After all the stress that goes into planning a wedding, once you’ve said “I do” then you can exhale and enjoy the rest of your event as a newlywed! One of the last things on your wedding day itinerary will be the way that you both plan will leave, or exit, your reception space together.
Before you plan your wedding send off, make sure to consider all your options---including a mock grand exit. Read on to learn about all-things wedding exits, including the 3 benefits of a mock grand wedding exit.
What is a mock grand exit?
First, let’s talk about what a grand exit is. Once you’ve finished your wedding ceremony and reception, this is when you and your spouse leave the venue. There are many ways that you can decide to celebrate the official end of your big day, depending on what fits your personality and event style. More on that later.
While a grand exit isn’t mandatory, and doesn’t have to be all that ‘grand,’ it is a nice way to allow your guests to send you off with cheers and well wishes. This will also serve as a formal goodbye without having to individually speak to your guests.
A mock grand exit (also referred to as a faux or fake wedding exit) is a re-enactment. While a grand exit is typically at the end of your event, a mock grand exit allows you to do this earlier in the day at a key transition point during your reception. You will do the same thing that you would have at the end of the night but this will give you the benefits of completing this fun wedding activity earlier in the day.
What are the benefits of a mock grand exit?
1. A majority of your guests are still going to be there. One of the downsides of waiting until the end of the wedding for your grand exit is that many guests will have left by this point. (Some will leave even before the cake is cut!) This means that wedding photos end up looking sparse. Not to mention, the guests that are there might look tired or unfocused. If you capture the grand exit earlier in the day, most of your guests will be in-frame and engaged in the festivities.
2. Your hair and makeup are still intact. You will likely feel your best on the big day, but if you’re planning to have a boozy-dancey reception then your look by the end of the night won’t look as good! If you opt for a grand exit to take place earlier then you, your spouse, and guests will look your best.
3. You won’t need your photographers to be there for the whole time. When you book your wedding photography and/or videography team, it is typically going to be for a set number of hours. For example, one of the most popular Joy Photo and Video packages provides 8 hours of consecutive coverage.
If you want them to capture a grand exit at the end of your wedding then this means they’ll be there from the beginning (first look) to the very end (grand exit.) By moving the exit up in your itinerary, all key reception items will get captured so your creative team can leave sooner.
In summary, the three benefits of a mock grand wedding exit are that your photos will be filled with your guests, you will look and feel your best, and you can opt for a less expensive package for wedding photo and video coverage.
When do you do a mock grand exit?
If you’re feeling good about the benefits of a mock grand wedding exit, the next natural question would be to try and determine the best time to do one. Here are 5 times during the event flow that might work:
Consider a grand exit from your ceremony location. (Note: you could do this in addition to or in lieu of the grand exit at the end of the reception.)
Turn it into a grand entrance to your reception space. This could be a great way to pivot from cocktail hour to a reception, too!
Try to do it during a transitional portion of the reception, such as after the first dances or following the cutting of the wedding cake.
Include it in between planned activities. Most receptions have some downtime for guests to sign guest books, and this is a great way to fill the time.
Plan for it once the formal reception activities have been completed---before the dance floor switches gears from love songs to party anthems. This will allow for a natural point in the evening for some guests to leave, and amp up the mood for those who are staying.
Once it’s been decided, make sure your DJ or emcee inform your guests so they know what to expect. This will also ensure that guests who want to take part are aware that it’s coming, so they can plan to stick around.
What are the best grand exit ideas?
When selecting your grand exit, consider what feels true to who you are as a couple and select an exit that matches the vibe of your big day. Here are a few of our favorite ideas to consider that come in varying degrees of personalization and eco-impact:
Streamers, ribbons, or flags
Rose or other types of petals
Rice, lavender, or other similar material
Confetti cannons or poppers
Drive away in a classic car or other unique mode of transportation
Pro tip: Make sure to check with your venue about what will be allowed. For example, many venues have a no-fire policy which means that you can’t do sparklers.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the benefits of a mock grand wedding exit! For more ideas, read our article with the Wedding Exits That Make the Best Photographs and then take this fun quiz from WeddingWire “What's Your Wedding Send-Off Style? ”
The Joy Team