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The grand exit from your reception is such a celebratory moment and one of the most exciting moments to capture on film! Your friends and family gathered around with sparklers or confetti, cheering as you and the love of your life walk to your new life together… what could be better?

With a traditional grand exit, the new couple leaves at the very end of the reception, typically by gathering any wedding guests who are still in attendance to celebrate with sparklers, bubbles or confetti. In contrast, the staged exit allows for all of your guests to attend the grand exit and celebrate you! After filming hundreds of weddings with both staged and unstaged exits, we have absolutely seen the benefit to planning an early exit!

When should you consider a staged exit? If you are having a long wedding day or reception, or you really want to see all of your wedding guests in the photos and footage of this important moment, you should definitely consider planning a staged exit!

BLVD Wedding Photography

What are the pros to planning a staged exit during your reception?

So glad you asked! As a creative company, our goal is to capture this moment the best way that we can!

– You’ll Look And Feel Fresh

Capturing the exit on photo and film is one of the most highly anticipated moments and we only have one chance to capture it. Why not make it perfect and plan it for earlier in the reception? This way, your hair and makeup is still fresh and hasn’t been affected by hours of crazy dancing with your friends and new husband. Not only will you and your spouse look put together, your guests will also look and feel better in this moment, as they will have had less to drink and there will inevitably be more guests attending the staged exit than if you were to wait a few more hours and have the grand exit at the end of the night.

– No Need To Purchase Additional Hours

Another big reason to consider a staged exit is if you need to pay for additional hours for your photographer or cinematographer to stay until the end of the night. You probably aren’t interested in paying to have 3 or 4 hours of unnecessary dancing footage and photos, and this is an easy way to stay in budget!

– Certain Guests May Need To Leave Early

Maybe you have several older family members who are attending your wedding, or friends with children who definitely don’t want to miss out on celebrating the entire day. They will feel like they can leave after the staged exit but not feel like they are missing out on an important moment. Of course, this brings up the fear, “What if all of my guests leave after the staged exit and the party dies?” As long as everyone is informed that it is a staged exit and you have a great band or DJ to rally everyone afterwards, your close friends and family will continue to celebrate with you late into the night!

Reverent Wedding Films

So what are the cons and how can you avoid them?

– Interrupts The Party

As I mentioned above, there is a fear that a staged exit can kill the party vibe. Maybe add a note on your wedding website or invitations, or have it announced at the beginning of the reception, that your grand exit will happen early in the evening but you request that your guests stay after to continue celebrating your new union. A good band or DJ will be able to clearly communicate this and then your guests will know what to expect and plan accordingly! Or if you don’t want to interrupt the party at all, just ask your bridal party and immediate family only to join you for the staged exit.

– Authenticity

Maybe you are afraid that the photos or films will look staged, or that you will always look back at those moments and feel that they were not genuine or authentic. What is genuine is your guests’ faces showing excitement and celebration for y’all and the look of love in your husband’s face as he dips and kisses you amidst the sparklers. Just because the moment is not at the end of the reception does not make it any less exciting or thrilling or authentic!


Obviously, a staged exit does not work for every wedding timeline or every couple, but if you are looking for a way to capture your exit while staying in budget with your photographer and cinematographer, then this is a great option for you!