Wedding Sparklers: Wedding Exits That Sparkle

Wedding Sparklers are so popular at weddings! As a professional wedding photographer, I get to photograph many awesome wedding sparkler exits, so wanted to share some tips and advice.

Wedding Sparklers: A Timeless Wedding Trend

Sparkler exits are very on trend.  And why should that be?  Who wouldn’t want to stroll hand in hand with your new life partner, basking in the warm glow of sparklers illuminating the faces of your loved ones?  And… bonus!  Does anyone else love the smell of sparklers?  Sparkler exits also make great photos and are perfect for the closing pages in your wedding album.  But… real talk:  sparkler exits can be tricky!  Things can go horribly wrong and the last thing you want on your wedding day is a trip to the emergency room.  So if you are planning on investing in a sparkler exit, here are some things you should know.

1.  Choose the right size.  The sparklers you get for 4th of July are not going to work.  Those sparklers are too short, too quick, and too smokey.  The best sparkler size to use is the 36 inches long size which burns for 3.5 minutes. These long-lasting sparklers are perfect for wedding sparklers pictures, and for longer wedding exits.  You can purchase 36 inch sparklers at Superior Celebrations.  If you plan on having over 150 guests for your event you should use 36-inch sparklers.

bride and groom walk by wedding guests holding wedding sparklers

2.  Make sure it’s okay with the venue.  Before you plan a sparkler exit, make sure your venue approves it.  California’s dry summers and reoccurring drought make for dangerous conditions for any type of fire.  Combined with intoxicated guests makes sparkler exits a liability for venues.   You never want to do the exit on dry brush or in a field where the grass could easily catch fire.  Always be prepared with a fire extinguisher and a water bucket and, again, always get approval and support from your venue.

wedding guest holds sparkler in one hand and drink in the other

3.  Coordinate your exit with your DJ and photographer (and planner).  Make sure to plan the time and location for your sparkler exit with your planner, DJ/MC, and photographer.  Be sure to consult your photographer for the best location for photos with sparklers.  Plan a countdown and announcement with your DJ/MC to get your guests pumped and moved to the sparkler exit location.  Having a planner is great because they can help direct guests and light sparklers!

bride and groom exit Vizcaya wedding venue as guests hold wedding sparklers

4.  Be safe.  Take precautions.  As with anything involving fire, you want to have a safe way to dispose of the sparklers when you are finished using them. Since the sparklers will still be warm you don’t want to toss them in trashcans. You can place the discarded sparklers in buckets of sand for them to cool before throwing them away.

guests smiling as they hold sparklers waiting for bride and groom

5.  Take it slow.  Back in the day, couples often ran to their getaway car under a hail of rice.  While it makes sense to run when being pummeled with rice, it is not a good idea to run through ignited, white-hot wires held by an intoxicated guest.  Take your time.  Take in the moment.  Leave time to go through the sparklers a couple of times give ample time for photos.

bride and groom in dramatic embrace during their wedding sparkler exit

6.  Timing – Darkness and duration.  Sparkler exits photograph best in the dark, so work with your photographer and DJ when it should occur.  You will want to dedicate ample time in the wedding day timeline for the Sparkler Exit.  To ensure that the sparkler exit isn’t rushed, begin the sparkler exit 15 to 20 minutes prior to the official end of the wedding reception or before your photography coverage ends. This allows time for the corralling of the wedding guests; the distribution of the sparklers; the lighting of the sparklers; and the staging of the photographers and the couple before the start of the sparkler exit.

close-up portrait of married couple holding sparklers at the wedding

7.  Don’t forget about the lighters.  Sometimes couples opt for cute matchbooks to pair with sparklers, but I encourage you to keep the matchbook favors separate from your sparklers. Sparklers should be lit from wind-resistant, torch-style lighters. The next best thing is a long-stem grill lighter. Once you start getting some sparklers lit, you should use the sparklers to light other sparklers. A sparkler will light up almost immediately from another sparkler.

wedding guests hold sparklers in preparation of the sparkler exit

8.  The technique… start in the middle and work outwards.  The best sparkler exits have the sparklers lit at the same time.  The best way to accomplish this is the form of two lines for the couple to walk through and light the sparklers in the middle.  From the middle guests should light the sparkler of the person next to them until they reach the end.

bride and groom embrace in a kiss during their wedding sparkler exit

9.  Give directions.   Again, have signs letting your guests know that you are having an exit.  Plan the time and location with your photographer and let the DJ announce and direct your guests.  If you don’t have a planner, assign at least two people to direct guests on where to stand and light the first sparklers.

wedding guests waves sparkler at the camera during the sparkler exit

Wedding sparklers are a beautiful way to finish off your big day. I hope these tips help you have the best sparkler exit ever!


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