In the middle of #Snowlandia2014, why am I sitting inside thinking about weddng sparklers? Maybe because I am obsessed with making sure people don't make mistakes with their wedding, and sparklers are one place where it's really easy to screw up something that seems simple. Here are a few tips:
1. Order your sparklers really early. First, so you can get the benefits of super-low bulk pricing from the large favor sellers. Second, because in most places, sparklers are considered to be a type of firework, and thus cannot be shipped express air. So many people wait until the last minute/last couple of weeks before the wedding and then realize that they can't get the sparklers on time!
2. (Or maybe, #zero?) Check with your venue to make sure they will allow you to use sparklers on site! Just because you've seen a bunch of great pictures of people using wedding sparklers on Pinterest, doesn't mean your venue allows it. Also be prepared that, especially in the Gorge or Oregon's forested areas, where it can be very windy, a site that allows sparklers normally can all of a sudden ban them if there is a general burn ban in the area due to dry and windy weather.
3. Don't hand them out too early. Guests will get into them and start lighting them up on the dance floor or wherever, and all of a sudden, there aren't any left for the special getaway picture you were planning. Designate someone to pull them out of their safe storage place at the end of the night and hand them out as guests are leaving.
4. Organize your peeps. Those getaway pictures don't just happen. Guests are usually occupied getting one last drink at the bar or hanging out near the dance floor -- they have no idea that you want them to gather out at the front of the venue to pose for a complicated photo composition. Again, designate your wedding coordinator or trusted friend who will have their wits about them at the end of the night, to round up guests a few minutes before you and your new spouse exit the venue. Or get the DJ/emcee to make an announcement.
5. Again, those getaway picture don't just happen! Make sure your photographer is well versed in taking nighttime photos with sparklers. Once more, your coordinator is key in making sure that the schedule will accommodate your photographer's package (you don't want them leaving before the getaway, right?).
6. Timing is everything. By the time the last guest lined up gets their sparkler lit, the first guest's sparkler could go out. That's why I recommend using 28" to 36" long sparklers - the really long kind - so they last a long time. As an alternative, you could give out two of the shorter (more commonly found) 12" sparklers per person so when their first one goes out they have a backup. It goes without saying that you should have plenty of lighters, matches, or a central large sparkler for everyone to light off of. And of course, pails of sand or water for guests to put them out.
I hope you found these tips helpful! In Portland, here are a couple of great Portland-local places where you can order your sparklers:
Or if you want to order online, here are a few links from some of our great sponsoring merchants below.
Heart Shaped Sparklers (BULK Case of 72 Wedding Sparklers)
36" Wedding Sparklers (6 Per Pack) - 3 Minute Gold Sparkle
36" Bulk Wedding Sparklers (144 Per Case) - 3 Minute Gold Sparkle
Heart Shaped Wedding Sparklers
36 Inch Wedding Sparklers