Remember the old days when the only decision to make about the end of the ceremony was whether your guests would throw rice or birdseed? Those were simpler times. These days, there are just as many options for a ceremony capper as there are for any other part of your wedding. It’s endlessly customizable, and there are plenty of opportunities to make a misstep that will leave some of your guests fuming. But when a ceremony capper is done right, it’s a fun way to celebrate a successful ceremony and transition into the reception. Here are some ceremony cappers to avoid, and a few to embrace.
Balloon release — if you’re an 80’s or early 90’s kid, you may remember the epic balloon release fad that swept the country. I remember writing a message on a balloon and sending it off with hundreds of others from my classmates in elementary school, filling the sky with latex and string. It’s a beautiful sight…but it’s seriously bad for wildlife. Balloon pieces can choke animals, strings can get wrapped around paws and beaks, and it’s a bad scene. Basically, a balloon release is just a pretty way of littering, with a side helping of potential animal abuse. Not the best look for a wedding day.
Dove release — Speaking of animal abuse…well, okay, people who provide the doves for a dove release insist that the birds are well-cared for. But there are plenty of people who object to animals being caged up and used for entertainment, and if you have one of them at your wedding, you’ll never hear the end of it. Plus, at the heart of it, doves are just pigeons with a makeover. They’re still flying vermin, and they still poop. It’s best to give them a miss.
Butterfly release — The doves may be well-cared for, and maybe the guy who rounds up the butterflies makes sure every last one gets safely back in its cage, but it’s still a weird moral gray area to put into your wedding. Butterfly releases can also result in decreased native butterfly populations, too. And to be honest, butterflies just kind of freak us out. Sure, the wings are beautiful, but get up close to one and it’s just a bug. So you’ve released hundreds of bugs, and now they’re crawling on your guests.
Wedding sparklers — Yes, you must make sure your venue is okay with them, and you want to make sure everyone plays safely with them, but wedding sparklers make for a gorgeous ceremony capper, especially if your wedding ends around dusk. There’s no litter, no bugs, and no bird poop, so we think it’s a winner. Just make sure you get high quality wedding sparklers; they’re made especially to not burn as hot and not smoke as much as Fourth of July sparklers.
Diet Coke and Mentos fountain — For a truly nerdy ceremony capper, look to the internet for inspiration and walk out to a Diet Coke and Mentos fountain. Sure, it’s messy, but diet coke washes off easily, and you can’t deny it’ll be a spectacle people will talk about for a while. So definitely keep it on the list, especially if you and your partner are science teachers.
Sky Lanterns — If your wedding venue permits it, launching sky lanterns is a great alternative to a balloon release. They glow beautifully and they’re biodegradable, with no bird-choking strings to worry about. Since the small fire element is supported inside the lantern, even if one does land while still lit it will harmlessly burn out.
A great ceremony capper is a good way to set the stage for your reception. Just avoid the messy and gross options and go for something fun, and yours is sure to be a hit.