Sparklers are rapidly becoming as much a part of a wedding day as confetti has been traditionally. Normally associated with the send-off at the end of the evening, there's no reason not to have a sparkler moment earlier - especially if you're planning an autumn or winter wedding when it gets dark early. So here are some top tips for a great sparkler moment whatever time you decide to have it.
1. Check with your venue
It's really important to speak with your wedding co-ordinator to check the venue is happy for you to have sparklers and to suggest where and when a sparkler moment might best fit into your day. Few couples book their wedding photographer right through to the end of their evening, so having your sparkler moment earlier in the evening will allow your photographer to help organise and capture the moment for you. Immediately after the wedding breakfast, just before or after the first dance or when your band or DJ take a break between sets are all good times for a sparkler 'send off'.
2. Choose your sparklers
You should plan on buying sparklers that are at least 18 inches (45cm) in length, of good quality and with low smoke. For a small wedding it's a good idea to plan on two per guest to make the most of the moment. Check the burn time for the sparklers you intend to buy to make sure they'll give enough time to get everyone's sparklers lit, to enjoy the moment and to get the shots you want. You might need even longer sparklers if you're planning a large wedding or want to get creative with them - you can get sparklers up to 39 inches in length!
3. Play it safe
Good quality wedding sparklers are pretty safe to use, produce very little smoke and will leave next to no residue. However, they still pose a small fire risk and can cause injury if not handled correctly, so it's a good idea to hand them out just before you plan to use them and to have a bucket of water or sand ready to deposit the used sparklers in (hot end down!) afterwards. Of course, your photographer and venue staff will be able to help with this so you don't have to manage it yourself. Another reason to have your sparkler moment earlier in the evening is to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed before you hand out the sparklers to your guests!
4. Get organised
Have someone make an announcement at the appropriate time, so everyone knows what the plan is - for example, you or your wedding co-ordinator might say something at the end of your wedding breakfast or you could ask your DJ to make an announcement or your photographer can spread the word at the appropriate time. Then have your wedding co-ordinator, one of your wedding party or a trusted friend take charge of the sparklers and hand them out as everyone gathers to use them. And of course your photographer can help organise everyone to make the most of the moment and get the best shots for you.
5. Let there be light!
As well as the sparklers, you need to arrange to light them all as quickly and safely as possible. A blow torch, a few sparkler flares or some disposable lighters (around one per every ten guests should suffice) will ensure you get everyone's sparklers lit so the first ones haven't gone out by the time you get started! Just make sure to give this task to someone who hasn't had a little too much to drink!
Finally the moment has arrived, so make the most of it - walk slowly down the line, have a little dance along the way, stop for a quick kiss, high five your guests or do whatever else takes your fancy! You might grab a couple of sparklers for yourselves too!
BONUS TIP - Use phone torches instead!
If your venue doesn't allow sparklers or you don't want them for any other reason, you can achieve something similar with the torch function on your guests' mobile phones as below!