By far the most popular season to host a wedding is summer. People typically have more free time, and the weather is almost always perfect. However, because of demand, it is also the most expensive time to do it. To help save money, it’s important to come up with some fun activities to fill the time that are relatively cheap. Fortunately, performing a sparkler exit in the summer fits all the criteria superbly.
Wedding exits in general are ideal because they take around 20-30 minutes to execute and don’t require any monetary contribution. In fact, a standard sendoff is free other than the time invested in coordination efforts. However, for $0.70 or less per person, you can add wedding sparklers to the mix to make it last longer and be more spectacular. But, to pull it off correctly, you need to be educated and properly prepared. Here are some tips on performing a summer sparkler exit to help you achieve perfection.
Tips for Selecting the Location
Choosing a location at your venue to perform your exit is the very first step. This decision will lay the groundwork for the entire activity. So, you need to get this settled right away. Typically, it comes down to a choice between an indoor sendoff and an outdoor sendoff. However, there are other factors to consider as well before you can make a final decision. Here’s what you need to know.
Are They Allowed at Your Venue?
Before you even think about how to put together a sparkler sendoff, you need to discuss it with the venue. Some locations will have an area that’s approved for it to make the decision easy. Conversely, some venues don’t allow them at all. So, in order to make an informed choice, you need to know what the rules are. The last thing you want is to make a purchase that was a complete waste of time! If the venue owners are leaving it up to you, there becomes more information to consider carefully.
Ideal Indoor Locations
Performing the activity indoors eliminates worries about severe weather. However, if you’re considering this option, the location needs to fit certain criteria. First, there needs to be a long pathway to use as you walk past the guests. Second, there needs to be ample room for your guests to line the hallway and still be safe to hold their lit sparklers. You need at least 4 feet of space in front and above the people participating. Lastly, you need to have ample ventilation and zero flammable obstacles nearby. Even if you’re using smokeless sparklers, you still want a steady stream of fresh air passing through. If you can meet all these requirements, then an indoor exit can be a great choice.
Ideal Outdoor Locations
Choosing an outdoor location is very popular for summer weddings because of the nice weather. However, it’s important to consider the chance of rain before settling on the right spot. Ideally, the location you select will have some type of overhead protection from the elements. For instance, an area with tall trees or a pavilion structure make great picks. Additionally, you should try to have an alternate location indoors to cover all your bases. That way, you won’t end up trying to figure out what to do on the fly.
How to Choose the Right Wedding Sparklers
Once you have the perfect location, you’ll need to choose the right items for your event. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider before choosing the type of sparklers that will work best for the situation.
How Many Guests Will Be Participating?
Knowing the size of your guest list is vital to deciding between the different lengths of sparklers. Average sized celebrations can get away with the 20 inch version, but larger events need the 36 inch version. A good rule to follow is that the 20 inch version is great for up to 120 people participating. If your guest list is any larger, you should certainly consider upgrading to something larger.
Will the Sendoff Be Indoors or Outdoors?
You should already know whether you want to do it inside or outside because it’s important to selecting your items. Mainly, you need to know whether or not you need to choose a smokeless variety. If you are doing it outside, you can choose any type you want as long as they are long enough. However, sendoffs happening inside require the use of smokeless sparklers. Knowing your options is important before you begin the shopping process.
Choosing the Right Sparkler Size and Type
Generally, I always recommend choosing 36 inch wedding sparklers for sendoff lines because they work in any situation. First off, they are smokeless so they can be used either indoors or outdoors. Second, they are the longest lasting option so you don’t have to worry about them ending too soon. However, smaller weddings can easily get away with shorter and less expensive options. Just remember to go bigger than you think you’ll need for the activity. It’s much better to have them last too long versus fizzling out before you complete the exit line.
Proper Setup for Performing a Sparkler Exit in the Summer
Planning things out and setting up in advance is important for having a stress-free sendoff. From distributing them to your guests to proper disposal, you need to have a plan for everything to work. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your summer sparkler exit is as spectacular as you hope it will be.
Distributing the Sparklers
The first step you need to figure out is how you plan to distribute them to your guests. Passing them out by hand can be very time consuming, so I always suggest putting them in a central location. Typically, the guestbook table makes a great place to put them so everybody can grab one. However, you can also put them on the tables or in the area where you’ll be performing the exit. Either way, you’ll want to put them in a nice display bucket or vase so they look beautiful and are easy to grab.
