Most people spend a lot of time making each detail of their wedding perfect. From the flowers on the tables to the dress that the bride wears, each component is hand-selected to match your dreams. Performing a send-off line at the end of the ceremony is a classic activity that is still widely upheld today. However, using wedding sparklers can sometimes have unintended consequences; not the least of which are burn holes in your outfits! Fairly often, I’m asked do sparklers burn clothes and if there are ways to avoid the problem. To help, I’ve put together this guide to eliminate common mishaps. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Do Sparklers Burn Clothes?
As with anything hot or flammable, clothing is at risk when you’re using sparklers for weddings. There are a few ways it can happen; you could drop one on your clothes or you could be holding it too close to your body. Furthermore, some low-quality products will actually fall apart during the performance; which can lead to something much more severe than a hole in your garments! Overall, the main two causes of such an incident is either carelessness or a horrible accident. Either way, it’s something you certainly want to avoid if at all possible.
Do Sparklers Burn Clothes Easily?
Yes, it is quite easy to scorch your clothing if you come into close contact with a sparkler. First off, clothing typically has a very low temperature threshold before succumbing to heat or flame. The damage will depend on your fabric type; materials like cotton will burn immediately while polyester or other plastics are more likely to melt. This is due to the extremely high temperatures a sparkler creates as it sparkles.
Common Ways Clothing is Burned by Sparklers
Learning in a real-world scenario can be extremely helpful for avoiding that situation. Fortunately, there are many common activities that can serve as a model. So how do sparklers burn clothes? Here are a few of the most common situations that it can happen to you.
Involving kids in your ceremony can be a lot of fun, but you should think twice before doing it in this type of scenario. Obviously, you can safely use sparklers with children under normal circumstances. However, they are much more likely to make mistakes than a cogent adult. No matter how tempting it may seem, it’s best to leave grand exits to the grownups.
Send-off lines are a great way to end your wedding, but they can be very chaotic. Usually, guests will create a “sparkling tunnel” for the couple to run through. If you hold the sparklers directly over their heads, it increases the chances of hot embers damaging their wardrobe.
Writing in Photos
Many couples hand out sparklers to be used as photo props during the reception. Typically, people will make “heart” shapes or write words like “love” using the sparks. To do this, you have to repeatedly make the same motion over and over in very close quarters. Sadly, the close proximity also means the likelihood of an accident is much higher. To avoid this, consider spacing out or foregoing pictures with sparklers entirely. If you simply must snap these photos, be prepared for a few burn holes in your outfits.
Intoxication of Any Sort
Lastly, intoxication can lead to some pretty serious consequences at a wedding. For most people, alcohol is the big threat for their event. However, with many states legalizing marijuana recently, there are other forms of inebriation that can be concerning, too. To reduce your risks, you should not allow anyone under the influence to participate in the sparkler activities. If this is a deal breaker for you, at least perform your activity prior to indulging. If you do sparklers burn clothes much easier than when you are sober.
Tips for Avoiding Burn Holes on Clothing from Sparklers
Of course, knowing the causes of the issue is only half the battle; you need to figure out solutions as well. Fortunately, there are some simple guidelines that will help eliminate the risk to your clothing. Here’s a breakdown of the key things to do for success.
Choose a Quality Brand
One of the easiest ways to improve your odds of escaping unscathed is to choose a reputable brand. It may sound a bit silly, but sparkler brand matters when it comes to quality and safety. Cheap brands can fall apart and make a tricky situation downright dangerous. No matter what you do sparklers burn clothes if they fall apart completely.
As I mentioned before, intoxication and flammable objects should never mix; especially at a wedding! Ideally, you would eliminate items such as alcohol completely from the event. However, you can partake after your chosen activities if you want to stay burn-free. If you stay sober, you’re much more likely to stay safe.
Refine and Practice Your Method
The phrase “practice makes perfect” resonates through almost every endeavor in life. In this context, imagine you are going to perform a wedding exit. Consider lining a few people up with sparklers ahead of time to figure out the proper spacing and how high to hold them in the air. Additionally, this will give you an opportunity to do a “dry run” and perfect the process before you go live. Not only do sparklers burn clothes less frequently when properly used, but the overall effect will be enhanced, too.
Choose a Reasonable Size
Another overlooked factor when trying to keep your dress or suit intact is the size that you choose. There are all sorts of shapes, colors, and sizes available on today’s market. So, knowing which option is the safest can be challenging. I always suggest avoiding very long sparklers if burn holes are a concern. If you stick to the shorter varieties, they are easier to control and drop less ash. It can go a long way to eliminating incidents all together.
Utilize Age Restrictions
Lastly, you need to enforce a strict age restriction for people participating in your activity. Very young children shouldn’t be using sparklers anyways, but teenagers participating in a wedding can muddy the water. Personally, I suggest ages 16 and older only if you want to avoid any burns. Obviously, you can gauge the responsibility level of the participants for yourself. However, I find 16 is the right age in most circumstances as a baseline number.
Do Sparklers Burn Clothes No Matter What I Do?
Sadly, sparklers do burn clothes and it’s a risk you’ll need to accept if you plan to use them. Fortunately, you can mitigate the risks by choosing a high quality product and practicing the techniques I’ve outlined above. However, there is no way to protect your garments completely from the threat of being singed; no matter how careful you are. If this is something you can’t live with, it’s best not to use them. Thank you for reading and good luck!