Ask the Coordinators – Memorable Grand Exits

Lindsey B. asks: What ideas have you seen for grand exits? I’d love the photo opportunity, but I can’t decide what to do for it!

Autumn Tall | Michael Murphy IV PhotographyAutumn says: “There are a variety of ways to make an exit from either the ceremony or the reception!

“For ceremony exits, bubbles are probably the most popular and for good reason.  They are inexpensive, whimsical, and always a crowd favorite.  Plus the bubbles remain in the air for a long time, so the photographers have plenty of time to take great photos. Ribbon wands are also a cute idea we’ve seen.  They can come with swirls of ribbons and bells attached to them, and they are usually inexpensive. Your guests can even take them home! Another great idea: a balloon release.  While you make your exit, guests can release the balloons in celebration of your marriage.

“While we do not allow rice or birdseed, another option that is a little more traditional that we can allow is lavender.  Throwing lavender makes for a romantic scene.  And it smells great, and is friendly to the environment.  You can put it in little packets or paper cups on each seat.

“Now onto reception exit ideas! We do not allow paper lanterns to be lit and released into the sky, due to the fire hazard to the surrounding buildings and gardens. Sparklers are the most popular, they make for really neat photos and they are relatively inexpensive. It does take quite a bit of coordination for the photo opportunity though, so you’ll want to make sure your vendors and guests are prepared for a few extra minutes for organization. Glow sticks are a real crowd pleaser for the reception, and easy to use.  They make great photos at night and guests can keep them for the dance floor!

“Each courtyard and reception room has photo-ready exit locations. The doors from the East Garden Room leading into the King’s Grand courtyard make a great spot for a reception send off, and you could even have a car waiting at the end of the sidewalk to take you two away.  The West Garden Room also attaches to the Grand Courtyard, or you can exit through the West Courtyard for a more secluded send-off.  Both the Knight’s and the Queen’s Courtyards have space to make an exit from the ceremony, and the Knight’s Castle reception can then use the Knight’s Courtyard sidewalk leading to the drive for guests to line up for an exit. If you are in the King’s Great Hall, we have the option of using the King’s Grand Courtyard as well, or out under the main Castle portico entrance.  You and your spouse can make for a grand exit by using a carriage or a special getaway car.  Either can drive on the internal roads of the Castle property to get to any of the courtyards or best exit doors of the reception spaces.

“If you’re planning a ceremony or reception exit, just be sure to discuss your plans with your Venue Coordinator ahead of time so we can ensure it can be accommodated and help facilitate. Whether you plan sparklers, bubbles, glow sticks or balloons – remember the most important part of your grand exit: taking in the fact that you are now married to your best friend, and it’s all about celebrating you two!”