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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. You can’t buy sparklers in MA. You’ll need to order them, or buy them across the border.

  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 light them right before we’re ready to have the couple in place, just to make sure the sparklers don’t burn out too early.

  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. Confetti – we recommend getting either little confetti poppers for all your guests, or little fans that propel it a bit. It’s a little weird to have cups or hands flinging confetti in the photos, as the can block other people from view behind them. We also strongly recommend getting biodegradable confetti if it’s going to be landing outdoors.

  2. 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!

  3. 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. Maybe nothing with feathers, and leashes are strongly encouraged.

We don’t support throwing rice or bread because of its risk of harm to wildlife. If you have any questions, drop us a line! @sacredharborphoto on IG/Facebook or

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