Wedding season is just around the corner and with all the planning – many couples want to plan a memorable and fun exit from their reception. I’ve gathered some of the best suggestions for when planning your sparkler exit!
1. Discuss with venue and photographer – This may sound silly but it’s really important to talk to your photographer and your venue to be sure that everyone is on the same page for the sparkler exit. From the photographer’s perspective, it’s important to know about the exit to make sure that it is included in the timeline and we can prepare for it! From the venue, you want to be sure they allow it as many have rules regarding and suggestions for this type of exit. This conversation should take place before the wedding day. I’ve seen it where a couple has planned an exit, spent the money on sparklers only to find out the day of that the venue doesn’t allow it. Be sure to find out their rules.
2. What sparklers and how many to purchase – When purchasing the sparklers there are so many options out there. Just Google ‘wedding sparklers’ and you’ll have more than you can imagine to choose from. I’ve always recommended these: https://www.sparklersonline.com/wedding-sparklers-36-inch/ – they are 36 inches long, smokeless and will last about 3 ½ – 4 minutes to burn giving you the best coverage for your full exit. As for how many to purchase, this really depends on your guest. Try to determine how many guests will still be at the reception by the time it ends. Sometimes some guests leave a little early and sometimes not everyone takes part of the actual exit. I recommend to order for at least 80% of your guests. Remember, if you order too many you will have leftovers afterwards.
3. Testing the sparklers – Before your wedding day, take the time to test the sparklers – in the dark, you want to be sure they light fairly quickly (remember you will have all your guests lighting them right before the exit). You also want to see how long they take to burn, this is important to be sure you have all the sparklers light through the exit.
4. Have someone in charge on the day of – I can’t explain how important this is. If you have a wedding coordinator they would be helping with this, if you don’t, be sure to have someone you trust that can bring it all together with the venue. You want to be sure that this person is able to make sure everyone gets in place, knows how you want the exit to be and most importantly can control and give the ‘go ahead’ on lighting the sparklers. There are times that guests get overly excited and begin lighting them way before it’s time, making the exit a little tough.
5. Making an announcement – This is a big one. You need to be sure all your guests are aware that there will be a sparkler exit and at what time. This will help when the moment arrives. Talk to your DJ/MC to be sure they will make an announcement about 15 minutes before the actual exit. This will help get the guests moving outside and be ready! Some couples include signs at the reception to make sure everyone is aware.
6. Timing – Knowing when to begin the exit is important. You want to confirm with your venue when they suggest you have the official announcement made. You want to be sure to allow for time to get the guests in place with the sparklers. You also want to allow time to get them all lit before you begin your exit. The last thing you want is to have the initial guest’s sparklers burning out by the time the last guests are lit and you begin your exit. Depending on the amount guests the set-up of the guests and the lighting can take about 10-15 minutes so keep that in mind as you finalize the time! Most DJ’s will help with the best timing at the end of the evening.
7. Lighting the sparklers – Lighting the sparklers take time, many times longer than expected. Make sure you have the proper lighters. The best ones are the ones with the handles where you just click to light them. Stay away from cigarette lighters or matches. These never seem to work when you need them to and will slow down the lighting process. You should also have a lighter for every 20 or so guests, this is a great way to get people lit quickly.
8. The Actual Exit – You’re guests should be guided to make a tunnel so that you can walk down the middle. The moment has arrived, you’ve planned it and you’re ready to go. Holding hands, you start down surrounded by all your loved ones – sparklers in hand. I love the look couples give each other during this time, they are simply giddy with happiness. During this moment, slow down for a few moments, take it all in. Stop in the middle and kiss! It’s sweet and makes for wonderful photos and you get some great smiles and emotions from everyone as your guests wish you off to your ‘happily ever after’…
9. The Cleanup – At this point, you guests have bid you farewell but they remain at the venue, holding sparklers. You want to be sure that the person/people helping you coordinate your exit are aware of what to do afterwards. Talk to your venue, they will provide suggestions or rules for the clean-up. For example, many will have metal buckets with sand for the sparklers to be placed in. You may also want to be sure there are no additional fees for the clean up after the guests depart for the sparklers that may not make it to the buckets.