Many couples are interested in having sparklers as part of their ceremony or reception. However, most people are only familiar with sparklers found at their local stores. Unfortunately, choosing the right sparklers for a wedding celebration involves features they don’t have. So, are wedding sparklers different than regular sparklers? Here is a rundown of how they are different, how they are the same, and when you can realistically use the regular type in a wedding scenario.

How are Wedding Sparklers Different from Regular Sparklers?

There are a variety of ways that regular sparklers and ones made specifically for weddings differ. To contrast them completely, I’ve broken it down into a few criteria. Within each, I’ll compare the attributes of regular ones versus those for weddings.


The most obvious difference between the two types is the packaging. The ones you find at your local stores will likely be labeled for the 4th of July. That means generic looking packaging, or worse; ones plastered with the American flag all over them. That doesn’t exactly fit with what most people want on their reception tables.

Meanwhile, the ones that are packaged for weddings will look elegant and feature neutral colors that are fitting for the occasion. They will blend seamlessly into any décor, which gives them a serious leg up over the regular version.

Image of People Using Sparklers at a Wedding ExitSize Options

If you are planning to use sparklers for your wedding exit, then size is another important difference. Most versions sold at your local store will be around 8 inches long and last for 20 seconds or less. This is simply not enough time to perform a wedding exit unless you have only a handful of participants.

Wedding sparklers, on the other hand, come in a variety of lengths to fit your needs. If you have fewer than 50 guests attending, you can use the 10 inch version. Or, if you have 75-100 guests expected, then the 20 inchers will work well. Any event with over 100 guests in attendance should opt for the longest option at 36 inches. Size choices are just another way that wedding sparklers are different from regular sparklers.


There are many sparkler color options available on the market today. The most common colors are red, green, blue, or gold. For weddings, it is widely accepted that gold is the best color choice. Any other hues can throw off the color in your pictures, and that is something you definitely want to avoid. On top of that, gold ones usually perform the brightest because they aren’t clouded by tints or pigments. Having bright sparks will always yield the best photograph.

Special Shapes

Some versions designed for weddings take things up a level by bending them into unique shapes. Some examples include stars, hearts, or numbers. There are all sorts of fun uses for these types of items! Stars and hearts make great props in your photos, while the numbers allow you to write out your wedding date. With so many niche-specific designs, it’s important to look at all the different types available before making a final decision.

Image of a Couple Kissing While Holding Smokeless Wedding SparklersSmokeless Sparklers

The last difference lies in the chemical composition and manufacturing materials. If you want to use them indoors or want to avoid smoke for any reason, smokeless sparklers are your best option. The only way to achieve this is by selecting ones that are gold in color and made using steel instead of wood. Any other type will create smoke. This is one of the biggest differences between wedding sparklers and regular ones.

In What Ways are they the Same?

On the other hand, there are many ways that regular sparklers and ones designed for wedding are exactly the same. Here’s a breakdown of some similarities to give each version its due.

Chemically the Same

First off, they are chemically the same regardless of which type you buy. It’s simply a pyrotechnic compound with optional color pigments attached to either steel wire or a wooden stick. They may come in different shapes and sizes, but at their core they are all the same. It’s the combination of attributes that make certain ones fit for a wedding.

Lighting Them is the Same

No matter what size, color, or materials your sparklers are made from, they all light the same. Just apply an ignition source to the tip and get ready for the show! Regardless of which type you’ve selected, they all perform in the exact same fashion.

Safety Precautions

No matter what type you are using, you need to use the same safety precautions. It doesn’t matter if it’s how you light them, dispose of them, or having proper first aid gear on hand, safety comes first. Always follow the specified safety guidelines when using sparklers to have a safe and entertaining experience.

Can I Use Regular Sparklers at a Wedding?

There are certain situations when using regular sparklers at a wedding can be a success. The specialized versions cater to people having an indoor event or celebrations with large guest lists. Here are a few situations where you can get away with a store bought brand.

Image of Bride and Groom at an Outdoor WeddingOutdoor Event

Outdoor events present the perfect situation for using regular sparklers at a wedding. Since smoke is not a concern, you can use pretty much anything you like. The only concern is having them be too short to complete your wedding exit or photo shoot before fizzling out, other than that, you are free to use color versions, wooden ones, or any other variation you happen to find at the store.

Very Small Group

These days, having a very small wedding is nothing unusual; but some people take it to the extreme! Some couples would rather have a very small, intimate, affair. By intimate, I mean 10 or so guests; including the bride and groom. With so few people to coordinate, the duration of a regular version is more than enough. Moreover, if your event is outdoors, you can use color or wood versions as well. In this scenario, it doesn’t matter that wedding sparklers are different from regular sparklers in any way.

Overall, deciding whether a regular style sparkler or one designed just for weddings is the right fit depends on a variety of factors. Intimate gatherings or outdoor events are the most flexible. However, if you’re having your celebration indoors, choosing a smokeless option is a necessity. My best advice is to compare the difference between the two and decide what makes the most sense. Good luck and I hope you have a fantastic celebration!