September 14, 2016

Posted By Ashley in

As the years go by, new traditions are continuing to pop up all over the wedding industry!! From first looks (where couples see one another before the ceremony to sneak in ample time for portraits) to a variety of different colored and styled wedding dresses steering clear from the traditional white dress!! Ty and I LOVE when our couples choose to go against the grain and make their wedding day the truest representation of them and their relationship!!

Our highest priority on a wedding day is to serve and love our couples well. Our package includes 8 hours of coverage and we want to capture every moment possible to remember their day by!! On occasion, a wedding day may extend past those 8 hours, which means we might miss a few things that help tell the full story of the day. While our couples always have the opportunity to add on additional hours to their package, sometimes that isn’t feasible budget wise which we totally understand!!

Insert our new favorite way to make sure we capture all the transitional scenes of the day until the very end – staged exits!!! Exits are by far the number one thing that we miss if the wedding extends past our 8 hours of contracted coverage!! But, we love shooting exits because they give closure to our films by providing a natural ending!! While we can sometimes use time shifting to our advantage to make another part of the day feel like a natural ending, staged exits help us in a more authentic way!!


So what is a “staged exit” and how do we do it?! About 15-20 minutes before we pack up for the night we gather together the bridal party, close family members and the photographer and head outside to where the regular exit will be. We have everyone line up like they usually would and then have the couple run through as if they are really leaving!! It’s a perfect way to capture the moment when your timeline might not have allowed for it otherwise!!

So if you’ve scrolled down through all of this and just want to know some quick tips as to why we think this is beneficial, keep reading ;]

3 Benefits of Having a Staged Exit

  1. More control
    • Specifically with sparkler exits!!! Trying to gather 100-200 people into a straight line and hold off on lighting their sparkler until the couple, Ty and I, and the photographer all have our settings ready to go is hard!!! Throw some alcohol into the mix after an incredible party and it can be even a little trickier!! A smaller group means we have more control over the line, when the sparklers are lit, and when the couple runs through!!!
  2. Multiple shooting opportunities
    • Having a staged exit allows us to shoot it as many times as we need!! Maybe the lighting was just a tad off, or the sparklers, ribbon wands, glow sticks, etc. were too far away from the couple or too close, or we want to focus on a different detail in the second shot like the couple’s feet as they are walking. This gives us more footage to work with and overall a more dynamic film!!
  3. Coverage of your exit
    • If your exit doesn’t fit into the original contracted time having a staged exit allows you to have footage of something that you might not have had before!!! It also gives you the opportunity to have someone in the exit that may have left before the end of the wedding like a grandparent!!

Ty and I just started trying this tactic this year and have been loving it so far!!! If you’re a photog/filmmaker, have you ever done a staged exit? Did you love it or hate it? Why?! If you’re a future bride + groom have you considered adding a staged exit to your timeline if yours currently doesn’t allow for it? I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!!! These films shared in this blog post both had staged exits but I bet you can hardly tell ;]


Meet Ashley

A true sweetheart from Southwestern VA, Ash spent many Sundays after church sitting around the table with her grandparents, listening to stories about the “good ‘ole days”. A talented visionary with a true heart for people, she’s likely to be found reading, writing, and planning away.

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Planner here and I’ve been doing staged exits HOWEVER you blew my mind with the idea of just using the bridal party!! I had been using all the guests and migrating them out and then back inside again afterwards. I love the idea of bridal party and closest family and friends only, it spares me from herding cats twice towards the end of the night. Genius!!!!! Will implement this moving forward. Wish everyone would do this in fact because it’s awful to do sparklers with 100+ people and my least favorite thing to do at the end of the evening….and then they’d save money on sparklers!! Haha Hooray – win – win – win!!