Since 2006, we have been proud to serve the industry as the most popular and reliable source of sparklers for weddings. When we first started, only one other company was providing these products. Sadly, they were incredibly expensive, horrible quality, and the reviews reflected their terrible customer service. We decided that brides deserved better, so we set out to become the definitive guide to wedding sparklers for the everyday person.
Since them, we have created a new culture surrounding our products. Once they were considered “cheap or dirty”. However, in recent years we have supplied products for normal folks, celebrities, and everyone in-between. To commemorate this achievement, I’ve put together this post to serve as a different kind of ultimate guide to wedding sparklers. Hopefully, it will be as enjoyable as it is enlightening to read.
As always, we hope you take the time to look over our products and allow our reputation to speak for itself. Thank you all for all the great years, and we look forward to serving you for many more to come.
Overview: What You Need to Know About Wedding Sparklers
Most of us have used them several times in our lives, but using sparklers at weddings is a completely different animal. Whether it’s on a whim or you have planned it out thoroughly, there are often many questions that remain unanswered. Here’s what you need to know so you can make the right decisions for you.
What is a Wedding Sparkler?
Simply put: they are sparklers that are made to be used at weddings. For maximum benefits, they need to meet several key criteria. First, they need to be long-lasting so you can enjoy your exit or sendoff without being rushed. Second, they need to be high quality. Inferior quality versions will break apart and pose dangers when the bride and groom pass underneath them. Lastly, they should always be smokeless by design. Traditional versions create too much smoke and will cause smoky pictures and even make the room miserable to stand in.
Using Sparklers at a Wedding
There are many ways to use sparklers at a wedding, and there are no “set rules”. However, most couples choose from a handful of popular concepts. Personally, I prefer using them for the grand exit or sendoff, but there are plenty of other ways they can be used as well. Here are a few in greater detail.
Sendoff or Grand Exit
This is the most common way that they are used at events. In fact, it is what made me get into this business in the first place. At my wedding, we had our guests form two lines holding lit sparklers. Then we marched proudly down the exit aisle while our photographer snapped pictures. It was a wonderful experience, and one I suggest to almost every customer who contacts me.
Many couples like the idea of using them for the first dance. Just hand them out to the guests, and have them stand in the background holding them. The light from the sparklers combines beautifully with the ambient dance floor lighting to create a magical experience that you’ll never forget!
Champagne toasts at your event are likely coupled with speeches and requests for kisses. However, you can easily make it fancier by using a version of our products called bottle sparklers. They attach to your champagne bottles and create a really cool visual effect. It’s one of the least expensive ways to add them to your celebration. However, it is also one of the most impactful ways that they can be used.
Announcing the Couple
A common tradition is to have the couple announced as they enter the reception hall. Usually the DJ announces them over the speaker system. However, having the bridal party light some sparklers first will get everyone’s attention and make the experience more memorable.
Centerpieces and Wedding Favors
Some couples like to add a few of them to their centerpieces to create something exotic. This is also a great way to use them as favors for your guests! By making them easily accessible, your guests are free to use them during the reception as they see fit. This can lead to some remarkable photos and enhance the experience for everyone involved.
Decorating the Cake
Most wedding cakes are adorned with several tiers of decorated cake and a beautiful topper as its crown. However, some couples want to do something more exciting and use wedding cake sparklers instead. They are a great way to draw the attention of your guests just before the cake-cutting ceremony!
How Long Do Wedding Sparklers Last?
This is a very important question that not enough people ask. Fortunately, we source our products from the highest quality manufacturer in the world with over 120 years of experience! They use a process known as “triple-dipping” to ensure a consistent and high quality performance every time. We have been buying from this factory since 2006, and they have ever disappointed me. It also allows us to sell the longest-lasting wedding sparklers in the world. Here is a quick breakdown of how long each size sparkler lasts.
10 inch sparklers last for approximately 45 seconds.
20 inch sparklers last for approximately 2 minutes.
36 inch sparklers last for approximately 4 minutes.
If you take the time to compare the duration from our products to other inferior brands, you’ll know instantly that these numbers speak for themselves. No other company offers longer-lasting or higher quality sparklers than us.
What Size Sparklers are Best for a Wedding?
