Thinking about doing a sparkler exit to close out your wedding reception? Formal exits are growing in popularity and can be a fun way to end your wedding day. Not to mention they are great photo-ops! Here’s what you need to know to get the most out of your sparkler send-off:
Be sure to purchase sparklers that are designed for weddings.
Regular sparklers are only about 10 inches long and burn out too quickly! One of the biggest pitfalls for sparkler exits is using regular short sparklers. By the time everyone gets them lit and the couple comes out, half of them have already burned out. Needless to say, these pictures don’t turn out as well. “Wedding” sparklers come in larger sizes of 20 to 36 inches. They burn longer and usually with less smoke which allows for better photos (and more of them!).
Consider the cooperation level of your guests and make sure you feel comfortable with them handling fire at the end of the night (especially if alcohol consumption is a factor). Also be mindful if children will be participating. Sparklers look awesome, but they are also dangerous and need to be handled with care.
Make sure to check with your venue on restrictions…some don’t allow sparklers due to safety concerns. Also, make sure your venue has adequate space for everyone to line up outside for the exit. Normally, guests will make two rows and the newlyweds will exit down the middle. Having room to spread out (and make a passable aisle for the couple) ensures no accidental burns due to tripping or bumping into others.
Allow enough time for guests to line up. (And get everyone in place BEFORE lighting the sparklers.)
Have a sign near the reception entrance to let your guests know what time the exit is happening—otherwise they may leave early and miss it! When it’s time for the exit, have the DJ make an announcement so people know where to go and what to do. Allow at least 15 minutes for guests to grab their sparklers and make their way outside before the scheduled “exit” time. It also helps to put someone you trust in charge of directing people, helping them line up properly, and coordinating the lighting of sparklers.
Once everyone is in place, have multiple lighters available to pass around. If all your guests are trying to use one lighter, some sparklers may burn out before everyone is ready.
Consider alternatives to sparklers
If your venue doesn’t allow sparklers—or if you are just looking for something different—get creative! Glow sticks, confetti, and bubbles (even at night!) are alternatives that still allow for a dramatic exit and great photos.
Speaking of photos, make sure you have booked enough hours with your photographer so that they will still be there to photograph the exit! You may need to add additional photography hours or plan to do the exit a bit earlier.
With these considerations taken care of, you should be on track for an amazing wedding reception send-off! A perfect ending for your perfect day.