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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Connelly

Mock Exit? This is a Bad Idea

As a wedding DJ, I’ve experienced a lot. From a wedding where the couple specifically told me, “we don’t want dancing,” to ending the night with a mock kidnapping. (That last one was scary to plan but somehow worked out epically)

Curious about my most disliked trend in weddings? Read on.

Formal exit at a wedding at Harmony Ridge Lodge in Nevada City, CA.
Beautiful Grand Exit at a Wedding

DJs are all about transitions. Mock exits are the definition of bad transitions.

One trend that has become increasingly popular over the years is the fake or mock exit, where the DJ stops the dancing, asks all the guests to go outside, line up, and then pretend to say goodbye to the couple. Why doesn’t this happen at 9:55? It’s because the photographer is only contracted to 8:30, and they convinced the couple it would be a great photo. While this may seem like a fun idea at first glance, there are many reasons why fake exits are a bad idea at a wedding. I’m a DJ. I am all about transitions. This is a bad transition.

First, it can be deceiving for the guests. When a couple pretends to leave, it can confuse the guests because it literally feels like the end of the wedding. Many guests may begin to gather their things and say their goodbyes, which can lead to an early end to the reception. I’ve seen it. Guests are like, “that was fun, but I’ve got a long drive, and since I’m outside saying goodbye, I’m going to head home.” I want your guests to lose track of time. I hope 10:00 pm hits, and they’re like, “What? It’s 10 already. I haven’t danced like that since college."

Second, fake exits disrupt the flow of the dance party. As a DJ, I need to build the dance floor. We need to gain your guests' confidence so they let their guard down and dance, maybe kind of weirdly. Imagine getting into the groove, and suddenly the DJ announces, “We are about to perform a fake exit for Matt & Shannon. Will everyone please make your way toward the bar and grab your sparklers? This is only a mock exit. You can leave your jackets, handbags, and drinks at your table as the dance party will continue after we pretend to say goodbye.” See what I’m saying. It’s a DJ’s nightmare. When the guests return, they hit up the bar for a drink, catch up with some friends, and, hopefully, return to the dance floor. Bad transition? Yes.

In conclusion, I have your solution.

1. Tell your photographer no. (you already have amazing photos)

2. Do it at 9:55 and have your friend who’s pretty good with their iPhone film it. (You could have your photographer contracted through 10:00 pm, but the last two hours don’t produce a ton of epic photos. I love some great dance floor pics, but they probably aren't the ones you'll have framed above your fireplace at home)

Photo credit for two amazing photographers who were contracted to 10:00 pm and shot a beautiful grand exit -


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