In my last journal entry, A Guide For Planning Your Wedding and Reception Exit, I broke down all the different kinds of wedding and reception exits. Next I would like to help you figure out if you would like your guests throwing eco-fetti, rose petals or everyone’s favorite wedding exit accouterment, sparklers! These little fire sticks are wonderful because they make for beautiful photographs, happy guests, and lots of fun!
First Things First
There are two things I recommend thinking about before you invest in sparklers:
Confirm your venue allows wedding sparklers. If they do, ask them if they have a size restriction, and any required safety measures (such as fire extinguishers, water/sand containers, etc.). Whatever their guidelines are, please plan for them so they don’t pull the plug on your fun at the last minute because of a simple missing fire extinguisher.
Safety precautions. Remember when I called them fire sticks? These things run HOT! One touch and you can end up with third-degree burns. More on safety later, but for now let’s get to the fun part!
The What, When and Where’s (grammatically incorrect, but catchy eh?) to Buying Sparklers
Only Buy “Wedding Sparklers”. The difference between regular sparklers such as the one sold for fourth of July celebrations and wedding sparklers is smoke! Wedding sparklers have steel wire cores which means they don’t emit smoke and they don’t create ash that drops on everything. They sparkle and usually in a gold hue which is über flattering.
Buy your sparklers from a reputable seller. I recommend purchasing your wedding sparklers through Wedding Day Sparklers, or my personal favorite, Direct Sparklers. They are both offer great products, are competitively priced, reliable and process orders very quickly.
Purchase 1 large 36” sparkler, or 2, 20” sparklers per guest and then add 15-20% overage. Or if you’re opting for a smaller 20” version, order 2 per person and add 20%. I recommend waiting to purchase your sparklers until you have your final guest count. Then provided you have a vision for your exit and people assigned to help execute it, one large 36” sparkler (or two 20” medium sparklers) per person is more than enough.
Length = burn time. Go BIG, so you can go home! I love the Large wedding sparklers (36”) no matter what the size of your party because they have a time of 3+ minutes. While I am dying to insert some jokes here, but I’ll leave that to you. This allows your designated lighters to get them lit, guests moved into place, enough time for your grand finale, and even an encore if you choose! They are thicker than their shorter counterparts so their sparkle is substantially brighter. If you don’t want something quite as long, the smallest I would go are medium wedding sparklers (20”). They have a burn time of roughly 1.5 minutes.
Add 15+ more to your order if you are planning on doing sparkler writing or special effects. These require a lot of know how and a special set up so be sure to discuss this plan with your photographer in advance. I adore these special photos and love when couples request them. The best results come from having a totally dark area to work in. They can include the entire wedding party, or just the two of you. Note that it adds roughly 20 or minutes onto your timeline, and time away from guests.
While you’re ordering, add a pack or two of these heart shaped sparklers to your cart. They are small and sweet and illuminate the two of you brilliantly. They make for epic romantic shots and are so easy that no couple should be without them! If you buy them and want to include them on your wedding day, just assign someone to hand them off to me at the start of your wedding and I’ll pull them out during a few key moments to get some great shots of the two of you.
Safety Precautions & Keeping Kids Safe
Remember when I mentioned that sparklers run hotter than hot? I think they are tons of fun, but I also feel like they can be really dangerous when placed in the wrong hands so I implore you to just set up some safety precautions in advance so you can enjoy your sparkler exit! By wrong hands, I mean anyone under 12 or 13. When handed a sparkler I’ve seen kids turn into ballerinas, pirates, Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker, and Ninjas. Even with clear directions they will inevitably give them a twirl, wave them around, use them as swords and even throw them at others. They are mesmerized by the pretty sparkle and do not hold them up and far away from their face. This can spell disaster in many ways, not to mention voluminous wedding gown that just was touched by their sparkler. As a mom I have never let my six-year old near one just because I’ve seen too many close calls and don’t want to take any chance with my daughters safety. I recommend you talk with your guests that are bringing kiddos to your wedding and let them know that the sparklers you are using are so hot that they can even melt certain kinds of metal. My final recommendation is to make sure all your guests are wearing shoes when it’s time to light up the sparklers. Sparks hurt when you step on them.
And if I haven’t convinced you of the seriousness of all this, maybe this tragic statistic will.
From June 20 to July 20, 2014, sparklers accounted for an estimated 19 percent of the 7,000 fireworks-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. For children under 5, sparklers accounted for 61 percent of the total estimated injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
This is Going to be EPIC!
Your sparkler exit is going to be extraordinary! I love photographing these special moments and guarantee you that your images will be ones you cherish for a lifetime!
Please follow along to my next journal entry when I break down all the steps to achieving epic sparkler exit photographs! I’ll talk about how to set up your guests, what to do in your tunnel of lovely sparklers and give you permission (heck, beg you) to run through it more than once!