41 Creative Wedding Send-Off Ideas So You Can Exit in Style

Time to make your wedding exit epic.
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
chapelle johnson the knot associate editor
Chapelle Johnson
Associate Editor
  • Chapelle writes articles for The Knot Worldwide. She covers all things wedding-related and has a personal interest in covering celebrity engagements and fashion.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Chapelle was an editorial intern for Subvrt Magazine.
  • Chapelle has a degree in English writing from Loyola University New Orleans.
Updated Aug 03, 2023

Amazing photo ops aside, the celebratory wedding exit is an age-old tradition that dates back to Roman times. Romans threw wheat and oats at their weddings, which became the rice-toss wedding tradition we know today. But if grains aren't your thing, tons of wedding send-off ideas involve your guests tossing, ringing or waving something unique and creative at you on your wedding day. If you're ready to plan the best wedding exit, check out our favorite wedding exit ideas pulled straight from real weddings and prepare to say "ta-ta" in style.

The Knot Expert Tips: First, always clear your wedding send-off idea with your venue. You don't want to start planning one of the options below and have your wedding venue tell you it's not allowed. Second, we highly recommend coordinating with your wedding planner so you seamlessly pull off your desired exit idea. They'll be able to give you insight into which vendors can help execute your send-off.

Our Favorite Wedding Send-Off Ideas:

Unique Wedding Send-Offs

Don't let your wedding send-off be an afterthought. Check out these 10 unique wedding exits that you'll definitely want to steal.

1. Sky Lantern Grand Exit Wedding Idea

    Sky lantern wedding exit
    Photo: Concept Photography

    This wedding send-off idea is best for couples planning to end their reception as the sun sets or even later so you can feel the magic in the experience. Paper lanterns look gorgeous in the sky and beautiful in photos too. Some people believe sky lantern ceremonies bring good luck and new beginnings because, traditionally, people attach notes of prayers, blessings or requests to the lanterns. The purpose of this ritual is for the lanterns to float to the heavens so the gods can receive the releasers' wishes and make them come true. So before releasing your paper lanterns into the night sky, consider having everyone write marriage well-wishes on them at some point during the wedding reception.

    Want a more sustainable option? Put the lanterns on strings or ask your guests to hold them instead of releasing them into the air. This way the sky lanterns don't become a litter problem later.

    The Knot Expert Tip: Traditionally, the sky lanterns are lit at the bottom by a match or lighter so they can float off into the sky. Since having an open flame is a fire hazard, consider having a shuttle take you and your guests to an open field to do the ritual or using lightweight battery-operated tealight candles.

    2. Smoke Bomb Send-Off Idea for Weddings

      Smoke bomb wedding exit
      Photo: Mo Davis Photography

      A smoke show is a fun daytime wedding send-off idea that'll make you and your partner look like rock stars. You can give your guests portable smoke bombs or ask a professional to do the task. Pose with your wedding guests or wedding party for epic pictures, or drive through the colorful haze in your getaway car.

      Things to keep in mind when using smoke bombs: First, Get your wedding venue's permission and only use smoke bombs outside. Second, smoke bombs can stain clothes, so warn your guests about this possibility before the event. Finally, tell your wedding photographer about your smoke bomb idea so they can prepare in advance.

      3. Mini Beach Ball Wedding Exit Idea

        Mini beach ball wedding exit
        Photo: Derek Chad Photography

        Planning a beach wedding? Then, use this wedding exit toss idea for your event. Regardless of your locale, you can get in vacation or destination wedding mode by tossing mini beach balls. You and your wedding party will have to inflate each beach ball, but we promise you it'll be worth it.

        4. Sword Grand Exit Wedding Idea

          Sword wedding exit
          Photo: Christina Karst

          Are you or your partner in the military? Consider doing a saber arch (or arch of sabers ceremony) as a no-mess wedding send-off idea. A saber arch is a military wedding tradition where swords or sabers are used to salute the newlyweds during their ceremony exit.

          5. DIY Flag Send-Off Idea for a Wedding

            DIY flag wedding send-off
            Photo: Amy Rae Photography

            This is just one of our flag send-off options. Give your guests small flags with celebratory statements, like "hooray," "cheers" and "congrats," to wave as you leave your ceremony and to take home after the party.

            6. Tinsel Streamer Wedding Exit Idea

              Tinsel streamer wedding exit
              Photo: Lightly Photography

              Nothing says "party time" quite like streamer cannons. For a more streamlined wedding send-off idea, stick to your wedding colors or a cohesive (for example, all silver, pink or blue, etc.) assortment.

