Should I Do A Fake Wedding Exit or a Real Wedding Exit?

Video Transcript

Hey, this is Dalton Young, a destination wedding videographer and photographer. And I want to talk really quickly about whether should you do a fake exit or not. Now, I get asked this question a lot during the How Many Hours of Coverage Do I Need? So if you haven’t watched any of that or checked any of that on my page, be sure to check it out.

Should you do a fake exit or not? It just depends. It depends on, A, from there’s the budget side of it. Are you looking to save money, or are you not looking to save money? As far as your coverage with your photo and video, because this can help save a couple of hours, depending on the time of year. That’s the second part. When is your wedding? When is your ceremony? How late is the reception running? And then you have the whole, are you looking to do your exit and leave? Are you looking to do your exit and come back? Which is what a fake exit is. Or I think they call them a faux exit. But what I’m saying is when you have a sparkler exit… So traditionally speaking, an exit is an exit. When you leave, you go. No matter how you’re leaving, you just go.

So some people, oftentimes it’s actually not even the bride, in my experience. A lot of times it’s the parents of the brides who may come from a more traditional wedding experience, just depending on their background and lifestyle. But if they come from that, they don’t understand why you would do an exit and come back in. They think the exit should be at the very end and that be it. Whereas the more modern bride nowadays, many of them will opt for the fake exit. And basically, they go out, they do whatever kind of exit it is, they go out and do the exit and they come back in and enjoy partying. Why is this important? It’s like, “Well why would you do a fake exit?” Two reasons. The budget, as we’ve already talked about. It’s going to save you money. If your reception’s going till 11:00 at night and you say, “Hey, we’re going to do a fake exit at 9:00.” That way the photographer can get out of there. The videographer can get out of there. And then we can keep partying for two more hours, then so be it.

The party doesn’t have to stop unless you have other things requiring it to stop. But a lot of times, once we get through the major events… So whenever, if again, if you go back to the whole coverage section, the biggest thing that I talk about is we usually get there… In a perfect world, right? You could have 14, 15, or 16 hours of coverage, I guess, if you wanted to, but I say eight hours is a perfect number for a full-day event. We can do 10. You can do six. It really just depends on your event. But when brides ask me, “When should I arrive?” Usually, I say 30 minutes before the end of prep so that we can get those final prep shots because those usually look the absolute best. You look your absolute best on camera. And so does everybody else, everybody’s usually happy and already feeling good at that point about themselves. And then we go to the last major event, whether that’s a bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting sparkler exit, whatever, whatever that exit is or whatever that last main event is. That’s when you want coverage until.

If all that happens before the dance floor opens, you may want a little bit of the dance floor opening as well, just because it looks good in the video. But what happens is, let’s say you’re getting married in the summer. The days are longer in the United States. And if your reception’s a lot shorter because of the longer day, then that’s totally fine. But what really gets a lot of brides is the ones that are getting married in winter, right? Let’s say December, right? Here in the Destin Florida area, it gets dark like just before five at 5:00 PM. So your ceremony has to happen super early. You have to start your prep super early, and ceremonies are happening at like three in order to get close to sunset. So after that, If you’re done, let’s say your reception starts at five and your venue says you have it till 10 or 11, that’s five or six hours… that’s a really long reception for just your standard wedding. The standard weddings that we end up doing.

And when it’s like that, that’s a lot of dancing, like real talk, if I’m videoing, or we’re taking photos of video, whatever of the dance floor, after five hours, I mean, we’re not going to be shooting the whole time, because that’s way too much. That’s way too much footage that we have to store that we have to carry around. So what happens is we end up kind of just hanging out, just waiting around for something to happen. Because you got to think about in a five-minute video or a 10-minute video, like a highlight film, or even if you were doing like a fear of missing out or like a documentary edit, how much dance, I mean, at some point it becomes too much dancing. If you have three or four hours of dancing that you have to watch, you’re never going to watch it, period.

So what you want to have is someone there till the last major event. And usually, that’s where the fake exit comes in. Because you know you hate to pay for coverage of a photographer or videographer on the dance floor that’s four hours long, because ultimately, you would be 100% lucky, depending on how on the film is, but like a standard five to seven-minute cinematic highlight film. I mean, you’re, I don’t know, maybe a couple of minutes dancing at best. It’s probably not even that, it’s probably more like a minute, but I mean, I’m not talking about the first dance. I’m not talking about father-daughter dance, or any of that, or first dances, I’m talking about the actual dance floor being open for everybody. Because most of the good dances happen at the beginning. And then usually one of two things happens, either the dance floor slows down as it gets further along because people get tired, especially depending on the age of the crowd, or if they’re like super drunk, it gets really sloppy. And you really don’t necessarily want that either. So usually within the first hour, all the best dancing happens anyways.

So back to fake exits, that’s why you should probably consider having a fake exit, right? If your reception’s not that long, then I would just opt to have it all covered. But if you have a really long reception and there are hours of dancing, you may want to consider cutting it off a little bit early, getting the exit out of the way so that way everybody can get out of there. And then what will also happen is once you get the photographer and videographer out of there, you’ll be surprised how much your dance floor actually comes to life, because there’s a lot of people that won’t get on that dance floor because they don’t want people videoing them or taking photos of them dancing. Because for whatever reason, maybe they’re embarrassed. Maybe they just don’t like cameras. Maybe they don’t want to be in the video doing anything crazy. So just something to think about. Fake exits though, it’s not a bad idea. It just depends on if it fits your style. It’s got to fit everybody involved. Whoever’s involved with the planning.

It’s got to fit with your timeline and the venue and your DJ coverage or your band coverage, whatever you have. And then the coverage of your photographers and videographers. But a fake exit is not a bad idea in my opinion. It can help save you money. It can help save time for your photographers, and videographers to let them pack up, go home, see their families, and go ahead and get started on moving your big moment forward as far as the editing process and stuff goes. So just something to think about. It’s not a bad idea to do one. And if you decide not to do one, that’s cool too. You just have an actual exit. And I’m going to do another video here in a little bit on types of exits because that’s where it gets interesting. There are all kinds of stuff. There are so many ideas.

So anyways, check that out, check out my website, And again, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, happy to help, whether you’re looking to book with us or not, always happy to help any bride planning to make sure that they have the best experience possible. Like I said, whether it’s with us or anybody else, so check us out and we’ll talk to you soon.

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Photography/VideographyDalton Young Weddings