Reception Exit Ideas

About a month ago, I posted on my instastory and asked what would be helpful to brides in my Wedding Planning 101 series. One of the responses that I got back was for unique reception exit ideas. Of course, everyone knows the sparkler exit. This is by far the most common around Knoxville. Then there are also bubbles coming in second place as the most common. And then there are also some less common but I still occasionally see like ribbon sticks, white balloons, bird seed, and glow sticks. I don’t have sample pictures of all of these, but here are a few of the things I mentioned above in action:

But the purpose of this post is to give you some really awesome unique ideas so I’m going to specifically highlight some here that are so unique I’ve never photographed it or I’ve only photographed it one time since I started in 2010!

  1. Snow Machine. Obviously, this one only works in the right season, but it is awesome. I have done this one once in my career, and you’ll see an example of it below. From what I understand, there are a couple different types of snow machines you can get. Some last 2-3 minutes, some 5-10… in this case, you can definitely get away with doing the 2-3 minute one as long as there is someone who can press go on it while you’re standing there ready to exit! Also, it kind of needs a place above you to sit. Like in the example below, there was an upstairs window it was shooting out of. If you don’t have that as an option, you may have to look into one that kind of shoots the snow up if that’s a thing… I’m not sure it is. Also, I would recommend still giving your guests some biodegradable snow in their hands to toss as you exit further and further away from the machine!
Snow Machine used in this unique reception exit ideas by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.

2. Sprinkles. I LOVE this option because it is so so colorful and so fun! Sprinkles are also biodegradable, so no one has to go through and pick that stuff back up! It’s also SUPER cheap. You can literally just get the tiny little plastic cups that you use for mouthwash at Babalus (or the dentist :-)), and order mass quantity of the multi colored sprinkles, and pass the cups out for your exit. As you pass by your guests just launch the sprinkles out of the cup and voila. Easy peasy and oh so cute.

Sprinkles used in this unique reception exit ideas by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.

3. Glitter Foil. I don’t have a personal example of this one, but I’ve seen it done a couple times and I love it so much. I’m dying for one of my couples to do it! I personally like the multicolored glitter foil, but I’ve also seen just gold or silver as well. Also, I recommend getting the biodegradable one so that no one has to clean it up! Or just bring a really great vacuum cleaner lol. Here is a link to a photo that I found showing this in case you are interested!

4. Confetti Cannons. So when I say confetti cannons, you can do the gigantic ones, but also you can get those little tiny ones that you see all over at July 4th! Now the cheap ones that you see at firework stores will definitely not be biodegradable so some venues probably won’t let you do it, so double check, but it would be SO cute. They do offer a biodegradable one though because the picture you see below, at the kiss during the ceremony, all the bridal party shot off the cannons and after they were introduced as husband and wife, the bride started laughing and said: “don’t worry, it’s all biodegradable”. Love her.

Confetti cannons used in this unique reception exit ideas by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.

5. Flags. Flags could meet a lot of things. American flags, racing flags, another country’s flag, etc… In my example below, it is racing flags because the groom LOVED nascar. But it was super cute and you could just do white flags or if you’re marrying someone from another country, you could do their country’s flag. Or if you just love American flags, you could do those too… especially if one or both of you are in the military!

Racing Flags used in this unique reception exit ideas by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.

6. Rose Petals. I really adore rose petal shots. This is an option for your ceremony exit as well and is absolutely gorgeous in day or night time (as long as you have a photographer that can work a flash system). And if you have some extras, we can also use them during portraits. See examples of the portrait and the reception exit of rose petals below!

Rose Petals used in this unique reception exit ideas by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.
Night time rose petals used in this unique reception exit ideas by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.

7. Paper Airplanes. So I have never seen this one done myself but I LOVE it! I really wish this would have been a thing for the wedding that I shot in the airplane hangar. Here is a link to my favorite photo of this on Pinterest: and after looking at the paper ones vs. the little cheap wooden ones and I think the wooden ones look a lot better!

8. Silly String. I know this is probably not the popular one, but it does make for some REALLY good photos. Again, I haven’t photographed one myself, but check this pinterest link out. Doesn’t that look awesome!

9. Lavender. Talk about one that smells delicious. This is a go to for couples that are gifting their guests little pots with seeds to plant in honor of their wedding. It reminds me a lot of the sprinkles but just all one color. Gives that same feel though!

Lavender used in this unique reception exit ideas by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.

10. Smoke Bombs. So I haven’t done this one before either but I have worked with smoke bombs and I KNOW that this would look amazing. It gets a little stinky but overall leaves no mess and is gorgeous! If you’re worried about the color of the bombs coming off on your clothes, just do white ones!

So there you have it! Some unique reception exit ideas that I don’t see done a lot in Knoxville! Feel free to share this post on your social medias so others can get inspired with unique ideas too!

I’m a Knoxville Wedding Photographer that loves to travel…I shoot anywhere! Click here to contact me with any questions you have about pricing or booking! If you liked what you saw above, go ahead and follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see my daily updates of the latest sessions! See more Wedding Planning 101 posts here, here or here!


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Knoxville, TN wedding photographer

I'm Amanda May and I'm pretty stoked that you're here. I'm a three on the enneagram, a smiler when things get awkward, and I would love for you to get to know me more over on my about page.


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