Keli Gwyn
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Romantic Traditions: Wedding Send-Off

I heard horns honking recently, looked out the front window, and saw a sight that put a smile on this romantic’s face. A string of cars were following a bride and groom’s getaway car, making quite a ruckus.

Upon hearing that noisy sendoff, I was was whisked back to my childhood when that sound used to make me go all mushy inside as I imagined the day I’d be a bride leaving my wedding seated beside my brand new husband.

Dreams don’t always turn out the way we expect.

Sometimes they’re even better.

Such was the case when Gwynly and I wed.

I’m giving a fist pump to the couple who gifted us the ride, expressing my thanks and telling them they outdid themselves.

Instead of a car trailing tin cans and tennis shoes, one of our groomsmen and his wife gifted us a ride in a 1950s Rolls Royce.

Instead of our friends tailing us honking, we walked down a red carpet to the classy car, sipped sparkling cider, and enjoyed a quiet ride in the lap of luxury.

That ride was one of the most romantic I’ve ever experienced!


If you’re married, what was your wedding sendoff like?

If you’re not married, what’s the most romantic sendoff you’ve seen?

Keli Gwyn


  • I always loved seeing the line of wedding cars and hearing the honking and cheering for the bride ad groom, too! I don’t see this tradition anymore, though. Do wedding parties still do that?

    We had a limo with our wedding party and after the ceremony, we were whisked off to get pictures. After the reception, my husband and I drove away in his hilariously decorated BMW, which was overflowing with gifts!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Laura, I’d almost forgotten the tradition until I witnessed that trail of honking cars pass by our house following the decorated getaway car.

      I’d love to see a picture of your husband’s “hilariously decorated” Beemer. Sounds fun!

  • Ah, how fun! My husband and I just rode away in his F350. Of course, as we turned to for one last picture, my mother jumped in the truck with us. It was too funny.

    I’m the photographer at a wedding that is this Saturday and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do. πŸ™‚

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Natasha, I laughed when I read about your mom jumping aboard as you and your groom prepared to leave the wedding. What a memory that must have made.

      How neat that you’re a wedding photographer. That must be one of the most romantic jobs going–right up there with wedding dress designer. πŸ™‚

  • How cool are you with the fist pump! I love you, Keli. You always make me happy!!!
    ~ Wendy

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wendy, that picture captures Gwynly and me perfectly. I exude emotion, whereas he’s Mr. Calm, Cool, and Collected. He actually moved during a praise song in church a few weeks back, and the congregation who is used to me dancing to the music next to my immobile guy took notice.

  • Melissa Tagg says:

    Haha, I’m not married, but during one of my proms, my date and I got to ride in a horse-drawn carriage. I remember my parents waving at us as we left and my date and I joking about how we’d better get home by midnight. Good times. Love the photo and like Wendy said, I love your note about the fist pump! πŸ™‚

  • Erica Vetsch says:

    That fist pump is adorable! πŸ™‚

    We drove away in a borrowed car, shaking birdseed from our hair and laughing, giddy that we were finally married.

  • Linda A. says:

    The high temp the day we got married was -23 so pretty much everyone was running for his or her own vehicle to start it up and then back in the church and then running back out to a hopefully somewhat warmed up vehicle. No highjinks or anything fun outside that evening. But we were happy and in love so it was just perfect the way it was.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Linda, like you, I was married in winter. Unlike you, it was a mild, cloudless December day in the San Francisco Bay area of California. I don’t do cold well, but we did encounter -11ΒΊF temps on our honeymoon up at Lake Tahoe where we went cross-country skiing. Sure made the cozy cabin we’d rented look mighty attractive.

  • You are so cute!! My friends decorated our car with window paint and cans off the back. We had to pull over and remove the cans, though, because it’s illegal to drive with them here.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lindsay, how fun to have friends decorate your car. How responsible of you to remove the cans right away. In addition to being legal, it probably made for a much quieter ride. πŸ™‚

  • Beautiful picture, Keli! I love your dress and the Rolls Royce πŸ™‚

    My husband and I got married on a military post so guests were not allowed to throw rice, but they did wish us well when we left the chapel in our car together.

