Every week, we plan to throw out a topic and gather your questions. Aislinn, owner of Aislinn Kate Photography, has documented hundreds of weddings over the last decade and will offer her insights. So, if you are a bride, in the wedding industry, or just curious, check back each week for the answers in the our new Q & A Series!
Grand Exits (Q & A)
What is your favorite type of exit for photos?
"Confetti! It’s great because your guests can grab big handfuls, and it’s lightweight so it takes a long time to float down through the air, insuring you have confetti floating around you in photos for the entire time you are walking out, even if you choose to stop for a kiss and a canoodle! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add in a few confetti cannons (strategically given to your most responsible guests!). These cannons shoot confetti WAY up in the air for a dramatic look."
I love confetti but I don't want to clean it up. Is there another option?
"Buy biodegradable confetti! There is a brand called Eco-fetti that dissolves when sprayed with water, and it comes in a million colors.
Will bubbles show up in pictures?
"YES - if there are enough of them (and if you’re photographer knows how to light them properly, even if it’s dark). I recommend buying a cheap bubble machine or two, and having your planner set them up right at the start of the line - that way, there will be plenty of bubbles in the air during your entire exit."
Should we do a mock exit?
"A mock exit is when you do your “send-off” during your reception, and then everyone goes back inside to keep the party going. Personally, I don’t recommend doing a mock exit. It breaks up your reception in a weird way (“Done with dinner! Okay, everyone head outside and grab a sparkler while we pretend to exit! Done! Now, back in for our first dance!”). I have certainly photographed them but the only reason was because I had been hired until a certain time (say, 9pm), but the reception was going to continue after the time I was finished. Since I no longer offer hourly coverage (if you ask us to photograph your wedding, we’re with you until the bitter end!), I haven’t seen a mock exit in a long time! If you’re in a situation where your photographer has to leave before you are ready to do your exit, consider incorporating confetti (or ribbon wands, bubbles, or whatever!) into your first dance, or your cake cutting, or a special song! This way, you still have the opportunity for a photo, but you are still allowing your party to follow a natural course."
Where do we do the exit if its raining?
"We have photographed exits indoors and they are beautiful! Your guests can still wave ribbons wands, blow bubbles, and maybe even throw confetti indoors - but obviously, sparklers will have to stay outside."
How do you get everyone to line up?
"Typically, your band or DJ makes an announcement just before and after the last song. If you have a planner (which we definitely think you should!), then he or she will help usher your guests outside to the exit location. Once guests walk out the door, I usually step in and start placing your guests exactly where I want them for the best photos!"
Should we rent a limo for our exit?
"Sure! A limo or car of some sort is obviously convenient and comfortable - but unless it’s a super-special vehicle, then it may not be an especially gorgeous photo opportunity. Think about it - once you get into a car, the photo op stops with the door! If photos of you leaving are very important to you, consider some sort of an open-air vehicle: a pedicab, a convertible, a carriage, or a tandem bicycle!"
Will the pictures come out if it’s dark?
"Absolutely! When selecting your photographer, I recommend making sure you see photos that she or he took at NIGHT. In nearly every case, the majority of the reception takes place after the sun goes down, or indoors in a room without natural lighting. Make sure your photographer is knowledgeable and comfortable using artificial light! Your exit, like the rest of your reception, will be beautiful if your photographer knows how to shoot in dark situations."
What do you think about ribbon wands?
"Sure! Ribbon wands are fun because they are completely customizable, won’t catch your guests (or photographer!) on fire, and work both indoors and outdoors. We usually see these in the colors of the wedding, but my favorite is when the ribbons are super personal. One time, I photographed a wedding for two diehard college football fans (she went to LSU and he was a Florida Gator). Their ribbon wands were made in the colors of their schools (half were purple and gold, and half were blue and orange). During the exit, their guests lined up by school and sang their respective school’s fight song as the bride and groom exited - it was amazing."
What about paper lanterns?
"Nope. NOPE. Listen, I’ve see the photos on Pinterest - you know, the ones with thousands of glowing lanterns floating away in the air. And those photos are INCREDIBLE. But hear me now - that is NOT what is going to happen at your wedding. The lanterns are incredibly difficult to light, usually catch on fire before they start to fly, and if there is the tiniest bit of a breeze they won’t work at all. Seriously. Don’t do it."
What are your thoughts about glow sticks?
"Glow sticks aren’t my favorite. They SO fun on the dance floor (get a basket and have your planner set it out once the reception is rocking and rolling!), but they don’t have the same impact as other options during your sendoff. If you like the idea of lots of color, opt for ribbon wands instead."