Lauren and Craig had a beautiful wedding at the Mile Away Restaurant, and at the very end of the reception they did a sparkler send-off. This was an exciting and memorable way to end the evening, and all the guests had a great time with it. I thought I’d take the opportunity to provide a few tips about how to pull this off successfully, beautifully, and safely.
First of all, safety is the utmost concern when playing with sparklers. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of sparklers within close proximity to a lot of people, and let’s be honest…. many of these people may or may not have been celebrating heavily during the reception. Be aware of yourself and also those around you! Clothing and hair is flammable, and brides in long flowing dresses certainly are at risk. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.
Secondly, you need the right kind of sparkler. The typical short ones that you find at the 4th of July are great, but they burn out very quickly! Bear in mind that it takes time for everyone to get their sparklers lit at the same time, and the effort could be over rather suddenly if half the group’s sparklers burn out before you even get them all lit. They actually make 36″ sparklers which are perfect for this (just Google it). They have a 4-minute burn time, which gives you ample opportunity to 1. get everybody’s lit, and 2. give the bride and groom time to travel through the flaming tunnel. They also come in 20″ lengths which have a 2 minute burn time, and could be a good option as well.
A great way to get all the sparkers lit is to share the flame! Instead of actually taking the time to light every single one with a lighter, get a few started and then have those people light someone else’s with their sparks. Gets the job done quickly.
Another important tip for making this photo opportunity successful is to not run through. Again, do not run. There is no need. If you’re using the 36″ sparklers you have tons of time to walk through (and probably 2 or 3 more times, as well). Walking helps to avoid accidents and also –very importantly– gives your photographer time to get the shot! The whole thing is mostly about the photo, right? A fast moving subject in the dark with flaming fireballs does not make an easy shot to get. Walk at a normal pace, feel free to pause in the middle or at the end, whatever you like, and give your photographer a chance to get the shot that you want.
And finally…. this goes without saying, but plan ahead and have a metal bucket or trash can available that people can put their sparkler in to finish burning down. The sticks stay hot even when extinguished so use caution when disposing of them. Don’t throw them into the grass, or leaves, or even a plastic bag or container.
Have any more sparkler tips? Feel free to share in the comments!