Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Grand Departure

With wedding planning today, so many brides forget a very simple, yet important aspect to their wedding reception. The Grand Departure!

One might think, "what's the big deal? We're just leaving or the party is over". However, the departure of the newlyweds is what will stay in your family and guests memory as that is the last formality of the BIG day! And what about those photos? You don't want to miss out the opportunity to capture every single aspect of your wedding day.

Years ago, the couple departed from the church or reception site with rice. Of course we don't use rice anymore because of the environment (birds eat the rice, it swells in their stomachs and you all know the rest). We also don't use rice anymore, because hurts! you only have to try it once to understand that there is nothing romantic about being hit in the face with small hard pieces of rice, and then later on pulling them out of your hair, dress and other places.

There are other wonderful options. Bubbles and Rose Petals are the most common and make a beautiful statement as well as keep the symbol of 'love' flowing even in this last act of the day. They provide a beautiful backdrop to your photos and everyone enjoys the act of grabbing a handful to toss. You do however have to check with your facility to ensure that they allow rose petals. A lot of hotels and churchs now no longer allow the beautiful petals, mainly due to the mess they leave behind. Rose petals can be hazardous on marble floors in hotels when guests step on them also.

Instead, you may want to think about a Lavender Toss, which is one of our favorites. If outside at churches, the light weight of the lavender blows off into the slightest of breezes and leaves no mess behind. The aroma permeates the air and has leaves behind a beautiful scent. These can be provided in baskets with small spoons or in hand-made cones just like rose petals.

Sparklers are another favorite for departures. Of course the photos are gorgeous and they symbolize celebration, just like the 4th of July. The make fabulous photo backdrops and your guests will absolutely love the fun of lighting them all at the same time. Things you must be careful of will be safety first (do not allow small children to handle sparklers). You need to plan this one out carefully. If you do not have a planner who is experienced in this, make sure you keep in mind some of the following tips:

(a) all the sparklers must be lit at the same time from one end of the line to the other
(b) the newlyweds must be waiting to come out as all the fireworks are being lit
(c) you cannot wait too long to let them burn down, as it just creates smoke, which is not great for your photos
(d) make sure you have a bucket of water (large) to place the sparklers in after they are depleted. This will save in people getting burned by the hot metal.
(e) Do use metal sparklers. The wooden ones tend to keep on burning and we have had incidents where they actually burned all the way down to the fingertips.

I think one of our favorites and safest is the use of light sticks for a grand send off. They are safe, fun for adults and kids alike and they make a beautiful photo at the end of your wonderful wedding. They are usually readily available all year long either online or at party stores and are inexpensive compared to the other means of departure elements.

No matter what you decide on, remember that this is the last formal act of the day. The day goes by so quickly and you'll want to keep these memories in the minds of your family, guests and most of all, your own. Take it all in and enjoy!
Photography credits:
Bubbles Departure: Lisa young Photography
Light Sticks Photos: Richard Bell Photography
Petal Cones: A Charleston Wedding
Sparkler Departure: A Charleston Wedding

To check out more options on planning the perfect departures,
contact our planners at A Charleston Event & Bridal Library

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