The non-toss ceremony exit

7 May 2010

My buddy M currently has about thirteen girlfriends planning weddings. True story. Several of them got together last week, and one conundrum followed them home:

“Mary and DJ are saying ‘I Do’ at our university chapel, which unfortunately does not permit any thrown celebratory items post-ceremony. (Au revoir rice and confetti!) The bride, however, is attached to the image of walking out of the church doors with her new husband with celebration literally in the air. She and I have been brainstorming other options and she is thinking streamers, however we are struggling with ways this idea can be a. not too feminine for male guests to participate in, and b. not too homemade-seeming. Do you have any inspiring images or ideas for ways we could logistically piece together streamers for waving, or other items that would photograph well in the air –short of being tossed?

My wheels instantly started turning, because as much as I love the image of streamers waving in the air, I’ve always had a hard time swallowing that men would voluntarily participate in such an activity. After putting some feelers out to friends, here are the best ideas we came up with.

{Kim Box via Southern Weddings}

First, let’s take a moment to pause and mourn the loss of moments like this one. Jenifer and Kenny had a confetti canon. Yep, that’s pretty cool.

{Amy Squires via Style Me Pretty}

{Catana Photography via SMP}

Okay, moving on. The first option is streamers. They do make for lovely photos, and the guests in these photos appear to be participating wholeheartedly. They seem simple to make, too. The bride above suggests buying dowels from a home improvement store and cutting them into thirds (leaving each about 16 inches long). She then cut one inch thick organza ribbons into 20 inch sections, dabbed a bit of hot glue on the top of each rod, tied a loose knot at the end of each ribbon, and then tightened it over the top, over the glue.

{Beaux Arts Photographie via Style Me Pretty}

Fairly similar to streamers are pinwheels. You could do the standard size, or you could go oversize. Certainly whimsical, but depending on the paper used, could also be sophisticated.

Hooray flags! You can purchase them from So Inviting on Etsy, or figure out the DIY. I also like the idea of making triangle flags from colored paper or fabric, like so:

{Feather Love Photography via SMP}

{Kristin Vining}

Wedding signs! Never seen this before, but it looks very cute here!

{Martha Stewart}

And finally, wedding bells. I have to say, this is my favorite option of the bunch, even if it isn’t the most original. I think the sound of hundreds of tinkling bells would be magical, it’s not as girly as waving a ribbon streamer, and your guests will definitely “get it.” (Which they might not with, say, wedding signs.)

What do you think? Which of these options is your favorite? Do you have a better idea? And how about it — are ribbon wands just too girly to be practical, or have you seen them used successfully?

P.S. Of course, there’s always sparklers, but the logistics of getting them all lit at the same time is a little much for me. I also love the idea of kazoos or those party blowers that unroll, but I couldn’t find a good photo to illustrate!

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May 7, 2010 10:56 pm


May 8, 2010 6:21 pm

Do they have a favorite sports team? I went to a wedding where the groom was an Alabama fan and the bride was an Auburn fan and depending on who you were there for you received a stick pom-pom in either Auburn or Alabama colors. They had their names and the date on the sitck which added a personal touch to it. I thought this was a really neat idea, and it wouldn't be too girly for the guys. Also would be great since they're getting married at the chapel where they went to college.

May 8, 2010 10:56 pm

Great idea, Kate! It could definitely work.

May 13, 2010 12:05 pm

Streamers are used in Sense and Sensibility (1995 version) and it looks lovely!

May 14, 2010 1:13 am

THANK YOU so much, Emily! You're the best ever. I love the idea of the experience of jingling bells…but streamers are gorgeous. Perhaps we could combine the two? Mary and I will keep you in the loop! xoxox you Brilliant Lady

September 3, 2012 11:49 am