Choosing the right size for your event is dependent on a lot of factors. Additionally, size is not the only consideration since we also offer a wide variety of types and styles. However, I’ll just start with my personal experience from my own wedding.
I was married in 2002, and we had a guest list of over 250 people! When I decided to perform a sendoff line, we first thought about confetti or birdseed. However, I had a friend in the fireworks business and we went to a party at his house. The adults did big fireworks while the kids enjoyed a sparkler each. That gave me the idea of using them for my sendoff line! Luckily, I had access to several different sizes from my friend, but we decided that 36 inch sparklers would be best for our wedding. Lasting over 4 minutes, I knew we would have plenty of time to perform our sendoff without being rushed.
Now, we probably could’ve used the 20 inch version instead and been fine. But my though was “go big or go home”. In the end, the 36 inch version was the perfect choice for us. However, the key here is figuring out how you want to use them and how much “sparkle” time you believe will be necessary. For sendoffs, 20 or 36 inch versions are ideal. For decorative and novelty purposes, even 10 inch ones will suffice. In the end, it’s about determining how long you need them to last. But, for quick reference, here is a simple estimation table.
Under 50 guests: 10 inch wedding sparklers.
50-120 guests: 20 inch wedding sparklers.
Over 120 guests: 36 inch wedding sparklers.
What the Heck are Smokeless Sparklers?
One of the most important elements of a sparkler that is suitable for weddings is that they are smokeless. Obviously, nothing that is combustible is technically “smokeless”; so perhaps “low smoke” would be a better definition. Overall, this term is used to describe sparklers that don’t produce visible smoke so you can achieve crisp, clean, photographs. Additionally, this will allow you to safely use them indoors when ventilation is less than ideal.
The criteria for smokeless versions are pretty straight-forward. First, they need to be made with a metal wire handle. Wooden handles create smoke, so they should be avoided. Second, the sparklers should not contain any color pigments. By default, non-pigmented wedding sparklers burn in the color gold based on the chemicals in the pyrotechnic compound. So, only gold colored versions are technically smokeless. When you choose versions that are made from the right materials and contain no color pigments, the result is a nice clean performance with as little byproduct as possible; thus they are “smokeless”.
Choosing High Quality Wedding Sparklers
Like most products, there are several different brands of sparklers available on the market. Additionally, there are many different shapes, sizes, colors, and even various materials used in the manufacturing process. However, there are actually only a handful of factories in the world that make pyrotechnics at all. Fortunately, we’ve done all the legwork to find the highest quality wedding sparklers to offer to our customers.
For starters, we began by sampling all the different brands out there to see which ones performed the best. Along the way, we learned a lot about what makes a quality item; and it lies within the manufacturing process itself. The process begins with a length of metal wire or wooden stick. Next, they are dipped into a slurry of pyrotechnic compound to evenly coat the handle. Cheaper brands will only dip the handle once or twice, but the highest quality factories dip them a third time for a thicker, more even, coating. This process provides the most consistent and durable result thus making them the highest quality.
Sadly, most people are completely oblivious to how sparklers are manufactured. Moreover, most companies are willing to take advantage of you just to make a quick buck. All too often, we hear stories about them falling apart during the sendoff or arriving damaged. Customer service is the most important aspect of our business, so we avoid lackluster brands like the plague. Additionally, no other company on the internet has put in the time or effort that we have to weed out these subpar products. That’s how we can provide the highest quality wedding sparklers to our customers and guarantee that no other company can offer the quality or value that we do.
How Many Should I Order for a Wedding?
Typically, most people jump to the conclusion that you need at least 1 sparkler for each guest. However, it all depends on when you plan to use them. For instance, a sendoff will typically take place at the end of the evening after older guests and people with children have left. So, you probably won’t actually need 1 for every guest on your list. Conversely, if you want to make sure you have enough, this method is not a terrible idea. After your event, you can always save the leftover sparklers and use them for future holidays or parties.
When a customer asks me how many to order, I usually begin with suggesting 75% of the guest list size. For instance, if you are expecting 200 guests, 150 wedding sparklers should be more than enough. However, if you are planning to put sparklers in your centerpieces, you can calculate the number needed more easily. It’s a tricky question and there’s no one right answer. However, just remember that you’ll use any leftovers eventually so I urge you to order more than you think you’ll need. After all, nobody wants to run out of things on their big day!
