So you’re planning your wedding. You start thinking of your exit…and you want it to SPARKLE! So what do you do? Where do you even buy sparklers? How do you plan for it? Sparkler exits can be so fun, and beautiful! But there are some things that you Brides should definitely know about before the day of your Wedding! Today I am so excited to be collaborating with VIP Sparklers to answer some of the most asked questions about sparkler exits! AND as an RDP Blog reader they are offering a super exclusive discount code to you for the next Month! When you go to purchase sparklers thru VIP Sparklers, simply use the discount code: RDPBRIDES and you will receive 10% off your entire purchase! And that’s not all! They offer FREE shipping for any orders over $25.00!! Be sure to head over and grab your sparklers, and use that code before it’s too late!! What wedding sparkler buying tips should I definitely follow? Great question! There are a few buying tips we recommend every bride and groom should follow. During the initial planning phase, three groups should be informed: venue, wedding photographer and sparkler company. Venue: everything depends on your venue’s acceptance or rejection of sparklers on their premises. From our experience, most venues accept sparklers, but we always recommend double checking. Even for the venues that allow sparklers, some have size requirements; certain venues will not accept the use of sparklers larger than 20 inches for instance. Most venues have a designated area for sparkler exits, which can have its pros and cons. On the positive side, your venue allows wedding sparklers and perhaps took the time to create a space that works very well for sparkler exits. On the other hand, the designated space could be small or may require a bit of decorating. Either way, knowing these little details will help guide you in the sparkler purchase process. Wedding Photographer: if your venue allows sparklers, fantastic! The next step is to speak with your wedding photographer. If you have yet to contract one, make sure to include it in your interview questions. On the other hand, if you already hired a wedding photographer and he/she has no experience with sparklers, speak with him/her about it. Chances are, he/she can read a few instructional blogs and practice before your special day. Ever wonder why it’s advantageous to order your sparklers early? Here is a perfect example. If your sparklers for weddings arrive a couple of weeks before your wedding day, your wedding photographer can use a couple sparklers to practice and perfect his/her approach! If you know the specific area where your sparkler exit will be taking place, also pass along this information so your wedding photographer can help you execute a beautiful wedding exit. Sparkler Company: there are several sparkler companies to choose from. The one key detail that differentiates sparkler companies is the type of sparkler they carry. Key words to look for when comparing sparkler companies are “steel wire core, metal sparklers, and/or minimal smoke and ash.” These words describe the quality of the sparklers you WANT to purchase. They produce minimal smoke and will not hinder the amazing sparkler pictures. Avoid companies that describe their sparklers as “wooden core, bamboo” or any variation of “wood”. As these sparklers burn, it also consumes the wood; thus, a significant amount of smoke is released. Not only will your guest notice the smoke, but the quality of your pictures will be sadly impacted. Shipping is another difference amongst sparkler companies. If your wedding is within one week, there are some companies that offer expedited shipping; VIP Sparklers, for example, offers 2-5 business day shipping (eligibility depends on state). If my wedding venue is hesitant to allow a sparkler exit, what can I do? First, hear them out. Understand their reasons for being hesitant. Their concerns may be very easy to deal with or may require a bit of planning; either way, they will appreciate your efforts to really understand their concerns; some times, that is the determining factor! Most venues are concerned about fire hazards or liability. In terms of liability, you can easily include a statement in the contract that eliminates any liability from the venue. Perhaps they had this issue in the past and would simply like to take reasonable precautions. If the venue and staff feel sparklers are a fire hazard, provide a plan on how you will safely execute your sparkler exit (which this article covers). Should I include wedding sparkler exit music? Any suggestions? Music is always a great option! It easily gives a party spirit and rhythm. Most people forget to include music during their wedding exit, which isn’t really a problem; we just want bride and grooms to know they have that option. There are pros and cons to including music during your sparkler exit. Pros: adds rhythm and spirit. Usually more enjoyable. Cons: if too loud, may hinder instructions during the sparkler lighting process or any directions the photographer may be giving. If you really want music during your sparkler exit, we recommend playing music at a low volume, just enough to set the tone. You also want to choose an upbeat song! Remember, your guests are wishing you well with sparklers! The best case scenario would be to choose an upbeat song related to “fireworks.” One suggestion: Kay Perry’s “Firework!” Remember, if