Money is always tight when you’re planning a wedding, so buying too much of any item is something you want to avoid. However, purchasing too few of a given item can lead to problems as well. When it comes to sparklers for weddings, this is of particular importance. You certainly don’t want to run out during your send-off line or photo shoot, but they aren’t exactly a “necessity” item, either. At this point, you’re likely wondering “how many sparklers should I buy for my wedding?” Fortunately, I’m happy to lend my expertise in this field.

First off, there are a variety of factors that will play a role. The number of guests attending, how you plan to use them, and the size you select should all be considered in the equation. To make things easier to understand, I’ll cover each factor in detail. Afterwards, I’ll explain how to calculate the right number of items to buy for your celebration.

How Many Guests Will Be Attending?

Knowing the size of your guest list should be of obvious importance. Without knowing how many people you are accommodating, you cannot accurately decide on a quality to purchase. If you are looking to save money, make a list of everyone that will be participating in the sparkler activity you desire. Often times, people will leave ahead of time or small children will be present. So, if you had 120 guests coming; you would only reasonably need sparklers for 100 people.

Image of Sparklers Being Used During a Wedding ExitHow Will You Be Using Your Sparklers?

How you plan to use them during your celebration is another key piece of information to consider. Ultimately, what you need to know is how long they will need to last. Here are a few common activities and approximately how long they last.

*Please keep in mind that these estimations are for the activity itself; it does NOT take into account the amount of time it takes to light the sparklers and hand them out to your guests.

  • Wedding Exit: For average sized events with 100-150 guests, a wedding exit should take between a minute and 2 minutes. Make sure everyone is in place before you begin lighting your sparklers.
  • Photo Shoot: To properly capture the light during a long exposure, it will take around 40 seconds on average. Don’t forget that you’ll need a few extra so you can get the camera settings just right.
  • First Dance: The song you choose for your first dance is probably longer than the duration of any one sparkler. So, it is best to have multiple items on hand for each participating guest. Just stagger when you light them so there are always a few performing at all times.

Of course, you need to factor in the lighting and distribution time to get the right quantity. I always say about 30 seconds per guest is a fair estimate for this. To avoid problems, be sure to purchase plenty of high quality lighters that have large flames and are easy to ignite. This will ensure a fast and efficient process for everyone.

Determining the Correct Length of Sparklers to Buy

Once you know how long your activity will last, you can determine which size will work best for your needs. Ideally, you want to have one sparkler per guest to cut down on the lighting and distribution factors. Most sizes are too short for wedding activities, but there are 2 that work very well. I will discuss each below.

Image of 20 Inch Sparkler for Wedding Celebrations20 Inch Length

For most situations, 20 inch sparklers should be your first consideration. Lasting 1.5 minutes, they are the perfect duration for photo shoots and wedding exits with 120 or fewer guests participating. Additionally, they can be a perfect size for first dance songs. Unless you choose a very long song, 3 minutes of sparkle time is perfect if you provide 2 items per guest.

36 Inch Length

For larger events, 36 inch sparklers should be used because they last nearly 4 minutes. When including more than 120 guests, wedding exits can easily take over 3 minutes to get them dispensed and burning. Additionally, 4 minutes is typically enough time to complete any first dance activity. However, they last much too long for use during normal photo shoots.

So, How Many Sparklers Should I Buy for My Wedding?

Once you have an answer to each of these variables, deciding on a quantity should be easy enough. However, just to recap, here is a basic checklist of the steps you need to take to know how many sparklers you should buy for your wedding.

  1. Determine your guest list size. Only count the people who will be participating in this activity.
  2. Decide how you plan to use the sparklers at your wedding.
  3. Choose a sparkler size that will last long enough for your activity while also factoring in the process of lighting them. You may need to purchase more than one for each guest in certain situations.
  4. Purchase one sparkler for each participating guest in the size that you’ve selected. If you determined you need more than one for each guest, adjust your numbers accordingly.

By using this simple formula, you can shop for sparklers online and order exactly how many you need. Of course, you should always buy a few extra to be safe. However, this method should help prevent extreme over-ordering or running out at the wrong time. If you ever have any questions about ordering, please feel free to contact me!