How Are Wedding Sparklers Packaged?
Each company has a different box design that they use. Many of the “big box” stores buy generic pre-packaged versions that all look the same. Since we order directly from the factory, our packaging is much more elegant and designed to blend with traditional wedding décor.
Each sleeve contains 6 wedding sparklers each. Those sleeves are the packaged into a box known as a full case. Each size and type varies in case quantity to make shipping more efficient. Here is a quick table to demonstrate how many sleeves and cases come in a full case.
10 inch: 6 per sleeve, 100 sleeves per case, 600 sparklers total.
20 inch: 6 per sleeve, 48 sleeves per case, 288 sparklers total.
36 inch: 6 per sleeve, 48 sleeves per case, 288 sparklers total.
What Do They Look Like?
This is a very important question, and no guide to wedding sparklers would be complete without an answer. The appearance of our products is exactly what you would expect: they are grayish-silver colored sticks of various lengths. The boxes indicate that they are the color gold, but this only refers to their performance. In reality, the human eye will detect several colors as they burn. It is a rapid change from gold or yellow to more of a white or silver color. This process repeats several times, and the perceivable “change” is due to the chemical reactions as the compounds combust. They are referred to as “gold” because they don’t contain any color pigments and the natural performance hue of the compounds is a yellowish-gold.
How Do You Use a Sparkler?
Most people have used them in the past for various parties or holiday celebrations. However, I will go over the process again for those who have less experience. First, you hold the wire handle firmly in your hand and out away from your body. Next, you use an ignition source such as a lighter to light the tip. Once ignited, you’ll see a flurry of sparkles and you can remove the flame and enjoy the performance. The process is really quite self-explanatory, but no definitive guide to wedding sparklers is complete without at least a quick description.
What is the Best Way to Light a Sparkler?
There are many items out there that work as ignition source, but some are better than others. Generally, I suggest using some type of lighter or torch because they are consistent and reliable. In particular, a sparkler torch lighter is the most efficient way to get the job done. However, with so many options, I’ve put together a shortlist of items that work.
Barbecue Grill Lighter
As I mentioned, torches and lighters are the most efficient. However, some couples are tempted to use custom matchbooks because they are the “prettiest” option. Sadly, matches are actually quite inefficient and can actually cause a lot of frustration. If I had to pick one item to avoid completely, it would definitely be matchbooks.
Additional Accessories to Enhance Your Wedding Sparklers
There are several great accessories available to help you get the perfect look at your celebration. From items to beautify your sparklers to item to help you get them lit, these accessories are crucial to a perfect experience. Here is a breakdown of the 4 most important items to consider.
Most couples agree that the natural silverfish-grey color is very appealing in your decorations. However, adding a small adornment to enhance them further is even better. The most popular option is to place sparkler tags on each stick. They can have a special message printed on them, or even instructions on how to use them. Additionally, many couples make their own using ribbons. Whatever you choose, it’s a great way to spruce them up to blend into your theme better.
Lighters are by far the best way to light things up quickly at your event. There are many different types of lighters available from regular butane versions to windproof options that use liquid fuel. However, the best option will be a butane or propane torch. Consider adding a custom sticker to each one to make them match your theme more closely, or having a company custom screen print them.
Custom matchbooks are a very popular item to have on your reception tables. Honestly, they were much trendier in the 80s and 90s; but they still have a huge demand in the service industry. Unfortunately, I find that matches are the least efficient way to light sparklers at a wedding. Typically, you can only light one or two of them before you singe the tips of your fingers. However, if aesthetics are important to you, they are an option that you may want to take a closer look at.
Finding the best way to display your wedding sparklers is another challenge that couples face. There are two widely used options; placing them in centerpieces and leaving them in their packages on the tables. Personally, I like to use a sparkler display bucket because they have the nicest appearance. However, jars or vases work well, too. Most of them are made from galvanized steel, and some of them even have little chalkboards on them. That way, you can write a custom message on each bucket before placing them on your tables.
Things to Consider Before Buying Wedding Sparklers
Now that you understand what they are, there are some key things to consider before making your purchase. In this section of my definitive guide to wedding sparklers, I’ll discuss things like shipping, delivery, and when you should place your order. Here’s what you need to know.