              7. Bubble Shooter Grand Wedding Exit Idea

                Bubble shooter wedding exit
                Photo: Glorious Moments Photography

                People don't tell you this, but manually blowing bubbles takes a lot out of you, so give your wedding guests' lungs a break by handing out bubble shooters before your wedding exit. Using bubble shooters is a great photo op because your wedding photographer can capture you surrounded by more bubbles resulting in a better picture.

                8. Hurley Stick Send-Off for a Wedding

                  Hurley stick wedding send-off
                  Photo: Emily Wren Photography

                  Play into your or your partner's heritage for your wedding exit. At this real wedding, the couple exited the ceremony under hurley sticks, used in the Irish game of hurling, to honor the groom's Irish background.

                  Find your kind of venue

                  From barns to ballrooms, discover reception venues that feel like you.

                  9. Butterfly Wedding Exit Idea

                    Butterfly wedding exit
                    Photo: Stephanie Brazzle Photography

                    Butterflies represent new beginnings, making them an obvious choice for a cute wedding send-off idea. Doing a butterfly release is up for debate since there are questions about whether it's humane. We suggest researching butterfly releases and finding out which companies put the safety of the butterflies first. Another option is to give your guests paper butterflies to toss in the air during your exit.

                    10. Champagne Shower Grand Wedding Exit Idea

                      Champagne shower wedding send-off
                      Photo: Carley K Photography

                      What's one thing you'll most likely already be buying a lot of? Champagne! Use bottles of bubbly to celebrate your wedding exit, but be cautious of flying corks and slippery walkways.

                      Creative Wedding Send-Offs

                      There are a lot of ways you can go about your wedding exit, but that doesn't mean it has to be complicated. Here are creative ideas that are easy to execute, and some of them are free.

                      11. Paper Airplane Send-Off Wedding Idea

                        Paper airplane wedding exit
                        Photo: SO Photography

                        Wondering what to throw at a wedding? Get your wedding party together and start folding to create these playful well-wishes for your exit. Or outsource the work. Consider personalizable paper airplanes (with your and your partner's names or wedding colors) or paper airplane seating cards you can later repurpose for the exit.

                        12. Maracas Wedding Exit Idea

                          Maracas wedding send-off
                          Photo: Alicia Lucia Photography

                          Add music to your special day with this fun send-off wedding idea. Personalize the maracas by adding your and your partner's names and painting them your wedding colors. Maracas can double as a unique wedding favor too.

                          13. Cheer Pom Pom Grand Exit Wedding Idea

                            Cheer pom pom wedding exit
                            Photo: Eclectic Images

                            Encourage nostalgia and show your spirit by handing out cheer pom poms in your school, sports team or wedding colors. There's nothing like running down a tunnel of pom poms to get you excited about your new life with your spouse.

                            14. Lightsaber Wedding Send-Off Idea

                              Lightsaber wedding exit
                              Photo: Nick and Lauren Photography

                              If you're a massive "Star Wars" fan, having this cool wedding send-off idea is an absolute must. Give your guests lightsabers at the end of the wedding ceremony or reception and have them line up on either side of you and your partner. The sabers create a colorful and dramatic tunnel for you and your partner to walk down and will make a memory you'll never forget.

                              15. Foam Glow Stick Wedding Exit Idea

                                Foam glow stick wedding send-off
                                Photo: Angela Sue Photography

                                Foam glow sticks are a creative mixture of the lightsaber and regular glow stick wedding send-off ideas. Foam glow sticks are bigger so they can show up better on camera, are customizable, and many online sellers offer foam glow sticks that flash multiple colors.

                                16. Tambourine Wedding Send-Off Idea

                                  Tambourine wedding exit
                                  Photo: Emma Cleary Photo & Video

                                  Another way you can add music to your wedding exit is by giving your guests tambourines. This happy couple is using lace tambourines, so feel free to get as creative as you'd like with the instrument's design.

                                  17. Pom Pom Wands Grand Exit Wedding Idea

                                    Pom pom wands wedding exit
                                    Photo: Maura Jane Photography

                                    A crafty staple, pom poms are inexpensive and colorful, plus a festive (and soft) little something for guests to throw. (Be sure to assign someone to clean up the mess after.) We like mini pom poms that come in numerous color options so they can perfectly coordinate with your palette. But pom pom confetti poppers are also super-cute.

                                    18. Bell Wedding Exit Idea

                                      Bell wedding exit
                                      Photo: Milou + Olin Photography

                                      Want to skip any after-wedding exit mess altogether? Then use this indoor wedding send-off idea and give your guests small bells (or cowbells for rustic or country weddings) for them to ring. Decorate them or tassels, ribbons or stickers to add a personal touch.

