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How to Plan a Sparkler Exit - And do it RIGHT!

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

The First Look, The First Kiss and the First Dance are all moments that frame your wedding day.. The last of these moments is the Grand Exit. So many couples are looking to plan a magical and dramatic at the end of their night with a Sparkler Exit. Pinterest is practically overflowing with Sparkler Exit images, Seriously, who doesn’t dream about driving off, into married life, in a beautiful car with all your guests waving sparklers while you pause to kiss romantically, Done right, the Sparkler Exit is he perfect ending to your perfect day. But there is a lot of work that should go into a sparkler exit, and if you are hoping to simply wing it, you are likely to end up creating a lot of drama, and worst-case-scenario, someone gets hurt! So let's go step-by step through the planning process for a sparkler exit, so that you can make the best decisions when planning your big day.

First, Does Your Venue Even Allow a Sparkler Exit? You may, or may not, be surprised to learn that a lot of very popular private venues and even some public ones do not allow sparklers on their property. . A historic victorian mansion would be crazy to take the fire risk. The perfect solution, is to go right out on the street, over to an adjacent park our our on the beach, depending on your venue location. If you don’t want to take the walk for this photo opportunity, . The set-up will take a few minutes, and you will want to have supplies on hand. More on that in a moment. Basically, if your venue does not allow for a sparkler exit, you will simply need to fine a sensible alternative location.

Second, Discuss Timing with Your Vendor Team and Photographer You do not want to simply tack this onto your timeline. You want to be certain that your vendor team knows about it. Typically, photographers and videographers do not stay until the bitter end of a wedding, most leave after the cake cutting. So, you will want to make sure that you booked a photo or video package with enough time built in to allow for a sparkler exit. You can ask your photographer for extra time at an hourly rate. If you can't afford extra time or your photographer isn't available late, you can still capture that magical moment by staging a mock "Exit" earlier in the evening.

I strongly suggest that you do your staged sparkler exit photo immediately after your cake cutting and bouquet/garter toss. This way all your important guests, family and bridal party are in one place, and can easily be wrangled to take the photo. Many of you of your wedding guests, particularly older folks and those with young children, will leave your reception right after the cake is served. I believe that the earlier you do your staged sparkler exit, the better. So, if it’s a time of year when it’s dark enough, you might consider tucking it into the timeline right after dinner. If you are wondering why I believe earlier is better, it’s simple. You are throwing a paaaar-tay and people like to party! The earlier you do your sparkler exit, the better. Especially when you consider that you will be handing very hot metal rods, that shoot sparks to people who have been drinking and celebrating for a few hours already.

Third, What You Need for a Sparkler Exit (Your Supply List)

  • Sparklers. Obviously! And you need big ones, so that they burn long enough. You can buy high quality long lasting sparklers are from Sparklers.US. They are 36 inches, and burn for 3 minutes with “low smoke.” You’ll need 1-2 per guest, but I’d get a few extra. The extras will be used by your photographer and planner doing test shots to ensure the lighting is correct before getting the shot!

  • How Many Guests Should Participate? Usually 30-40 is more than enough. You don't need all 150 of your wedding guests to participate. Thats just WAY to man people! Usually at the end of your reception you will have just about that many people left to participate. Sparklers should cost you a little less than $1 per sparkler, the more you order, with bulk pricing, the more affordable they become.

  • Galvanized Steel Buckets. Use them to store the sparklers in while waiting to burn them. But they are also the perfect storage container to place the burnt sparkler sticks into (remember they are going to be very hot. You don’t want to use a container that will burn, or smoke or small bad (plastic) when you place hot metal into it.

  • A Fire Extinguisher. Before going ahead and purchasing one, check with your venue to see if they have . small one handy for cases like this. If not, it’s a great idea to have a small fire extinguisher (most people don’t in your home, either in the kitchen, outside by the barbecue or fire pit, or all of the above! So buy one, I hope you’ll never need it, but if you do, you’ll be glad you had it!

  • 2-3 large votive candles in mason jars. These are to start the sparkler lighting, The number needed depends on the size of your crowd and the number of sparklers being lit. 1 per side is sufficient. Sparklers are often lit fastest off of each other after the first one is started.

The Logistics

  1. First, choose somewhere sheltered from the wind and close to the location where they will be used. Prior to your wedding day, time how long the sparklers you purchased will burn. This will give you an idea of how little time you have to get sparklers burning for all your guests, or just your bridal party.

  2. Then, hold the sparkler horizontally or with the tip slightly lowered.

  3. Next, light the first sparkler using a large votive candle. The person who lights their sparkler first is given the happy task of “Designated Lighter!” You should have a number of Designated Lighters. How many depends on the number of people involved in your sparkler exit.

  4. Have everyone line up sparklers in hand. Sparklers will ignite each other almost instantly, so the Designated Lighter will be able to move quickly fmove down the line.. Do not allow anyone to light more than 3-4 sparklers at a time. They are very combustable.

Sparkler Exit Safety Rules

  • Do not use matches to light your sparklers. They don’t burn long enough. They will not stay lit in any amount of breeze, and they create a ton of garbage on the ground when people drop them..

  • Remind guests that the metal sticks are extremely hot and will burn them after the sparkler goes out. Consider attaching monogrammed paper tabs to the sparklers as a place for your guests to hold them.

  • Have a sparkler can for extinguished sparklers to be placed in. They can be the same container you stored them in. I always have two galvanized metal containers on hand.

  • Have a fire extinguisher on hand. Better safe than sorry. This is a must!

  • Supervise children very closely. Do not allow children of very intoxicate adults to participate in your Sparkler Exit,

  • Your Photographer is the one who will be directing your Sparkler Exit. Anyone participating should be able to follow the photographers directions. Ultimately this is about getting GREAT photographs to add that magical touch to your wedding memories!

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