Can I Buy Wedding Sparklers Year Round?
Fortunately, the internet doesn’t have hours or restrictions on the time of year that we can sell. So, if you plan to order online, you can absolutely buy sparklers year round without any issues. However that is simply not the case for brick and mortar stores who are subjected to local laws and regulations. Additionally, certain states have restrictions on when our products can be used, but I’ll get into that more later. The bottom line is that you are free to order from our website 365 days a year without any blackout dates.
Should I Avoid Firework Tents When Buying Wedding Sparklers?
Unfortunately, very few fireworks tents offer versions of sparklers that are suitable for a wedding. For some people, you can certainly get away with buying generic versions from a local retailer. However, they simply will not meet the criteria or standards that we hold so dear. In my honest opinion, you should never attempt to buy wedding sparklers from a fireworks tent. In the end, you will almost certainly be disappointed.
Do Walmart, eBay, Party City, or Amazon Sell Wedding Sparklers?
Many people are tempted to search for our products at big box retailers. Though they may have a vast selection of items, sparklers for weddings are very much a specialty item. However, these companies may have some sort of option that could seem tempting. Here’s a quick breakdown of the top four and what you can expect to find.
There are very few options available on the Walmart website for wedding related items, and most of them are sold by third party entities. If you want to buy directly from the company, you’ll need to go to one of their stores. Sadly, they only sell in the summer time and they don’t carry sparklers specifically designed for weddings. Additionally, they source from very low quality vendors that will leave you in utter disappointment. Overall, I would avoid shopping for fireworks of any variety at Walmart.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’ve probably been shopping on the eBay auction website for over a decade. They are a great source for inexpensive items shipped directly from China. However, that means you’re at the mercy of third party sellers, and finding credible reviews of their products is nearly impossible. Additionally, the hassle of returning a purchase to China is incredibly painstaking. My opinion: buy from a trusted source in the US and avoid the hassle and disappointment.
Primarily, this company operates out of brick and mortar establishments that have mostly been closed in recent years. After the Covid-19 pandemic, the company as a whole has been largely left in tatters. Yes, you can still shop on the Party City website, but their product selection is greatly diminished as a result. Additionally, they do not sell or ship sparklers through their website. Between the lack of availability and a business structure on the verge of collapse, I personally would take my business elsewhere.
Amazon is the mother of all big box stores, and they have dug their claws into virtually every niche market. However, you cannot buy wedding sparklers from Amazon directly; they are only available from third party sellers. If you are familiar with their customer protections, they are quite hindered if you don’t buy from the mother ship itself. Whenever a company is unwilling to stand behind a product they sell, I always see that as an alarm bell saying to avoid at all costs. With all the time, effort, and money you invest into planning your big day, it’s better to rely on someone you can trust.
In the end, I always remind our customers of a very important fact: these retailers offer the cheapest quality items and will almost certainly disappoint you in the end. Though you may find better prices, there is a reason for that. They have not done the legwork to find the highest quality wedding sparklers. Their mission is simple: have the cheapest prices, thus provide the cheapest quality. If you want your celebration to be truly amazing, avoid these big box retailers at all costs.
Is it Better to Buy Wedding Sparklers in Bulk?
This wouldn’t be the definitive guide to wedding sparklers if I didn’t mention the benefits of buying in bulk. Like everything, you will always get the best price if you buy a lot. However, the flip-side is that you may be left with way too many extras if you go hog wild. Fortunately, we have designed our packages offer great savings regardless of how many you need to order. Though you will get the best discount with our biggest packages, I think you’ll be happy with the pricing structure overall.
Additionally, don’t forget that we buy in the largest volume as the biggest company in the industry. That means you will get the best prices on our website, and also the highest quality. Though you may not need 10,000 of them for your event, we purchase much more than that each year.
Where Can I Buy Sparklers in My Area?
Some couples are simply not interested in making their purchase online. I can understand the appeal of shopping locally to a certain extent; as a guitar player I like to touch and feel a guitar before shelling out cash. As such, I commonly get questions about where to buy wedding sparklers locally. Here are a few options for people who would rather keep their money in the community.
