Wedding sparklers at your wedding
Wedding sparklers are always a feast for the eye! Especially as a wedding photographer. You’ve planned to include a ‘sparkler send-off’ in the schedule, fantastic! They are absolutely great fun and your guests should sure enjoy it, not to mention you as the wedding couple.
To ensure the best possible results for your sparkler exit you’d be surprised to know that there is a little planning involved. Also some things to avoid too which I’ve listed below! I’ve added some pointers to help you plan the best ‘sparkler exit’ moment, and of course the best set up to ensure it looks incredible in front of the camera too…
What size sparklers do I need for my wedding?
Avoid ‘wedding sparklers’. They are novelty and crap. They often don’t last longer than a minute which is far too short and have those card pieces to detach. So, to explain further, branded ‘wedding sparklers‘ aren’t actually the best ones, they may advertise as the ones to get but, in reality, you need to get the extra long 18″, slow burning sparklers which last around the golden 4 minute mark. Otherwise you may have one side lit while the other sides sparkers have just extinguished. Not to mention it keeps the hot bit further away from the dress. When all sparklers are fully lit and you’re enjoying the moment it will look awesome for the camera!
Is my photographer ok with wedding sparklers?
Don’t forget, you should always discuss with your photographer on how best to arrange the scene. You should ensure they have plenty of notice to have an off-camera flash set up if they are technical and experienced so that to perfectly light the moment and not rely on luck. With that being said, your wedding photographer is capturing the wedding sparklers moment so you want the scene to look the best. I have captured over 50 sparkler exit and it goes without saying that safety is paramount, there needs to be a sensible person instructed to call out the actions and help arrange guests so that it doesn’t turn into some kind of free for all. PS I’m mega cool with sparklers as you can see.
Can I have sparklers at my wedding venue?
Check if you have permission with your wedding venue if you are permitted to have wedding sparklers. Do they suggest a particular spot and do they have any rules? You really don’t want it to be ruined with a fine because the grass was burned or that animals may pick up on the metal. Some venues prefer the remains to be collected in a provided bin or only carried out in a safe area. It’s important to get clarity with this from your venue planner first. Also you should pre-arrange to get a bucket of water / sand on standby.
What do you need for wedding sparklers…
Buy at least 10 lighters and not matches OR a kitchen blow torch, these are so good to use and lights up the sparklers instantly. Matches are unpredictable and often very sensitive to a mild breeze, they run out very quickly too. Lighters will have a better chance of lighting the sparklers much quicker than matches but ask any smoker, even a lighter can be troublesome! So, sticking to a small kitchen blow torch you’re not likely to burn your fingers when the match burns out. You’re more successful in lighting more at once and of course ALWAYS remember – Safety first and all that!
When is the best time to have sparklers at a wedding?
Have you decided on the best time for sparklers within your wedding day schedule? Just after sunset is perfect time to hold them. With a nice dark blue lingering tone in the night sky, you should get some stunning backgrounds rather than waiting until it’s pitch black out side. You’ll also have some lovely ambient light on your guests faces capturing them in the image too!
Personally I think it’s also the best time to do it, before guests begin to settle down and begin to have several glasses of alcohol which may increase fooling around and less of an awareness around the dress. So I would highly suggest scheduling your wedding sparklers around 20 minutes after sunset.
Sparklers can get very hot once you’ve finished with them and therefore it’s very important that a bucket of water or sand is readily available, easily located and close for guests to safely ignite and dispose of correctly. Keeping everyone happy, especially the wedding venue! If anything could go wrong, the photographer can’t be held responsible including for insurance reasons. It is suggested that a groomsman or person of responsibility is made responsible for arranging guests, the sparkler exit and correctly disposing of the used wedding sparklers once finished. Respect the venue is a must.
How do we arrange guests for wedding sparkler exit?
Arranging the scene is like trying to heard cats, I usually ask the DJ or toastmaster to call guests wanting to participate to head outside to the designated area. I will set up the lighting and have the guests in place for the wedding couple to arrive. A mini safety instruction is given, explaining where the bucket is and not to get too close to the couple with their sparklers. I ask the designated responsible adult to hand the wedding sparkers out and once everyone is in place and the lighting is great, I’ll call out for everyone to light their wedding sparklers. Giving maximum awesomeness and ensure everyone is enjoying themselves by lighting them the same time. Then once ended I remind everyone to place the used ones into the bucket provided. Ensuring everything goes smoothly this is the ideal suggested formula.
The excitement and buzz of a wedding sparkler exit can be a little too much, but keeping a clear set of rules in mind should ensure your images are always epic. The moment will look fantastic with guests expressions natural and full of happiness, great under the golden light! If you’re planning on having wedding sparklers at your wedding be sure to consider all of the points above to have a safe and ‘sparktacular’ send-off! – I couldn’t resist!