                                      19. Dove Balloon Send-Off Idea for Weddings

                                        Dove balloon wedding send-off
                                        Photo: Charley Smith Photography

                                        Many believe a dove release is inhumane, so that's why people have found using dove balloons as a good alternative. You get the same symbolization of love and peace without using a live flock.

                                        20. Cell Phone Grand Exit Wedding Idea

                                          Cell phone wedding exit
                                          Photo: Nicole Hernandez

                                          Unless you're planning an unplugged wedding, your guests will probably already have their cell phones out so they can snap pictures of your special day. Use that to your advantage. Ask your guests to take out their phones so they can light your way down the ceremony or reception exit. Do this wedding send-off idea at night so your photographer can better capture the magic.

                                          21. Napkin Wedding Exit Idea

                                            Napkin wedding exit
                                            Photo: 5th Avenue Digital

                                            Monogram napkins or hankies—or ask your loved ones to bring some from your favorite establishments—and have your guests whip them around at the end of your ceremony or reception. We like fabric ones because you can bring them home and reuse them, but personalized paper ones work too.

                                            Fun Wedding Send-Offs

                                            These are some of the best wedding send-off ideas that are sure to delight guests of all ages. End your ceremony or reception the right way with one of these fun options.

                                            22. Fireworks Grand Exit Wedding Idea

                                              Firework wedding exit
                                              Photo: SMS Photography

                                              Ending your wedding with a firework display is one of the best nighttime wedding send-off ideas for a grand and spectacular exit. You can even ask the firework staff if the show can have your and your partner's names written in it or, something a little simpler, your wedding colors. Of course, since fireworks can be a fire hazard, ask your wedding venue if it's okay to have fireworks on the property.

                                              23. Sparkler Send-Off Idea for a Wedding

                                                Sparkler wedding send-off
                                                Photo: Katie Childs Photo

                                                A shimmering canopy of mesmerizing sparklers makes for the perfect photo op. But before you start buying sparklers, don't forget to ensure sparkler send-offs are allowed at your venue and meet all fire ordinance requirements. You want sparklers marketed as safe for weddings, long in length and long-lasting.

                                                24. Glitter and Confetti Wedding Exit Idea

                                                  Glitter and confetti wedding exit
                                                  Photo: Steven Michael Photography

                                                  Combine the best of both worlds and have your guests throw glitter and confetti for your wedding send-off. Ensure you get large-size glitter versus having "normal" glitter so it shows up better in your wedding photos. (It also helps make the clean-up process quicker and easier.) Warning: It might take you and your partner some time to get all the confetti and glitter off after this wedding exit idea since they easily stick to hair and skin.

                                                  25. Cold Sparkler Machine Grand Wedding Exit Idea

                                                    Cold sparkler machine wedding exit
                                                    Photo: Tamara Gruner Photography

                                                    One alternative to sparkler send-off is renting cold sparkler machines. This wedding exit idea is a safer option if giving fire to guests who've had too much to drink sounds like a bad idea.

                                                    26. Confetti Send-Off Idea for a Wedding

                                                      Confetti wedding send-off
                                                      Photo: READYLUCK

                                                      If you go the confetti route, we recommend biodegradable confetti for an eco-friendly wedding exit toss idea. Avoid seed paper confetti—your venue won't be happy if unexpected blooms sprout on their lawn. Luckily, there are other options on the market, like heart-shaped paper cutouts because there's no better way to close out the grand display of your love than with the ultimate symbol of romance.

                                                      27. Balloon Wedding Exit Idea

                                                        Balloon wedding exit
                                                        Photo: K and K Photography

                                                        A balloon toss is a great indoor wedding send-off idea. Have fun with this rice toss alternative by picking colors or patterns that match your wedding theme and colors.

                                                        28. Second Line Grand Wedding Exit Idea

                                                          Second line wedding exit
                                                          Photo: Emma Cleary Photo & Video

                                                          Plan a second line or New Orleans wedding parade for your wedding exit. This parade can lead you and your guests from your ceremony to your reception venue or be the last hurrah after the reception festivities.

                                                          29. Flag Wedding Exit Idea

                                                            Flag wedding exit
                                                            Photo: Once Like A Spark Photo + Video

                                                            Want to incorporate your and your partner's backgrounds in your multicultural wedding? Then, give your guests country flags representing your and your partner's origins. The flags can work as place settings before the send-off too.

                                                            30. Glow Stick Send-Off Idea for Weddings

                                                              Glow stick wedding idea
                                                              Photo: Erin L. Taylor Photography

                                                              If a sparkler exit is off-limits at your wedding venue, a glow stick wedding exit can still end the night on a bright note. The glow sticks work as a fun transition to hype everybody up for the wedding after-party. (The classic wearable glow sticks work great for this occasion.)

