As the wedding reception winds down, are you thinking about a fun send-off? Are you considering a sparkler exit? If you are, take a look at these tips below.
Sparkler Tip #1 – First and foremost, check with your venue. Many venues will indicate on their contracts whether sparklers are allowed. When in doubt though, ask your venue manager. Some of the venues in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia do not allow sparklers. If that is the case, you have other options. We have done:
Alternative #1 – Silly Strings
Photo by Ryan Brenizer
Alternative #3 – Biodegradable Confetti
Photo by Lori Love
Sparkler Tip #2 – What type and how many sparklers to buy?
I would buy the medium size sparklers which are around 24 inches long. You want the sparklers to be long enough for a lasting effect in the photograph and not burn off too quickly nor take too long to burn off completely. Also, the longer the sparkler, the further apart the guests on each side will have to stand away from each other. You also need to consider your surroundings in which the sparkler send off will take place. Sparklers that are too long might catch a tree limb on fire. In terms of quantity, not all the guests will still be around at the end of the evening. I would purchase the quantity that is equal to half your guest count.
Sparkler Tip #3 – How do you orchestrate the sparkler exit for the best results?
- When: If your venue contract states that your reception ends at 11pm, I would do the sparkler exit at 10:45pm. Have your DJ or band leader make an announcement about where the sparkler exit will happen and where to pick up a sparkler.
- The Guests: Guests pick up the sparklers (either from your wedding coordinator or from a table) and form two lines facing each other, with enough room so that the couple can run through between the two lines. Have the lines of guests lead towards their getaway vehicle if possible.
- The Photographer: It is crucial that you let your photographer and videographer know about the timing of the sparkler exit so that they can get ready for it. You may also consult with them regarding the location of the sparkler exit. Sometimes the entrance to venues have exterior lighting that may affect the resulting photograph.
- Lighting the Sparklers: If you don’t remember anything else from this blog post, remember this. DO NOT LIGHT THE SPARKLERS until your photographer / videographer is 100% ready and the couple is in place and ready to go through the tunnel of guests. Once everybody is ready, you can strategically place some pillar candles (or votive candles) from which the guests can light the sparklers. It’s actually easier to light a sparkler from another sparkler than from a flame. Once the majority of the sparklers are lit, GO!
Sparkler Tip #4 – Safety Safety Safety.
- Strategically place several buckets of sand or water (read the sparkler instructions as to whether water can be used to distinguish sparklers) for the spent sparklers.
Have ready several garbage bags to dispose of the spent sparklers and sand.
- Assess the location of the sparkler exit as to whether there are tree limbs or a low hanging wood portico that could catch on fire by a waving sparkler.
- Remember that the guests have had a few drinks by this point in the evening. If you think your guests are too drunk to pull this off safely, don’t be afraid to cancel it. We have canceled sparklers exit after we determined the guests were too drunk to hold the sparklers without burning themselves or other people.