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Executing a Formal Reception or Ceremony Exit

So, you want to do a sparkler exit at the end of your reception? Or have a bubble exit out of the church? Yes, yes, yes! Let’s do it! But, let’s plan out the details first.

Sparkler Exits:

  1. Make sure it's legal to buy, have, or light fireworks at a private event in your state!

  2. Confirm with your venue they allow sparklers, and where they allow them (some don’t allow on grass, or too close to the building).

  3. Buy really long sparklers – at least 24” inches long.

  4. As the couple, don’t worry about executing anything until you’re told we’re ready to have you come out – it’s your job to look good, and ours to set things on fire! If you have a wedding coordinator, we’ll work together to hand out sparklers and light them for guests. We will take a few minutes to line everyone up, then hand out sparklers, and then have multiple people light them right before the couple is ready for photos to make sure the sparklers aren't burning out too quickly.

  5. Decide on the “look” you want – do you want to walk through a sparkler tunnel? Want your guests to make a half-circle behind you, putting you in front of the sparklers so you don’t have to walk under them? Want guests to create an aisle, keeping the sparklers farther away from you, but still giving you a walkway?

  6. Sparkler exists are typically re-done. The photographer will probably send you back to the start of wherever you started or stood and do everything twice, just to make sure it’s perfect. Between smoke, equipment, and darkness, we just want to be sure we got the shots you’re dreaming about.

  7. They don’t have to be at the end of your reception, just as it’s getting dark. If you’re having a really long reception, or don’t need the photographers to stick around the whole night, you can have the DJ announce the sparkler portion of the evening at a certain time, and ask guests to line up outside, and then to return to the dance floor.

  8. Go slow! As you walk through the sparkler tunnel or aisle, or dance in front of the crowd, remember to take it slow as you walk, kiss, dip, and dance.

  9. Take turns looking at the camera, at each other, and at your guests.

Bubble exits:

  1. Bubble exists are really fun both after the ceremony during the recessional, and as a reception entrance or exit. Bubbles are pretty much appropriate at any time, in our opinion.

  2. Give all your guests bubbles, but don’t buy very large containers of the mixture. Most couples get a 1 oz container of bubbles or smaller. Several websites offer these as party favors, and you can get them customized.

  3. Children tend to flick a lot of soapy water if they can’t get bubbles to form, so just be ready for that if you’ve invited a throng of toddlers.

  4. Be sure to walk slowly, stopping to kiss, dance, dip, wave and smile at your guests.

Other creative exists:

  1. Natural or Biodegradable Confetti – This is so fun! You can get a little hole punch and use leaves or flower petals to create confetti, requiring no cleanup! You can also purchase biodegradable confetti commercially. Provide 2-3x times the amount of confetti or number of confetti cannons so you can walk through or in front of your guests multiple times for a large variety of photos.

  2. Money - in many cultures, showering newlyweds with money is a way of wishing them prosperity and good fortune! You can do this indoors and have all of the money be collected afterwards.

  3. Glow sticks - guests can wear and whip short and long glow sticks! It's a fun way to introduce a variety of color.

  4. Champagne tunnel - if you don't mind smelling like a champagne (or wearing some), having guests pop champagne around you can be hilarious and classy at the same time! To do this, don't shake the champagne at all, pop the cork before the photos, and plug the opening with your thumb. When the photographer is ready, have the bottle holder shake vigorously until there's a lot of pressure bit up. When the photographer gives the word, the bottle holder aims up and over and releases their thumb.

  5. Smoke bombs – this can be tricky to pull off, and it may require only a handful of people actually holding the smoking canisters. We can provide more details and recommendations if you’re interested – email or call us to chat!

  6. Pets – if you’re doing an outdoor wedding, or on a farm, you can ask guests or the venue to bring out some animals/pets to be front and center as you walk down an aisle. Having professional pet attendants is highly recommended!

Other tips and tricks:

  • We don’t support throwing rice or bread because of its risk of harm to wildlife.

  • Give guests a "drink warning" so they're able to finish their drinks instead of bringing them outside with them (they have 2 hands to hold bubbles, sparklers, confetti cannons, etc.).

  • Have a backup plan in case of strong winds, rain, or equipment that just doesn't work. Even having people cheering as you walk between or in front of them can be really beautiful and fun!

If you have any questions, drop us a line! @norulesphotopdx or


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