                                                              31. Ribbon Wand Grand Wedding Exit Idea

                                                                Ribbon wand wedding send-off
                                                                Photo: Anecdotally Yours

                                                                Playful ribbons attached to the end of dowel rods make for a fun celebratory exit tunnel. Try a DIY ribbon wand wedding send-off kit. Some kits even include thematic wedding bells to adorn each stick.

                                                                Eco-Friendly Wedding Send-Offs

                                                                Having a sustainable wedding doesn't end with the decorations or food, it includes your toss too. Keep reading to find 10 eco-friendly ways to exit with your new spouse.

                                                                32. Lavender Send-Off Idea for Weddings

                                                                  Lavender wedding send-off
                                                                  Photo: Sarah Mesa Photography

                                                                  Delicate lavender buds offer a hint of fragrance (which creates a unique scentscaping experience), but they're a great choice for romantic or pastel color palettes. You can find premade lavender wedding toss tubes or prefilled sachets that double as beautiful escort card holders. Or, buy the buds in bulk, then let guests scoop them into the vessel of your choice.

                                                                  33. Sprinkles Wedding Exit Idea

                                                                    Sprinkles wedding send-off idea
                                                                    Photo: The Grays Photography

                                                                    One of the sweetest ideas is to give guests sprinkles to toss. (Yes, we mean your favorite ice cream topping.) Buy them in bulk by the pound and put them in personalized baggies.

                                                                    34. Rose Petal Grand Wedding Exit Idea

                                                                      Rose petal wedding exit
                                                                      Photo: Meghann Champan Photography

                                                                      Rose petals have always been a top wedding send-off idea. Consider adding different colored blooms to elevate the moment even more. Buy fancy prefilled sachets or a bulk supply of durable freeze-dried roses, or speak with your wedding florist about getting fresh petals for the exit toss. Another option is faux flower petals, which are best for indoor ceremony exits because they can be easily swept up.

                                                                      35. Dried Eucalyptus Wedding Send-Off Idea

                                                                        Dried eucalyptus wedding exit
                                                                        Photo: Rocking J Imaging

                                                                        If you want to emphasize your natural wedding theme, use this creative wedding exit toss idea. Eucalyptus lends to a quicker cleaning process and is sustainable for the planet.

                                                                        36. Human Tunnel Wedding Exit Idea

                                                                          Human tunnel wedding send-off
                                                                          Photo: Lovely Valentine Photo + Film

                                                                          Get ready to duck as you hold hands with your new spouse while running down a human tunnel. The best part about this wedding send-off idea is simple and doesn't require any supplies.

                                                                          37. Bubbles Send-Off Idea for a Wedding

                                                                            Bubbles send-off
                                                                            Photo: Stephanie Weber Photography

                                                                            Bubbles are a ceremony or reception exit idea you don't have to sweep up afterward—score! Personalized mini bubble bottles can also act as favors. Bubbles will bring some childlike wonder to your wedding send-off.

                                                                            38. Birdseed Grand Exit Wedding Idea

                                                                              Birdseed wedding send-off idea
                                                                              Photo: Samantha James Photography

                                                                              Birds will thank you for doing this eco-friendly wedding send-off. You can put the birdseed in cups or cones like what's shown above. We suggest doing this alternative to throwing rice earlier in the day while the birds are still out to snack, which inevitably helps with cleanup.

                                                                              39. Dried Jasmine Wedding Exit Idea

                                                                                Dried jasmine wedding send-off idea
                                                                                Photo: Elena Wolfe Photography

                                                                                Here's another fragrant and sustainable wedding send-off idea. At this real wedding, the couple printed out scenes from Romeo and Juliet and made them into paper cones to put the dried jasmine petals in.

                                                                                40. Leaf Wedding Send-Off Idea

                                                                                  Leaf wedding send-off
                                                                                  Photo: Rachel Havel Photography

                                                                                  One of the best things about autumn is the beautiful leaves it brings. If you're having a fall wedding, gather up leaves (we love a free exit toss idea) so your guests can shower you with breathtaking fall colors. Ensure the leaves are dry because it makes them easier to toss when the time comes.

                                                                                  41. Rice Grand Wedding Exit Idea

                                                                                    Rice wedding exit
                                                                                    Photo: Joanna Tano Photography

                                                                                    Last but not least, you can always fall back on the tried-and-true rice toss wedding tradition. White rice is an affordable and widely available option for any wedding—again, just make sure your venue allows it. Some online sellers even offer adorable little bags filled with flecks of colored rice, which will set you apart from the pack.

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