Wedding supply shops
Big box stores
Party supply stores
Convenience stores (certain times of the year)
Sadly, most of these places have lackluster options for this particular need. In fact, the only one of these I can truly recommend is a wedding supply shop; and most of them simply don’t carry sparklers. If you are determined to buy somewhere near you, I wish you the best of luck. However, remember that we offer a full refund if you aren’t 100% satisfied with our products.
How to Plan for Shipping and Delivery Times
Many couples wait until the last minute to make their purchases. Typically, it’s because they are gathering money together as fast as they can before the deadline. However, waiting too long can mean that you go without. Here are some tips to ensure you have plenty of time for your shipment and delivery to happen before the big day.
How Long Does Shipping and Delivery Take?
Our company offers free economy shipping with the option to pay for faster ground delivery. You should checkout our shipping information page before placing your order, but I’ll give you the important facts right here. For the free shipping option, you should expect it to take between 5-10 business days; but typically it’s around 7. For upgraded ground shipping, it only takes 2-6 business days, but typically it’s around 4. Honestly, you should do it as far in advance as possible. However, these are just estimates, but should keep you firmly within the realm of reality.
Can Sparklers Be Shipped Overnight?
No. Unfortunately, there are many restrictions surrounding shipments involving airplanes. The only way to get something from our warehouses overnight is via air mail. Sadly, these restrictions make it impossible to offer overnight delivery on our products.
Can I Bring Sparklers on a Plane?
No. FAA regulations specifically prohibit bringing pyrotechnics of any sort on an airplane; including wedding sparklers. These restrictions are not limited to only carry-on bags, but checked luggage as well. If you need them to be transported to another destination, you’ll need to use a ground shipping method to achieve it.
When Should I Place My Order?
At a minimum, I suggest ordering at least 2 full weeks before your big day. That should allow for plenty of time to have them delivered without too much stress. However, if at all possible, you should do it 3 weeks in advance. Then, you’ll have a chance to try out the items and decide how they can best be used at your event.
Online Reviews are Important
Overall, the best way to ensure you are making a smart purchase is to consult online reviews. Though helpful, reviews on a company’s website are usually riddled with bias; and some are downright fake. So, it’s always wise to check on a reputable third party website. For instance, you can view our reviews on Wedding Wire and see that our customers are overwhelmingly happy; both with our products and our customer service. By checking from a verified source, you can rest assured that you’re making a great decision.
Tips for Getting Great Photographs
Capturing your sparklers in pictures can be trickier than you think. Most of the time, lighting is very poor so they are easier to see for your guests. Unfortunately, that means the “subject” (the sparklers) can be difficult to get into focus correctly. Here are some tips to help in a variety of situations so you can create a masterpiece.
How to Photograph Sparklers
Below, you will find some basic tips on how to photograph sparklers in the most common scenarios. I’ll discuss lighting, flash options, and things that you need to cover with the couple in advance. Hopefully, these tips should help you get the best photos possible.
Using Ambient Lighting and the Glow of the Sparklers
Most venues have soft, ambient, lighting for this type of event. Though it creates a great atmosphere, it makes photography a lot more challenging. However, it’s possible to get great photos in these circumstances. First, you need to light enough sparklers to have a good source of light. Though they “flicker” as they perform, having several going at once averages this effect out. The best thing you can do is have patience and try several variations to get the lighting just right. Make sure to try it with and without flash enabled to find the right formula.
Using an External Flash
Not everyone has the equipment to use an external flash, but it will ultimately make for the best photos. I find that using the onboard flash in conjunction with an external flash yields the best results. Remember, it will take a little fine tuning to get your placement just right. However, the ultimate setup involves an external flash on each side of the subject and your onboard flash on the camera. If you illuminate all angles simultaneously, you can easily capture crisp images that will steal the show.
Questions to Ask the Couple for the Best Results
Communication is the key to all successful photo shoots. So, take the time to sit down with the couple and discuss the options. First, you need to decide what types of images you are trying to achieve. Next, you need to figure out when and where the shoot will happen. Lastly, see if you can get your hands on some of the wedding sparklers ahead of time to test out your equipment. By asking the right questions, you’ll give yourself the best chance at success.
