Brides: you’ve planned a grand entrance, but what about your grand exit? You can make a great last impression in style with a wedding sparkler send-off, one of the hottest summer outdoor wedding trends! Today we’re helping you plan a perfect wedding sparkler send-off with seven wedding sparkler mistakes to avoid. If you keep these seven key tips in mind, your sparkler send-off will go off without a hitch… and you’ll have plenty of photos to enjoy! Wedding sparklers are a fun way to engage your guests and give your photographer an opportunity to capture some really fun, memorable shots. Plus, you get to steal the show – again! – one last time. Read on to find out which wedding sparkler mistakes to avoid before you make ’em…
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes to Avoid
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes – #1: Not checking with your venue.
Before you do anything, check with your venue to make sure they allow a wedding sparkler send off. Some places do not allow sparklers because of insurance, safety, or hazards. Find out first – if it’s a go, move on to number two.
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes – #2: No announcement.
You’ll want to have an announcement (as in a sign) for a few different reasons. First, you’ll want as many guests as possible to be present at the sparkler send-off, so let them know what time it’s happening so they stick around. Also, make sure there’s a specific time. Timing is essential: in the summer, it gets darker much later, so keep that in mind. Also, make sure the time you select isn’t at the exact end time as agreed upon by the venue: you want to take your time (and you may have a few odds and ends to take care of before leaving). Likewise, your timing shouldn’t be too early so you don’t feel forced out of your own party. ;)
If you already plan to use a chalkboard sign at your reception – great! Utilize it by including ‘sparklers’ and the time, like this example as shown below.
Or, order a custom handmade wedding sign + frame it. We love this chic wedding sparklers send-off sign spotted at CrossvineDesigns…
… and this chalkboard-inspired sparkler send off sign spotted at The Polka Dotted Bee.
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes – #3: Not enough outdoor space.
Where will your sparkler send-off take place? Make sure it’s in an open outdoor location away from anything potentially flammable or hazardous, for obvious reasons. Also, make sure it has enough room for guests to form two lines, through which you’ll walk down the center of together. Think of it like the starting line up of a pro basketball game, but a million times more fun than that. Ha! And, last but not least, an ideal location would be close to your getaway car for a seamless exit.
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes – #4: Overbuying.
You don’t need one sparkler per guest, simply because not everyone will participate your sparkler send-off. It happens! Some guests will leave early, others will be snapping photos in your booth, and some will simply have run to the bathroom and precisely the wrong moment. Order enough sparklers for about 75% of guests in attendance, and you should have more than enough.
Where to Buy Wedding Sparklers
Since you’ll be buying plenty, you’ll want to buy in bulk. Check out this store as one resource, where we spotted those ever-so-popular heart-shaped wedding sparklers we’ve been seeing all over the place. (VIP Sparklers is a sponsor of Emmaline Bride, but would we recommend ’em regardless!)
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes – #5: Not supplying enough matches.
You’ll need plenty of matches, so this is when a matchbox wedding favor is an especially handy idea! Whether you plan to give matchbox favors or place ’em at a ‘sparkler’ station, make sure you have more than enough. We love these custom matchboxes spotted at Hope & Fancy.
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes – #6: Wrong timing.
Sparklers can be tricky. Some light easily, others take longer; some stay lit longer, others burn out too quickly. Buy a box of wedding sparklers ahead of time and try ’em out first. See how long they take to light and how long they burn, and have your wedding coordinator (or ask your MOH!) to time your grand exit accordingly.
Wedding Sparkler Mistakes – #7: No Place to Put ‘Em Out
Of all the wedding sparkler mistakes to avoid, THIS ONE IS CRUCIAL. Guests will need a place to put the wedding sparklers out (and throw them away) once your send-off is over. The best, most effective (and clean!) way to put them out is in a galvanized steel pail with sand. Sand will ensure the sparklers are distinguished and cooled off completely before throwing them away. Place a sign on a galvanized pail so guests know where to put them, fill it at least halfway with sand, and place nearby. Afterward, they can be thrown in the garbage once they’re completely cool. (If you throw sparklers in the trash before they’re cool, it’s not only a fire hazard but they will melt away the plastic bag, too.)
If you want to dress up your sparklers with a personalized tag, here’s one style that we love! It’s by For Your Party and can be customized to coordinate with your palette.
These tags from SayAnythingDesign are also a beautiful option.
And, last but not least… make sure you get plenty of photos of your wedding sparkler send-off! It makes for some pretty incredible photos.
Love the guitar case! Great idea!
I would like to add several comments to the do’s and don’ts posted above. My company supplies sparklers to more 11,000 weddings in the US every year.
First, it is almost impossible to light sparklers with matches. Usually the wind either blows them out, rain puts them out, or they burn out before the sparkler lights. Instead use a windproof lighter to light the first one or two sparklers, and then use those first sparklers to light all the others. Sparklers burn at around 1800 F. and matches are about 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It jut takes a higher temperature than a match is capable of. Plus sparklers are notoriously hard to light.
Second, just to clarify something, you really cannot put sparklers out. They burn too hot. Some of them will even burn in water. You can put them down after they burn out, or you can put them in metal buckets, or pots of sand, or anything else that’s non-flammable while they are still burning. And as you said, having those buckets or pots around is a really good idea, particularly at that time of the party, when some folks or kids may even be bare footed.
Third, your comments on bad timing are the most common mistake that we see. What everyone wants is to have all of the guests’ sparklers lit up at the same time, and still have enough sparkler burn time left, for the bride and groom to be able to exit through the line of sparklers AND have time for the photographer to get the perfect shots–often the most memorable of the entire wedding. There are two good ways at WeddingSparklersDirect.com that we recommend you use. First, simply give everyone a windproof lighter instead of matches. Windproof flames will not blow out in the wind or rain, AND are hot enough and burn long enough to light sparklers very reliably.
