Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Exit from Reception

Our reception venue has a hotel attached to it, so when my FH and I leave the reception, I am trying to figure out how to have any kind of "exit", if we have one at all. Have a "last dance" or the bouquet toss and segue into the DJ announcing our exit, so anybody still at the reception can wave goodbye from within the reception room? I have been to a wedding at a hotel where the bride and groom left to just go up to their room in the past, but I can't for the life of me remember how they staged any kind of exit. 
                    


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Re: Exit from Reception

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
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    I have honestly never seen an official exit from a bridal couple.  Both DD and DS stayed until the end of their receptions.  DD and her husband hopped on the hotel shuttle with their friends.  I don't even recall how DS and his wife left.

    I do know that at some point during the reception, the photographer had DD and her husband enact some exiting photos, but none of them involved other guests.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
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    I think the old image of "bride tosses bouquet as she and groom walk to their car and everyone waves good-bye as they drive off to start their honeymoon" is outdated.

    It's very common for the couple to be the last to leave rather than the first. At my brother's wedding there wasn't any "exit." Since that was an afternoon wedding one of my SIL's relatives threw a backyard barbecue that night for family, wedding party members, and OOT guests after the wedding reception ended.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We had a quasi official exit into H's car with friends blowing bubbles.

    I was at a reception once in a hotel where the couple was staying.  We lined the hallway and they had their grand exit to the elevator.   It was goofy and silly, but it worked. 
    tigerlily6
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
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    I've never seen an exit outside of movies. I'm sure plenty of people do them, though. As far as I know, in all my friends and family, the couple has stayed the entire time. We stayed until the end of ours. If this is something you want to do, great, but I wouldn't stress or worry about it if it's just because it's something you think you're supposed to do.
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  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
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    I've never seen an exit in the dozens of weddings I've attended. 
  • jacques27jacques27 member
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    edited May 2016
    I've never seen a "grand exit" in person.  I mean, I guess is you were leaving for the airport to go on your honeymoon before your reception was over, I could see it.  But every wedding I have been to, the couple has stayed until the very end of the reception partying it up and the crowd has usually greatly thinned out by then (I mean usually a dozen or so people total - the DJ announcing the couple leaving would be superfluous).  The couple is usually the last ones out saying goodbyes and thanking everyone one last time as they leave.  And the DJ usually announces the last song anyway, so that also seems superfluous because it's not just the couple who has to leave - everyone has to leave.

    I don't know.  I think it's kind of pointless, personally.  They would be sending you off to walk...500 yards to the hotel?  Seems pretty anticlimactic.  I would just work something out with your DJ announcing you are leaving, if it's something that makes sense to do.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Maybe I'm weird but the majority of the weddings I've been to have had a "grand" exit.   I put grand in quotes because they weren't all necessity a huge ordeal.  Perhaps it's more common in the south?
    spockforprezKnottie1452098987
  • Maybe I'm weird but the majority of the weddings I've been to have had a "grand" exit.   I put grand in quotes because they weren't all necessity a huge ordeal.  Perhaps it's more common in the south?
    As a northerner, I've seen a number of them, myself. I've only ever been to two where the guests escorted the couple to their car. But usually there is some kind of "the bride and groom depart" moment, usually signaling that any guests left should wrap things up also.

    I agree that a lot of them aren't necessarily a big ordeal. Few guests are often left and those who still are around are usually those of us willing to go out to the bars afterwards for an after-party. 

    We plan on leaving around 9:30 since our reservation for the hall ends at 10pm. 

    I think the take away, though, is not to worry too much or make much ado about it. When we leave, we leave, and if any guests are remaining, that can help serve as the signal to take the party elsewhere if they want. 
                        


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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
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    The more recent weddings I have been to haven't had an exit. They were much more common pre-1990s. All the weddings I attended then had them, including my own.
  • We went to the bar for the after party with everyone else. We left at closing while the rest of our friends headed out for the night.

    You're right, don't think too much about it. It will work itself out.
  • SP29SP29 member
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    At the weddings I have been to, the bride and groom stayed until the end (including our own wedding).

    I've never seen a "grand exit" but there is usually something that signifies the end of the wedding- even if it's "last call is in 15 mins!".

    At one wedding, the DJ called last dance, and then the B&G stood at the exit and said good-bye to all their guests- started out casual and turned into a reverse receiving line.

    At our wedding, the DJ replayed our first dance song (unknown to us until it started) as the last song. Then we casually said good bye to everyone and hung around until it was just our family and then we left.

    Otherwise, it's usually the B&G hanging around for casual good byes, then they leave at some point.
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
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    Maybe I'm weird but the majority of the weddings I've been to have had a "grand" exit.   I put grand in quotes because they weren't all necessity a huge ordeal.  Perhaps it's more common in the south?
    Every wedding I've been to has had one, except a lot of them were fake. Whatever you do, @tigerlily6, DON'T do a staged exit. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding where the couple went back and forth FOUR TIMES while we blew bubbles and fake-laughed and fake-cheered. It was incredibly awkward. And all just for photos of an event that wasn't even real!
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  • Every wedding.  I'm in the South and apparently this tradition is strong, not "outdated."  And to the OP who wants a model to look and see how this is done, see "Father of the Bride" the remake with Steve Martin.  Sometimes I've seen sparklers held by the guests, but that's being done less often because when the guests cluster up closely, the little sparks land on people's clothes.
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  • The PP hit what I was going to mention, if this was maybe a regional thing. I live in Ohio & the only time I've seen grand exits done were in the movies. We do big exits at the end of the ceremony on the way to the reception, assuming they are in different locations. My recommendation is to ask people who you know in your area what they did for their weddings. Also ask your DJ if he has any experience about exits when done at a hotel where you are staying.

