With Fourth of July just behind us, I thought I'd share my 5 expert tips for those of you thinking of doing a sparkler exit at your wedding!
With all of the budget planning that goes into making a wedding beautiful, it's so easy to look for little ways to save money that aren't obvious to your guests. This is NOT the time to do that.
Different than the Fourth of July sparklers you are probably used to, wedding sparklers are usually sold in 3 different sizes - somewhere around 12 inches, 24 inches and 36 inches. The 12 inch sparklers are by FAR the cheapest and initially the most appealing however sparklers burn at a rate of 1 foot per minute - so 3 minutes total for even the longest sparkler. Unless you have an extremely small, intimate wedding, you're going to need every second you can get to have all of those sparklers lit and guests lined up and ready to go!
I always suggest the 36 inch sparkers for my clients. To create that Pinterest picture you've seen time and time again, the sparklers need to be somewhat close to the newlyweds. The 36" sparklers allow both the guest and the happy couple to be a safe distance from the fire in addition to that extra time it allows for more photos!
As you can imagine, there are venues don't feel 100% comfortable with guests who have been drinking for hours waving around sticks with fire on the end of them. Who could blame them?
Before you buy anything, make sure to check your venue guidelines on open flames and ask which areas of the venue (if any) you can have your grand exit! Some venues located within or close to a forrest or another highly flammable area might not permit this at all, unfortunately!
PLAN WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
This is a HUGE photo opportunity! As soon as you know you'd like to have a sparkler exit, tell your photographer. Your photography contract outlines exactly how many hours of service your photo package includes, so you'll either want to adjust that timeframe with them so that they are there until the very end or preferably add additional hours so that they don't miss any of your getting ready details! This also allows your photographer to scope out the venue for the best spot to exit!
let your guests know!
To create that exit you've envisioned, you want to make sure as many of your guests as possible are there at the very end of your wedding! Some of your older guests, especially, who might otherwise leave a little earlier might decide to stick around if they know how important this is to you! A sign displayed at the reception AND a little timeline in their welcome bag never hurts so that your guests can plan their transportation accordingly!
pack the supplies
This is the most important. Not having the right materials to execute this can cause huge problems! I usually suggest bringing along at least 1 lighter for every 20 guests - we pack a bunch with us too to help out! Check out Eric, my right hand husband/helper lighting 3 at a time! We take this seriously ;)
The sparklers actually do a better job of lighting themselves from other sparklers than they do catching fire from matches, so designating a person (or hiring a wedding planner!) to be there to communicate this to your guests once they've got a few going can really help to speed the process along!
One of the cutest sparkler packaging I've seen is from For Your Party. They sell these adorable sparkler sleeves with matches attached and allow you to customize your information, wedding font and colors to match! Just slip a sparkler in the slots at the top and bottom of the sleeve and everyone is informed and supplied!
This cute little tag gives everyone with a sparkler an immediate way to light their sparkler and be ready for you!
Last but certainly not least, have multiple water stations located a good distance apart from each other for your guests to put their sparklers out after you leave! Placing these in the general direction of the parking lot allows for your guests to give each other room so that nobody is turning around and surprising anyone! I usually suggest a metal pail of some sort so as not to create another fire with a plastic container of water.
Keeping these tips in mind as you plan your grand exit can save you a lot of stress in the long run and allow you to achieve those memorable photos you've been wanting!