Here’s a way you can literally get 100 or more peoples’ sparklers lit in 30-40 seconds. First, light 5 36-inch sparklers using a windproof lighter. Then each of those 5 people go and light 5 more people’s sparklers, then each of those people go and light 5 more people up. (5+25+125). A sparkler is the best way to light another sparkler. Since 36 inch sparklers burn for 3-4 minutes, you still have plenty of time for the guests to get lined up again, for the bride and groom to take a leisurely walk down the path, and pose for several pictures.
Last but not least: no, you do not NEED one sparkler per guest. By the time the sparklers happen, some guests will be passed out, gone home, too young, or simply afraid of sparklers. BUT, most wedding couples today also use sparklers for sparkler writing, creating patterns of sparklers in the ground or sand (such as a sparkling heart around the couple, or for practicing the exit). Since sparklers are just about the least expensive item in the wedding budget, it makes good sense to have some extras on hand. And the one per guest rule of thumb has proven over thousands of weddings, and more than 15 years in this business to be just about the right amount.
This article was the most useful tips list I’ve read in a long time!!!
Great blog!! Great tips!! Thank you for sharing! Wedding season is approaching, and we have an amazing DIY blog on checking the quality of your sparklers at home! Please let us know if you would like to feature it for your audience to see!
Emma, thank you for that article on sparkler mistakes. You are dead on. Anyone using wedding sparklers should read your article before going forward. I would like to add one thing which may help people who are going to use gold sparklers. Sparklers burn at around 1800 degrees F. Matches and many lighters only burn at 600 degrees or less. So it can be very time consuming, if not downright impossible to light sparklers with the custom printed matches that are very popular. I’ve found that the fastest and more sure-fire way to get a lot of people lit up at one time is to use a wind-proof lighter to get one sparkler lit. Then use that sparkler to light several more sparklers, and use those to light the rest. But always lighting only one sparkler at a time–NEVER light 2 or more all at one time–dangerous flareups happen when bundles of sparklers get lit. Here’s how anyone can get 50-100 sparklers safely lit up all at the same time.
Great tips! Especially on how many sparklers to buy! But how many match boxes do I need?
Any tips for getting them in Dominican Republic? I will be married there July 2015. I am from NJ.
I know someone who can get you sparklers to the Dominican Republic. Email me at [email protected] for more info.
What do you think about doing a sparkler grand entrance into the wedding reception? Our ceremony starts at 7pm reception around 8pm at a different location down the road. The venue said they are fine with it as long as it’s in the parking lot. I think at midnight our friends may be drunk and it could get out of hand.
I think this is an amazing idea especially since you are entering later in the evening! What a magical way to start the party!
These sparklers are too good I have used it.
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I also used these sparklers. Its amazing. I have written about the blog in my website.
Thanks for your comment. We’re sorry to hear you had a bad experience; thank you for sharing it. Please let us know if the issue is resolved.
American Express refunded the full cost of our order. The good news is since we still haven’t heard from the VIP Sparklers (even after they responded to my mom’s post on their Facebook page and asked for our order number), we get to keep the sparklers. It was annoying because we didn’t receive the amount we needed and now have to go elsewhere to order more, but you can’t really be upset with getting something for free!
Was thinking to use this for the entrance but that would involve too much risk. Will surely get this done when i exit
I’ve given this a lot of thought. I think that even if you have permission to use sparklers indoors, I wouldn’t recommend it. It is too unsafe to use them inside, especially with the possibility of starting a fire. Also, with such close quarters and being indoors, you’ll likely have lots of ash left behind. Instead, I think if you can have guests stand outdoors and welcome the couple as they arrive OR as they depart after the wedding outdoors, that’s where I think the sparklers would come in best.
If you want it to be indoors, I would pick something other than sparklers. Maybe just have all the guests stand and applaud and have the couple make a large grand entrance to the ballroom area; or, have them blow bubbles, throw confetti (lots of clean up, though! just as a forewarning!), or blow on party noisemakers instead of sparklers indoors.
I hope it helps! :) Let me know if you have any additional questions. Sorry for the delay, I wanted to ensure I gave this enough thought before answering your question!
Hi Shelley! I’ve never heard of that happening, but you never know. As long as you have guests standing in a row far enough away from you, you should have no problem. Just be careful! Good luck :)
I was the MOH at a wedding that had a sparkler send off and one of the groomsmen was drunk and set me on fire! lol! it was def an accident but not so fun since I spent $500.00 on a dress I will never be able to wear again :( so my tips are to do it before the reception (any drinking) and make sure that ppl are far enough away!
These are all excellent tips! Something to keep in mind for #4 is that some companies like http://weddingdaysparklers.com allow you to send back the sparklers you didn’t use for a refund. They give you a complete refund when you return your unused sparklers; so you can buy more than enough and return what you didn’t use without penalty.
Hi Alyssa! I’m not sure — which state are you located in? Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m glad you liked the sign idea – it’s definitely a must-have!
I’m in Utah, thanks for getting back to me!
Hi Alyssa, not a problem! This page might help: http://publicsafety.utah.gov/firemarshal/fireworkssafety.html I can’t speak on behalf of the laws in your state, but you may wish to ask your venue and/or fire or police department in the area to get the OK first if you’re unsure.
Good luck! :)
Thanks for stopping by.
Such a helpful post! I would also add that it’s a good idea to ensure there is enough room for the photographer to get in the center, slightly away from the crowd to frame the couple properly and get that picture perfect shot.
Great tip! The sparkler send-off is a great memory to have; making sure there’s enough room for the photographer to capture it perfectly is great advice. Thanks for stopping by!
What great details and tips
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