Positioning the Guests
Once you have them distributed, you need to inform your guests of where they should stand. Usually, it’s ideal to form two rows of people along each side of the exit path. Make sure they are spaced out enough so there aren’t any safety concerns. They easiest way to inform everyone is to make an announcement explaining how it all works. This is a great task for your wedding planner, maid of honor, or even the mother of the bride. Once everyone knows what they’re supposed to do and where to stand, the rest of the event will go smoothly
Lighting the Wedding Sparklers
Weather during the summer months can vary greatly from day to day. So, there are some unique challenges you might face while you’re trying to light your wedding sparklers. Fortunately, you can rule out ice and snow during this season. However, wind and rain can pop up out of nowhere! So, it’s important to have a location in mind that is sheltered from both of these potential obstacles. In general, I find that any area with a protected side and overhead shelter works best. Also, make sure you have something like a torch or windproof lighter so you don’t struggle too much in the breeze. Then, you just pass them out and light the tip before starting your exit!
Executing the Sendoff and Taking Pictures
Once everyone is in position and lit, you can start making your way down the path. It’s good to know how long you have before the sparklers end so you can time things correctly. Ideally, you’ll have a person timing your sendoff and giving you pointers from afar so everything lines up nicely.
For pictures, I always suggest having the photographer follow alongside the bride and groom behind the line of guests. That way, you’ll get some great photos that really immerse you in the experience! As the couple approaches the end, the photographer can also grab a few pictures looking down the aisle. If you want to get a few ideas ahead of time, check out our sparkler sendoff inspiration gallery to see what’s possible.
Proper Disposal Techniques
Disposing of your used sparklers is not only courteous to the venue, it’s important for safety reasons, too. Overall, the best way to dispose of them is to have a bucket of water to toss them in. Unfortunately, the used sticks can sometimes reignite even several minutes after they’ve finished. By dunking them in water, you can ensure they’re completely extinguished before heading inside to eat and dance. Optionally, you can use a bucket of sand or a fire pit as the final destination for the remains. Just be sure not to toss them into a garbage can before you are 100% certain they are fully extinguished.
Summer Sparkler Exit Safety Tips
Safety should always be the primary concern whenever you use sparklers. However, there are some season-specific tips for summer weddings to help keep you safe. Here are a few things to keep in mind before grabbing that lighter.
- Summer heat can lead to dry conditions. Never use our products if the grass and foliage are dangerously dry. If it’s too dry for a campfire, it’s too dry for a sparkler sendoff.
- Winds can get very strong during the summer months which can spread fire quickly. If there are going to be windy conditions, review the situation carefully before moving forward with your exit.
- Conversely, and abundance of rain can create dangerous conditions, too. Areas that are muddy can make slipping and sliding a possible issue to contend with. If there are any slip hazards, cancel your sendoff plans immediately.
- Severe weather can also be a threat, but not to the activity specifically. If you choose an area for your exit without emergency storm shelters nearby, it can be a huge mistake. Make sure you have a plan for every contingency to have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Of course, there are general sparkler safety guidelines that should also be followed. However, those rules apply regardless of which season it happens to be. Hopefully, these safety tips shed some light on the unique concerns you’ll face when performing a sparkler exit in the summer months.
Alternatives to Sparklers for a Summer Sendoff
Whether you need a backup plan or want to avoid using real sparklers at your event, knowing a few alternatives can be a handy piece of knowledge. People have been performing wedding sendoffs during the summer much longer than sparklers have been around. So, there are plenty of great ways to do it without them! Here is a shortlist of my eight favorite alternatives.
- Birdseed or rice
- LED wedding sparklers
- Glow sticks
- Ribbon wands
- Silly string
- Flower seeds
Overall, birdseed is by far the most popular alternative that people choose. However, there are other factors to consider. LED sparklers are the most versatile, while flower seeds are probably the most eco-friendly. In the end, choosing the right accessory for your summer sendoff is something you’ll need to decide on your own.
Is Performing a Summer Sparkler Exit a Good Option?
Regardless of the time of year, using sparklers for your wedding exit is an excellent way to include your guests in the celebration. As I mentioned before, it is one of the least expensive and most interactive ways to ramp up the party. Of course, summer is even more ideal because you can do it outside unless the weather takes a turn for the worst. In my opinion, it is a fantastic choice for summer unless it’s raining outside.
Overall, each couple will need to decide if they are the right accessory for your sendoff. Most people are very pleased with the outcome, but others find it more trouble than it’s worth. Hopefully, I’ve shown you all the pros and cons as well as the key things to consider when putting your plan together. Good luck and I hope your wedding exit is as wonderful as you hoped it would be!