  • Erikan73 said:

    The PP hit what I was going to mention, if this was maybe a regional thing. I live in Ohio & the only time I've seen grand exits done were in the movies. We do big exits at the end of the ceremony on the way to the reception, assuming they are in different locations. My recommendation is to ask people who you know in your area what they did for their weddings. Also ask your DJ if he has any experience about exits when done at a hotel where you are staying.

    I was going to say the same thing.  I've seen "grand exits" from the church where we all line the walkway and blow bubbles or throw birdseed.  The bride and groom get in a separate car to go on a leisurely drive to the reception, the wedding party gets in the limo or party van, and the rest of the guests just get in their own cars.  I've never seen a grand exit from the reception.
    tigerlily6
  • madamerwinmadamerwin member
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    edited May 2016
    adk19 said:
    Erikan73 said:

    The PP hit what I was going to mention, if this was maybe a regional thing. I live in Ohio & the only time I've seen grand exits done were in the movies. We do big exits at the end of the ceremony on the way to the reception, assuming they are in different locations. My recommendation is to ask people who you know in your area what they did for their weddings. Also ask your DJ if he has any experience about exits when done at a hotel where you are staying.

    I was going to say the same thing.  I've seen "grand exits" from the church where we all line the walkway and blow bubbles or throw birdseed.  The bride and groom get in a separate car to go on a leisurely drive to the reception, the wedding party gets in the limo or party van, and the rest of the guests just get in their own cars.  I've never seen a grand exit from the reception.
    Me either, though all the weddings I have been to have been on the west coast, so I can't speak for other areas of the country.

    H and I were among the last people to leave our reception, since we wanted to be sure everything was wrapped up and cleaned up. To be honest, I think even if we had wanted some grand exit, I would have been worrying about whether we forgot something at the venue, whether the trash bags were properly disposed of, etc. Plus, half of our guests were staying at the same hotel as us, so we had a big after party. It would have seemed odd to have a big exit, only to meet everyone back at the hotel. And I didn't want to miss any of the reception; after spending 15 months planning it, I wanted to enjoy as much of it as possible.

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  • adk19 said:
    Erikan73 said:

    The PP hit what I was going to mention, if this was maybe a regional thing. I live in Ohio & the only time I've seen grand exits done were in the movies. We do big exits at the end of the ceremony on the way to the reception, assuming they are in different locations. My recommendation is to ask people who you know in your area what they did for their weddings. Also ask your DJ if he has any experience about exits when done at a hotel where you are staying.

    I was going to say the same thing.  I've seen "grand exits" from the church where we all line the walkway and blow bubbles or throw birdseed.  The bride and groom get in a separate car to go on a leisurely drive to the reception, the wedding party gets in the limo or party van, and the rest of the guests just get in their own cars.  I've never seen a grand exit from the reception.
    You're a step ahead of me, @adk19! As I was thinking about it yesterday, I realized it might make the most sense for an "exit moment" to be after the ceremony as we leave the church. It might be nicer since more guests can participate, and would probably make for some nice photos, too (although I promise to just go with the flow once and avoid the 4 staged takes -- that sounds awful, @spockforprez!). 
                        


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  • Maybe I'm weird but the majority of the weddings I've been to have had a "grand" exit.   I put grand in quotes because they weren't all necessity a huge ordeal.  Perhaps it's more common in the south?
    Same here. I'm also in the south, but most weddings I've attended have had an exit with bubbles, sparklers or something like that. We are planning to leave our reception around 10:30 and do an "exit," as we have to have guests out of the venue by 11 p.m.
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    edited May 2016
    Yup.  Our exit was at 9 or so, and I believe our guests had to be out by 9:30.  Ours definitely wasn't fornally staged; we were just ready to get to the hotel.   My sister's wedding and our wedding had bubbles.   My brother's had sparklers.  The DJ just invited everyone to line up outside and grab bubbles.   We ran out shortly afterwards.  I heard the after party continued at the hotel where our OOT guests were staying. 


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  • We're doing a final dance... then we'll probably head to the hotel bar. But yes a final dance song so the dj can announce it end the night on one of our favorites.
    tigerlily6
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
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    I've never seen anything at weddings but grand exits after the reception. And I live in Alaska, not the south. At my wedding, the reception started to wrap up, a few people were leaving, so H and I ran off to change, mom and dad got people lined up, and the people inside blew bubbles and those outside threw birdseed as we got in the car and left. Same thing at my two sisters' weddings. Ar a friend's wedding, it was blown bubbles. At my cousin's wedding, people waved sparklers. I honestly thought everyone did grand exits like that. 
    tigerlily6
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
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    Ahhh. To clarify, yes, I have seen church exits. It's been a long time, though, because most of the weddings I've attended in recent years haven't been at churches and have been at the same location as the reception, so "exits" from the ceremony wouldn't really have made sense.
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  • We're doing a final dance... then we'll probably head to the hotel bar. But yes a final dance song so the dj can announce it end the night on one of our favorites.
    I think we'll do the bouquet toss around 9, then our final dance at 9:30, and then depart. If anybody is still around we can wave goodbye. Since we're literally just walking out of the reception room into the hallway, and then taking the elevator up to our hotel room, that will be it. The hotel we're at doesn't have a bar, so I think we'll be peacing out completely at that point. 

    I think we'll have ribbon wands or bubbles for guests as we the exit from the church (they have requested to keep things clean so no birdseed). And even though I don't think we'll have a "grand exit" from the reception, I might look into getting glow sticks for the guests if I can find some in bulk for cheap and make them available at the candy bar which we're hosting. I went to a wedding where guests had those during the reception, and they were a huge hit with the kids who were waving them about the dance floor all evening. We'll have a lot of families in attendance, so children might get a big kick out of them. 
                        


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