make sure that someone has the responsibility of giving it out, or have it strategically placed for guests to pick a handful, as they line up to greet you.
Have something lovely for your guests to wave as you pass by.
Glow-sticks and sparklers look amazing if It’s an evening wedding. Streamers and party poppers create a fiesta feel, whilst bubbles are fun and bring out the inner child.
Since most of these can make quite a mess, choose what makes you happy, but also consider who is cleaning up. The best options are those that are eco-friendly and biodegradable.
Have some music.
Many couples choose to end their ceremony and walk down the aisle together with all their friends and family joining in a song together to accompany them. I like the element of surprise this creates for the guests with the unexpected, ‘impromptu,’ sing-a-long.
As a wedding celebrant, I ensure this is carefully planned, with copies of the lyrics ready to be distributed at the end of the ceremony, and someone in charge of pressing play. Song choices are wide ranging, some we’ve sung along to are; ’You’ve got a Friend in Me,’ from Toy Story, ‘It’s not Unusual’, Tom Jones and ‘Walking on Sunshine,’ Katrina and the Waves.
A lovely couple had a jazz band at their wedding ceremony. They left the music completely in the band’s hands, after briefly describing their ideas. As a wonderful surprise to the couple and their guests, just as I finished announcing them as ‘The New Mr. and Mrs….’, the saxophonist handed out copies of ‘Give Me Sunshine.’ He climbed onto a chair, belted it out and had everyone up, singing, dancing and clapping. A brilliant ending to a wonderful wedding ceremony.
I hope that the ideas I share in my Six Top Tips series, have shown you some of the ways my couples have personalised different aspects of their wedding ceremony, to make it unique, and memorable, and to reflect who they are as a couple.
Make your exit a stunning one!