you’re including music during your sparkler exit, make sure the equipment reaches the designated area. Having the music play from another room will unfortunately not have the same effect. Should I use a bucket of water or a bucket filled with sand as a disposing site for used sparklers? Offering your venue a detailed plan for your wedding sparkler exit will provide much needed comfort (for hesitant wedding venues). Venues want to know you have full control of your wedding especially when sparklers are involved. Using a couple of buckets (one may be enough depending on how many sparklers are being used) filled with sand is your best option for two simple reasons: sand will firmly hold your sparklers before and after being used sand safely cools down hot sparklers You ABSOLUTELY want to display your sparklers before the wedding sparkler exit. Some bride and grooms even use them as a centerpiece! Traditionally, metal buckets are sold as sparkler buckets. In such case, consider your theme and whether it is suitable as a centerpiece. If not but you’re in love with the idea of displaying your sparklers as a centerpiece, consider a vase (filled with sand of course). DO NOT dip your sparklers past the metal handle; you want to make sure the “sparkler composition” end is not covered in sand because it may impede the quality of the sparkles. Once you are setting up for your wedding sparkler exit, your sparkler bucket works as a transporter. Your guests can easily form an organized line to obtain their very own sparkler. As each guest picks up their sparkler, instruct them on how to safely dispose them. Kindly inform them to return the used sparklers to the sand-filled bucket and to “stick the burnt end into the sand.” This will eliminate any risk of guests “sword fighting” with hot sparklers! Venues will also greatly appreciate your courtesy and neatness! Please remember that if your venue was hesitant in the first place, adding another poor experience will only encourage them to refuse future sparkler exits; think of all the fun and amazing pictures your own wedding exit developed (pun highly intended)! Don’t be the reason why future newlyweds will not be able to relish this magical experience. Any ideas on how to light sparklers? This is a very important question because it directly affects how much time you will have left for your wedding sparkler exit. When working with sparklers, you’re working against the clock; the idea is to use no more than half the sparkle time for lighting. For example, 36inch sparklers burn for about 4 minutes. After the first sparkler is lit, no more than two minutes should be spent lighting all the remaining sparklers. If planned to perfection, one minute will be more than enough! First step is the flame source. Matches will not work. Sparklers require a consistent flame such as a lighter, candle, or small torch. The BEST way to light sparklers are with another sparkler, but we understand you will need to light a few sparklers to begin with. Most people do not own small torches, so our next best, and more realistic, option is a BBQ lighter. Because of its long nozzle, BBQ lighters are safer to use than traditional lighters. When lighting sparklers, it is impossible to predict when the sparks will begin. Though you will not get burnt from a few care-free sparkles, most people are startled by the sudden glow. With the help of BBQ lighters, guests can calmly light their sparklers. Candles are the next option and work great especially since they add to the ambiance. Similar to lighters, it provides a strong, consistent flame. Once a few sparklers are lit, use them to light the rest of your sparklers. At this point, it’s no different than when you use a lit candle to light other candles. Remember this: “Pass the sparkle, NOT the sparkler” How do I arrange my sparkler exit? Probably the second most common question, your sparkler exit set up will shape how your wedding pictures will turn out. Overall, the principle is the same: wedding guests will form two lines. On the other hand, it is up to you to decide the shape. Depending on the space available, your “sparkling runway” can be straight or curved. Speak with your wedding photographer to determine what works best for your unique wedding. From start to finish, here are our general guidelines for a wedding sparkler exit: Have each guest take a sparkler from a designated spot (this same spot can later becoming your disposal site) Arrange your guests into two parallel lines On each end of each line (4 total ends), assign someone as your “sparkle starter” Each “sparkle starter” will have a sparkler that only he/she will light Using a lighter or candle, each “sparkle starter” will light his/her own sparkler Instruct all four “sparkle starters” to light their sparklers simultaneously Once all four sparklers are lit, instruct them to light the sparkler next to them You have the option of having all four “sparkle starters” continue to light each sparkler OR each guest can “pass the sparkle” to the person next to them. The sparkle should work its way towards the center of each line, at which point every sparkler will be lit. The bride and groom should be nearby, ready to walk down their glowing runway of love! Hopefully, the lighting process only took half the sparkle time, which will give you enough time for several walks down your wedding exit. The more pictures, the better!