Tossing rice and rose petals aren't your only options.
dawn rich wedding sparkler send off

No wedding reception is complete without some sort of customized send off-it's the perfect way to close out the best party you've ever had. Traditionally, guests threw rice or flower petals at departing couples, and while these traditional options are certainly still popular, they're far from your only choices. Here, more ways couples are personalizing their wedding exits. Noisy or dignified, colorful or understated, make sure your send-off is all about the two of you and your unique personalities.

Switch Up the Timing

Depending on the location of the wedding and the age range of guests, not all attendees will make it to the end of the reception. Modern couples are solving that problem by doing the "send-off" earlier, often as they're coming back up the aisle after their vows or as they're entering the reception.

Go Eco-Friendly

Did you know many wedding venues won't even allow a rice toss anymore? As it turns out, rice isn't good for local wildlife. While confetti can be a nice alternative, it's important to discuss it with your venue first. Some will not allow it at all because it's difficult to clean up while others require that couples purchase an eco-friendly confetti option-some forms of confetti take many years to biodegrade! To make your toss a little greener, makes like many couples and ask guests to shower you with earth-friendly choices like lavender, flower petals, or dried leaves. Want something a little less messy? Some couples forgo the toss entirely and have guests wave streamer wands.

Consider Smoke Bombs

"It is all about the photo op!" said Katie Elder, owner of Overlook Barn in North Carolina. Things like sparklers and glow sticks light up the night and make for beautiful photos, but if you're leaning towards a daytime send-off, colored smoke bombs can really make a statement. These trendy types of fireworks release a bright plume of color once lit-while the look is undeniably unique, you should handle them with care. Using them on your wedding day requires careful planning.

Choose Balloons

Whether at night or during the day, balloons can make for beautiful photographs. You can select options that match your wedding's color palette or choose simple bright white options. Either way, you can't go wrong with this classic. Guests can wave them as you walk by-the movement makes for beautiful photos. If it's important to you that the balloons be released in some way, consider tethering them with long, clear strings. That way you or your wedding vendors can properly recycle them at the end of the evening.

Make It Personal

Send-offs aren't always big, noisy affairs. Sometimes, it's about giving the bride and groom one last dance together on their wedding day. "One really sweet thing we've seen is lining all the guests up outside without a specific send-off in mind, but rather to give the bride and groom one last dance together all by themselves," Elder explained.

Create Meaningful Confetti

If you and your fiancé have a favorite book or piece of music, consider creating your own confetti from those pages (assuming your venue will allow it, of course!). Kate Murphy, owner of Handsome Hollow in Long Eddy, New York, saw a bride and groom make "heart shaped confetti from the pages of their favorite book, 'The Princess Bride.'"

Blow Bubbles

If you and your fiancé are the fun-loving type, consider a basket of bubble guns for your guests. The photos will be stunning, and it's a fun way to express your playful personalities.

Make Some Noise!

If you really want to make an impact, give your guests handheld instruments-small drums, maracas, tambourines, kazoos-and they can make a joyful noise and send you off into wedded bliss.


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