Wedding Sparklers: Amazing Impact... But How On Earth Do You Pull Them Off? The Do's, Don'ts & Everything In Between For A Couple Planning Their Sparkler Moment
It's no secret that wedding sparklers are "in" and likely here to stay over the next few years. Just like stacked champagne towers, wedding sparklers are timeless and adds a special touch to any style of wedding.
BUT HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY PULL IT OFF?
When working on timeline planning with one of our summer brides last week I realized this is something that my brides are bringing up every year, without fail.
So let's chat wedding sparklers. How to do it, when to do it and all the other tips around making that sparkler moment really shine.
Jump Ahead: The Quick and Dirty
The Shopping List
...well Sis, first things first. You're going to need a shopping list. When working with my brides, here are the items that I recommend to make their sparkler moments go smoothly:
36" Metal Sparklers like these
2+ Buckets (metal buckets are cute & easy to decorate or decal) like these
Water Jugs (or you can use Sand)
2x+ Butane Torches from a hardware store
You'll also need...
Someone responsible to set up
2x People Comfortable with the torches
*items listed are recommendations only.
Product Break Down: Why You Need Them & What They're For
Yes, the list I shared above was somewhat specific, but there's a good reason for that. Let's break it down here:
Do they really need to be 36"? Yes. This will give your family and your photographer enough time to make sure EVERYONE gets lit and then you have the moment itself. The longer length gives you more TIME for the logistics of lighting, getting people in place, etc. This longer length will also all you to do BOTH a tunnel and take a few moments to spin or slow dance under them as well, creating 2x as many looks for those sparkler photos you're likely dreaming of.
Do they have to be the metal? In my experience as a seasoned wedding photographer the WOOD sparklers don't work very well. They tend to be more smokey/hazy and don't seem to burn as long. They also tend to fall apart a bit as then burn and we don't want a shorter wedding guest (or your dress!) getting burnt by falling ash during your sparkler finish. The metal sparkers, although they get hot, do, in my opinion, give you the best results, especially if you're after crisp, playful sparkler photos in your wedding gallery.
Logistics & Supplies to Set up a magical, yet SAFE Sparkler Moment
This is where you really make it or break it when it comes to sparklers. When you have multiple people with crazy hot sticks spouting sparks in their hands, you need a way to manage it so everyone's is lit in time and no one gets burned in the process. Here's our suggestion:
Yes. You really do need 2+ Buckets...
In my experience, plastic or metal doesn't really matter here, but HEIGHT does. I recommend option for something that's approx. 5 gals tall. This will allow your guests to submerge most of the sparkler into the water as soon as they're done with them. You don't want TINY BUCKETS that can easily be knocked over or aren't tall enough to hold the used sparkler sticks. It's an accident waiting to happen.
If you want a more elevated look, purchase a metal bucket and have a friend or someone on Etsy create a decal you can apply to dress it up. Do not add FAUX FLORALS or evergreens to the bucket as these materials are extremely flammable.
Helpers to prep the moment....
This person REALLY matters...because no matter how much you preplan, if your helpers aren't quite sure what to do or they might have had too much to drink, people can really get hurt.
How It All Works & What Your Helpers Need To Do/Know To Make The Moment Happen
1) Place the buckets around the area the sparkler moment is going to happen. Typically guests line up in 2 lines making an alley way for the couple to walk between. There should be AT LEAST 1 bucket per each side. Really want to be on the safe side? Have buckets at BOTH ends of EACH side. The more places your guests have to quench their sparkler the better.
2) Buckets should be filled 1/2 -3/4 of the way full with water (or sand). You want MOST of the sparkler to get submerged when guests drop their sticks in after the couple has their moment.
3) Getting Your Guests Ready
When it's time to do the sparkler moment, your planner, or DJ will make the announcement to your guest to head towards the spot and then your helpers and bridal party can get them into their places and hand out the sparklers.
It's also important to share info about where the quench buckets are so guests know what to do with the sparklers when the moment is over. Also have members of your bridal party keep an extra eye on anyone who is tipsy -or- better yet, avoid giving tipsy guests a sparkler all together.
Also be sure to remove any flammable décor or cute tags from the sparkler sticks before lighting.
From here your wedding planner or photographer will walk guest through what's going to happen next. Including things like where the couple is coming from, if the couple is dancing or doing a walk through tunnel, etc.
4) Helpers Turn on & Use The Butane Torches
When everyone knows what to do, your wedding planner, dj or photographer will instruct your helpers to start lighting everyone's sparkler. (see why they need to be reliable and sober?)
It's important these helpers know how to light and control the flame before the day of your event as sometimes they can be a bit tricky to turn on.
Once the flame is ready, your helpers can start walking down the line of guests to set the sparks. Metal sparklers are good at lighting each other up, so helpers can skip every few guests and have them help each other set to spark.
It's important to note that in my experience a regular grill or cigarette lighter is NOT GOOD at this job as it takes FOREVER to get the sparkler to light and causes too much of a delay.
5) After the bride and groom come through, the photos are shot and the moment is over, guests should then quench their sparkler in the buckets of water provided. This reduces the chance of accidently getting burned, starting a fire and makes clean up much easier as well.
And that's it! A quick trip to the hardware store and a little preplanning will go a LONG WAY to making your sparkler moment everything you're dreaming of...and so much more!