By RileyGrey|Ideas|April 10, 2018

Comin’ & Goin’ : Wedding Entrances and Exits That Make a Statement

Photo: Trent Bailey via Firefly Events

Not every couple wants their wedding day to feel theatrical, but strong opening and closing statements can be a fun, and often meaningful, way to create dynamic memories for you and your guests. While it wasn’t long ago when this detail of the wedding planning process received little attention, the statement wedding entrance and exit has been trending with an uptick for a several years now (Don’t act like you haven’t been watching those viral YouTube videos). So, if you and your boo are contemplating reinventing the tradition and are in need of some wedding entrance and exit ideas, we’ve got some spot on advice from industry insiders who’ve seen it all.

Brita Olsen Creative, signature wedding planner & super stylist, offers up some insights with some practicality first. Practice makes perfect with all things, and your wedding entrance and exit are no exceptions to this tried and true rule. “It’s important to have a rehearsal so brides don’t spend the entire walk thinking about where to stand,” says Olsen. But once you’ve ironed out the kinks, you can create some real magic. “At one wedding, we had a groomsman walk down playing the ukelele for the wedding party and, then, when the bride entered a band with a grand piano started playing. It was such a beautiful, dramatic change that it still gives me chills to think about it,” says Olsen.

“…think of it as a personalized “ice-breaker” for you, your wedding party and your guests.”

Once you’ve made it official, it’s often a nice gesture to include your guests in your stroll back from the alter. A processional with pillar candles and sparkles is always lovely, of course, but there’s definitely room for you to get a little more crafty. Consider printing your wedding program on a paper bag filled with thematically on-point goodies for guests to toss as you make your first exit together as a couple. Now printing all of those inevitably discarded programs won’t feel like such a waste, and all your guests can participate and not just spectate.

Photo: Courtesy of Brita Olsen Events

Beyond the ceremony, you’ll also want to consider a statement entrance for your reception, think of it as a personalized “ice-breaker” for you, your wedding party and your guests. Your wedding reception entrance can set the tone for the whole experience and it’s another opportunity for guests to participate more fully in the moment. As Olsen says, “Guests want to celebrate… it helps them to become a part of the big moment.”

You’ll also want to ideate around an entrance that builds off the momentum already underway. Sometimes less is more. Olsen personally likes when couples, “start the reception with the first dance because you have everyone’s attention - which is hard to get once the party is underway. It’s the first time you see the couple officially married, so it’s such a special moment.”

And, remember, “special” doesn’t have to translate to “dramatic.” If low-key is more your wedding entrance/exit tune, that is more than okay. As Alia Wilson from Firefly Events shares, she and her team often encourage couples to “keep the entrance pretty simple with an upbeat song followed by a short welcome/thank you toast.” Nothing wrong with a little tried and true simplicity; there’s a reason why it works.