Extraordinary Wedding Exits!

 3 wedding departure ideas that’ll delight your guests and leave the party on a high note!

Hello Smooch Readers!

This month, I’m excited to talk about the grand finale of your big day, the epic wedding exit! We’ll review Abernethy’s dos and don’ts. And show you our favorite wedding exits, with buying links to all the supplies you need.

Ready? We’re about to demystify extraordinary wedding exits!

Your reception exit isn’t the end of a celebration; instead, the threshold of a new beginning. You are leaving the wedding and heading into the world as a married couple, embarking on a lifetime of togetherness. How exciting! You want a memorable departure, high-impact photos, and one last celebratory moment with your guests to bookend the perfect day. So let’s talk about how to create an extraordinary reception exit. All it takes is your wedding guests, some props, and a little preparation.

Ribbon Wands

Whimsical & Fun


Offer your guests colorful streamers that match the wedding theme to wave as you depart. The vibrant colors will make for exciting wedding photos and a whole lot of fun for you and your guests.

Check out TheBridesMadeShop on Etsy for a great selection of handmade wands you can design to include bells, lace, wide ribbon, narrow ribbon, different color combinations, and more. In a word, these are totally custom! So you can coordinate your wands with the wedding color scheme.


Ethereal & Romantic


Create giant billowing clouds of bubbles to escape through. Your photos will be magical, especially after dark when the photographer’s flash makes these mini iridescent wonders light up the night. To amp up the volume, incorporate a bubble blower in addition to having your guests blow bubbles.

We recommend mini bubble tubes for your guests and a pair of bubble guns or bubble machine for the bridal party to operate. All are readily available on Amazon. Just don’t forget the bubble liquid!

Lightsticks and Twinkle Lights

Energetic & Exciting


Illuminate your grand departure by having guests wave LED wands, glowsticks, or even twinkle lights as you pass. It’s a safe alternative to sparklers with a similar look in wedding photos. Lightsticks are especially fun because they can be introduced as props or accessories on the dancefloor and then used in the formal departure.

We recommend LED sparklers or extra-long glowsticks. But there are dozens of options, so you may want to take a moment and search “wedding lightsticks” on amazon.

PRO TIP — How to create a twinkle light departure: Have guests form two lines, each with a string of LED twinkle lights, creating an aisle for your exit. As you walk through the center and guests wave, the lights will have an amazing dancing effect!

3 Essential Tips

To ensure whatever option you choose is a success!


1—Enlist help in advance! Just like every other part of the wedding, your departure requires a bit of planning and preparation. Ask your wedding coordinator or bridal party members to facilitate your exit by having someone responsible for getting everyone lined up at the right time, with accessories in hand.

2—Encourage guests to participate and make your departure props part of the wedding decor by creating a cute display. Including a sign letting guests know what time you’re going to depart alongside a basket or vase with your wands, glowsticks, or bubble tubes. Add a floral piece, and it becomes a focal point of the reception.

3—Plan with your photographer! Ensure they know what time you’re departing and are properly positioned to capture the moment before it begins. Walk slowly as you exit, don’t forget to smile, pause slightly or stop and kiss to give your photographer plenty of photo ops.

Props to avoid

No Sparklers! They are fun, but they’re also unpredictable. We’ve seen venue fires, singed hair, and so many itty bitty burn holes in wedding dresses; it’s just not worth the risk! We don’t allow sparklers or fireworks of any kind.

Additionally, no confetti, rice, glitter, lavender, birdseed, potpourri, silly string, flower petals, etc. can be thrown during the formal sendoff. Inevitably little bits sink into cracks between pavers and find their way into the landscape, making it nearly impossible to clean up, entirely. These guidelines are meant to keep our venues pristine for every wedding and ensure we’re acting as responsible stewards of our beautiful property.

What are you planning for the grand departure? Keep us updated by tagging @abernethycenter on your planning posts. And follow us on social to connect with other couples, get creative ideas, and uplift your journey to “I do.” We all have so much to look forward to!


xo Sara

Smooch is the official blog of Abernethy Center. A full-service wedding and reception venue just on the outskirts of Portland in the heart of historical Oregon City, Abernethy Center has two distinct gardens, a gorgeous chapel, and an elegant Grand ballroom spread out over 9 acres. With twenty years in business, an expert culinary team, and a tremendous staff experienced in providing exceptional service, we have everything for the perfect, uniquely yours Oregon wedding. 

Abigail’s Garden —– Veiled Garden—–Abernethy Chapel—–Grand Ballroom