Ending your wedding night with a sendoff is a timeless tradition in the United States. Whether you just make a mad dash to a car with cans dragging behind it or you use props such as confetti or sparklers, it really puts a bookend on the whole experience. Previously, I wrote an ultimate guide to wedding sparkler send-offs to answer any and all questions around the activity. However, over the years we’ve received some new questions that need addressed. So, without further ado, here are 10 things to know about wedding sparkler sendoffs to make your life easier.
Determine the Timing of Your Wedding Sparkler Sendoff in Advance
Most people plan the entirety of their event in advance. However, your timetable can get a little out of whack with all the different activities involved in a wedding. If you want to have the best experience possible, you really need to keep your sendoff on schedule. Fortunately, since it’s typically the last activity of the night, this shouldn’t be too difficult to do. By keeping an accurate schedule, every aspect of your sparkler exit will go smoothly.
Rehearse Your Sendoff Before the Big Day
Rehearsing different aspects of your wedding is standard practice. Typically, couples will host a rehearsal dinner the night before the big event to do a dry run. Similarly, you should rehearse your wedding sparkler sendoff ahead of time so everything is properly coordinated. Obviously, you won’t have all of your guests present for the practice run. However, your bridal party can act as examples and liaisons to the full crowd when the moment finally arrives. By getting everyone on the same page in advance, your exit will go much better on your big day.
Practice Taking Pictures Ahead of Time
Another thing that you’ll want to practice ahead of time is taking photos of the sendoff. Sparklers can be a little tricky to photograph, so getting your setting right will make the pictures turn out better. Usually, couples hire a professional photographer for their event. I suggest finding one that has experience photographing sparkler exits so they know what they’re doing. If you can’t find an experienced eye, giving them a practice run should allow them to get their equipment dialed in for excellent results.
Distribute Your Sparklers Early
One major hiccup couples forget to consider is distributing your sparklers easily to the guests. I get emails about this all the time, so I try to remind people when they place an order. In the end, there are three popular options for dispensing them quickly and efficiently. First, consider placing them in your centerpieces at the tables. This puts the sparklers right in front of your guests without too much additional work. Second, consider grabbing a few sparkler display buckets to put at your guestbook table. As people sign the book, they can grab a few sparklers so they are prepared for the sendoff. Lastly, you can slip them into a decorative holder and place them near their eating utensils. Whichever method you choose, these options will get them distributed as quickly as possible.
Hold Your Sparklers High in the Air
Another thing that people fail to consider is how the guests should hold their sparklers during the sendoff. Sadly, if you don’t address this in advance, people will come up with all sorts of bad ideas on their own. The best way to hold them is high in the air to create a “sparkling arch”. This will create the most attractive exit path, as well as keep the hot sparks away from the couple. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to know about wedding sparkler sendoffs.
Have Instruction Cards or Signs at Your Venue
I’ve discussed rehearsals and proper methodology, but what about informing your guests about these procedures? Some people have their DJ make an announcement or mention it during the head table toasts. However, I suggest creating instruction cards or signs to place throughout your venue. Consider placing signs in high traffic areas like the guestbook table, near the bathrooms, or at the buffet table. If you prefer instruction cards, place them at each seat or near the table centerpieces. By giving clear instructions, your guests will be prepared when it’s time for your sendoff.
Choose the Right High Quality Sparklers
Another common mistake couples tend to make is choosing the wrong sparklers for their situation. Some people get hung up on what they want for all the wrong reasons, and this can be detrimental. Fortunately, the process of making the right choice is more science than preference. For smaller wedding of 100 guests or fewer, you can use any type you’d like as long as they are at least 20 inches long. However, for wedding over 100 guests, you really need to choose 36 inch wedding sparklers for the best experience. Additionally, the quality plays a huge role for sendoffs if you want great pictures. By choosing a reputable brand, you’ll get large, consistent, sparkles in all of your photos. Picking the right ones is one of the most important things to know about wedding sparkler sendoffs.
Use a Proper Ignition Source
Most of the time, people assume you can light your wedding sparklers using any lighter or matches you have lying around. While that can work in a pinch, sendoffs require getting dozens of them lit at the same time. To accomplish this feat, you really need to use a powerful torch with a high temperature flame. Ideally, you should grab a few sparkler torch lighters since they are designed specifically for this task. By having the right ignition source, you can get everyone lit simultaneously for maximum performance time.
Dispose of Your Sparklers Properly
After your sendoff is over, you need to think about what the guests will do with their spent sparklers. Unfortunately, the used sticks can remain hot for up to a minute after they stop creating sparks. Not only is this a burn risk, but it can even cause a fire in rare circumstances. To avoid these issues, you should properly dispose of your used sparklers in a bucket of water or sand. Simply place the buckets near the end of the exit path for ease and convenience. That way, your guests can just drop them in after your activity is finished.
Have Safety Equipment On Hand
Lastly, you need to make sure you have all the proper safety equipment on hand in case of an emergency. Obviously, you’ll want a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water nearby. However, it’s also a good idea to delegate someone to call 911 if things get out of hand. Additionally, you want to make sure you have a quality first aid kit stocked with the essentials nearby. By having these things ready to go, you can hop into action if things take an unexpected turn. Hopefully, you won’t need them; but it’s always best to be prepared.
Hopefully, I’ve covered all the things to know about wedding sparkler sendoffs. By noting all of these factors and planning ahead, the process is easy and fun. However, if you fail to be prepared, it can be a lot more challenging than you think. The key takeaway is that doing rehearsals and having the proper supplies will make your life a lot easier. Once you have all the pieces in place, it’s just a matter of enjoying your experience. Good luck and thank for reading!