How to Photograph Sparklers with an iPhone or Android Smartphone
We all know that professional cameras are always the best option. However, most people only have an iPhone or an Android smartphone for taking pictures. Luckily, you can still get nice pictures using these devices. Here are some basic tips to get good results with the equipment you already have in your pocket.
Using an iPhone
Overall, the iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the United States. Boasting an amazing onboard camera, it makes taking great pictures as easy as clicking a button. However, it also means that you don’t get much control over the camera’s settings. So, taking photos of sparklers with an iPhone is actually just a matter of trial and error. Try different angles, different lighting, and different distances from your subject. Though it won’t be easy, you can still get great pictures using an iPhone.
Using an Android Smartphone
Unlike the iPhone, Android-based smartphones give you complete control over your device. As such, it is much easier to get high quality pictures of sparklers with an Android device. However, most brands do not have as nice of a lens or software as Apple provides to their users. So, it’s a bit like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I suggest surfing Google Play for an app that helps you adjust the internal settings of your camera. With the proper tweaks, you can get amazing photos at your wedding.
Writing with Sparklers
One of the most common techniques that couples try to achieve is known as “writing with sparklers”. This method involves moving them around in specific shapes to essentially “write” with them in your photos. The key is to use very controlled movements and set your camera for a long exposure time. This technique requires a lot of patience, trial and error, and repetition. Additionally, it’s best to use 20 inch wedding sparklers so they are easy to handle yet last a fair amount of time. Though it’s a bit arduous, the resulting pictures will be astounding in your scrapbook.
Creating Sparkler Effects in Photoshop
Of course, some people find that it’s much easier to add in a “sparkler” effect to their photos after the fact. Most people have used Photoshop in the past, but adding this type of effect is considered much more advanced. Fortunately, there are plenty of filters you can buy and tutorials available on YouTube to help. However, it’s important to note that the effects you can create are much more limited compared to doing it naturally. I suggest taking a few pictures specifically for this purpose as well as trying to capture it in reality. That way, you’ll have all the options at your disposal when it comes time for editing.
Sharing Your Experience on Social Media
I get asked all the time if we are willing to share your pictures on our social media accounts. I’ll cut to the chase; YES! We are more than happy to share them! Here are the most popular social media platforms for posting photos and how to communicate to us that you want them shared.
Facebook is the largest and most popular social media platform on Earth. Almost everyone has an account, and most people are very active on their website. If you are super proud of your photos, visit our Facebook page and drop us a message. We will be happy to share them with all of our fans and potential customers! It’s a great way to get added visibility so the whole world can see your event.
Twitter isn’t the first platform that comes to mind for sharing photos, but it can be very powerful with the right user tweeting. All you have to do to get more exposure is to tag our Twitter profile in your tweet and we will happily re-tweet it for more eyes. Their platform is rapidly growing, so it’s another great tool to have in your arsenal.
Instagram is the leading image sharing platform in the world. Owned and administered by Facebook, this app has taken on a life of its own. Many people prefer to get their information in a single image rather than reading through paragraphs of text. This is where Instagram really shines! To take advantage of all our followers, just visit our Instagram account, tag us, and you’ll be on your way to internet fame.
Pinterest is the world’s first and largest “bulletin board” for inspiration, pictures, and ideas. Originally, people would use it to gather ideas for crafts projects. However, it has now transformed into a hub for everything that’s creative. If you have discovered a fun way to use wedding sparklers, we are happy to include it on one of our Pinterest boards! Just reach out to us on their site and we will happily pin your ideas to the board that is most appropriate.
The Safety and Legality of Wedding Sparklers
One of the biggest concerns I hear from our customers is whether or not our products are legal and safe. Though there are always risks, taking the right precautions will ensure a fun experience. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know.
Are They Safe?
When used properly, wedding sparklers are a fun and safe addition to your celebration. However, it’s very important to adhere to all the safety guidelines during their use. Additionally, make sure you have safety equipment and first aid materials on hand for any eventuality. When you follow all the rules, you can rest assured that sparklers won’t hurt you or your guests.
Are They Legal?
According to Federal law, sparklers are considered a “novelty” item. As such, they are technically legal in all 50 states. However, some states and local governments have added laws that prohibit them from being used; whether entirely or during certain times of the year. Make sure you check out the firework laws in your state before making a purchase to eliminate any fiascos.