Sparklers are fun at weddings and make great photos too but you’ll need to do a little planning. Here are our wedding sparklers tips and tricks to help you get fizzly.
Start by checking with your venue to be sure they’re ok with the concept and certainly let your photographer know the plan so they’re ready for the big sparkly moment.
Before the big day, buy some sparklers, all sparklers are not created equal. You’ll need them quite long so they don’t burn out too quickly, or by the time you’ve wandered from one end of your sparkly line to the other, loads of them will have gone out. With that in mind, something like this is good from Standard fireworks who are a reputable manufacturer.
Right, about Sparklers, they get awfully hot, like 10 times as hot as your kettle, so safety has to be the number one consideration. Have your venue provide buckets (Ice buckets would work too) of cold clean water so if anyone gets burnt they can plunge the injury preventing further damage. You can put out a fire with a bucket of water and drop your finished sparklers into it to leave them safe and cold rather than hot and laying around on the floor! If the venue, or anyone else suggests buckets of sand, ignore them, insist on water. Nobody needs a burn injury compounded by having a bucket of sand thrown over them…
Line ’em up
Ok, so linked to the safety thing is how you arrange your family and guests to achieve fun and great photos without anyone catching fire. Wedding guests, especially post-dinner, will have had a bit to drink. Drunk people are amongst the least reliable in terms of firework usage. We’d suggest you identify a couple (or four for best effect) folks that you trust and can be relied on to help make all this happen safely. These are the folks who’ll ensure the water is present before you start, will hand out the sparklers and do the lighting up.
You might find, especially in a very large wedding that it’s better and easier to limit the numbers getting involved in all this malarkey, it’ll be a lot safer and quicker. Sometimes it’ll be Mums and Dads, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen for instance but we’ve done line ups with 60 people before – it just needs a lot more attention and responsible peeps to ensure it all goes off well.
Mind the gap
To arrange the sparkler lineup it’s best to have two lines of guests and family either side of the the Bride and Groom who then walk through the sparkly avenue. Bear in mind that you’ll want a decent gap between the couple and the ends of the sparklers. If we add up all the bodies, arm lengths, length of sparklers and suitable gaps etc you’re going to want a width of at least 4 meters across. Here’s Maz and James managing that rather nicely below.
Come on baby (something something fire)
One of our most useful wedding sparklers tips and tricks is about lighting all those sparklers. It’s tricky if everyone is trying to use Uncle Brians plastic ciggy lighter in a breeze. Lighting a sparkler with another sparkler often welds the two together. You’ll need a swift and reliable windproof flame operated by a non-trollied person. We suggest something like this which is a Chefs torch. If you don’t think you’ll get much use from one of those after the big day these are a second best option and cheaper. The gold standard would be to have one lighter operating on each side of the line up so the sparklers all get lit around the same time. In any case it’s best if your guests stay still and just one or two people move about with flames in their hands!
When the lights go down.
As for timing? We find the best results are around dusk where the light is lower but it’s still not dark. Trying to organise lots of guests in the dark after they’re a bit tiddly is awkward. Fun, but not hugely efficient! Dusk means people can see what they are doing and we can all see the sparklers, leave the tech camera stuff to us, we’ll make it look magical!
Ok, so now we have all your best peeps lined up, sparklers all lit and you guys are ready to walk through all the sparkles, well played. Here’s some stuff to consider. DO NOT RUN. There’s probably a wise saying about running with sparklers (scissors too). It isn’t safe and it doesn’t make for a good photo either. You might also have a sparkler in your hand, so hold hands (the non-sparkly ones obvs) and wander slowly through. Ideally take a pause at some point and do that dramatic kiss you’ve rehearsed in your mind. This would be the time to deploy it.
If your reliable helpers have pointed out where the water buckets are before you start, they’ll also have told people where to leave their burnt sparklers. Dropping them in the buckets makes everything safe and the venue staff won’t hate you for making a spikey hot mess of the floor too. Result!
If you’re in a wedding day planning mood, we wrote a blog to help, go look.