  • Susan Mason says:

    Nothing romantic. We left in our own car, which someone had booby-trapped with a ton of confetti in the air ducts which they left on high. So the moment I turned the engine on, I got a blast of confetti in my face. NOT funny.
    Then when we got back to our apartment (we weren’t leaving on our honeymoon til the next day), the apartment had been booby-trapped as well. I almost cried. I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep, but had to re-make the whole bed before we could get in. I was not impressed with the girl behind that – let me tell you. Wasn’t too surprised my hubby’s friend divorced her not long after.

    But it does make a funny story years later!

  • Loree Huebner says:

    How fun, Keli! I love that picture!

  • I love the fist pump, Keli! That looks like an amazing ride.

    My husband and I didn’t do a big send-off because it was February and C-O-L-D outside! πŸ™‚ The neatest send-off I’ve ever seen was my sister and her husband…They left the church in a hot air balloon.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Sarah, a hot air balloon send-off would be pretty cool. Not sure I’d be brave enough to try that, though. It must have been fun to watch them fly away.

  • oooh! love this question! my husband and i thought we’d be really sly and park our car away from the festivities so that no one would shoe polish it or put on cans, etc. didn’t count on a snitch…but i did count on not being too keen on having rice pelted at me and going down my dress. so i had very austere bubbles and gave away the bubble bottles as favors. we walked down to where we thought our car was hidden and dang if it wasn’t covered in shoe polish. i drove a car that had hearts and LOVE spelled out on the tires for 3 years b/c it had baked in the louisiana sun long enough to become permanent. but the photographer captured a great shot of us leaving that is one of my favorite shots of the entire wedding. πŸ™‚

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wow, Jeannie, I never heard of using shoe polish to decorate a wedding couple’s car. Seems like that would damage the paint. So glad those who decorated our car (not the pretty rental Rolls but the little Ford Escort at home), only decorated the windows, where we could get the paint off fairly easily. I’m sure you garnered lots of attention driving around with your special tires, though. I’d love to see that picture.

  • We took pictures after the ceremony, so by the time we left the church all the guests had already gone to the reception site and it was just Dave and I, which was so refreshing since we’d been surrounded by people all morning and would be for the rest of the day. We went to a gas station in all our finery and I bought a pack of gum and he bought two bottles of water. I remember the gas station employee was delighted to see us and it still stands out to me – doing something so common place on the most important day of our lives. πŸ™‚

  • Julie Nilson says:

    I love the tradition of the bride and groom’s car honking around town (and everyone honking back) and was really looking forward to that. We had rented a large limousine that would fit us and our wedding party, but that limo did not show up at my mom’s house to take me and the bridesmaids to the church! Fortunately, the mom of my childhood best friend had come to take pictures, and she had a van. So after my sister called the limo company to confirm that they’d make it to the church, we all piled into the van and got to the church only a few minutes late.

    After the ceremony, a limo was there–but it was much smaller than the one we had requested. Apparently, the one that we were supposed to get had broken down, and the livery didn’t have any others. So we squished ourselves into the smaller limo, even though my husband and all of our brothers are over 6 feet tall. My skinny sister sat on the bar!

    As we drove away, we discovered that the AC for the back of the limo was broken–did I mention that it was 95F that day? The driver opened the window between the front and the back and cranked up the air as high as he could, but it didn’t do much good. We were sweltering.

    But we went to the shores of Lake Michigan to take pictures, as we had planned, and it was cool and breezy there. Everyone was in sort of a silly mood by then (maybe it was the heatstroke?) so we got some great photos.

    Then we piled back into the car to go to the reception, and my husband called the limo company manager to express our displeasure with the car they’d sent. There was some back and forth there (long story), but the gist is that we didn’t pay any more than our $50 deposit for that limo.

    The story eventually made its way around the reception hall, and people kept asking me why I wasn’t more upset about the whole thing. I told them that yes, it was hot, and yes, I was bummed about not doing the driving and honking thing, but I was taking consolation in the fact that we had an extra $350 to spend on our honeymoon!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wow, Julie. What a memorable experience you had. I’m glad the limo company didn’t charge you for the ride. What impresses me most is your response to the situation. You chose not to let it dampen your joy.

  • Keli, I do love the pics and stories about you and your lovable spouse. You come close to a fairytale love affair. A Rolls !!! How grand. We were the traditional limo with the pic of us grinning out the back window as we drove to our reception. Not nearly as romantic as yours … but memorable nevertheless. Thanks πŸ™‚