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How To Execute The Perfect Sparkler Send Off

So you’ve decided to end your wedding reception with an epic sparkler send off.

Great choice!

Carrying out a sparkler send off isn’t too hard, but there are some key components that you’ll need to pull it off.

And you only get one shot at this, so we’ve put together this step-by-step guide for executing the perfect sparkler send off.

Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

Choosing the right sparklers for your send off

When it comes to purchasing supplies for a wedding sparkler send off, you may think that any old sparklers will do.

The cheaper the better, right?

Unfortunately, no.

You may be surprised to learn that there is actually quite a bit of variety in the world of sparklers, and purchasing the correct type of sparklers for your wedding can make or break your send off!

Fortunately, by following a few easy guidelines you can easily choose the perfect sparklers for your wedding.

1. Opt for smokeless wedding sparklers

A little bit of smoke may not matter at your Fourth of July cookout, but when it comes to your wedding, smoke can easily ruin your grand exit.

Because of this, it is key to purchase smokeless sparklers.

Smokeless sparkers ensure that your sparkler send off photos are clear, while also creating a more pleasant environment for guests.

This is especially important to keep in mind if you are hosting a large wedding, as smoke from sparklers can get overwhelming in a large crowd.

2. Choose the correct size

According to wedding photographer Julie Napear, it is also crucial to purchase appropriately sized sparkers to ensure they will last through the entire send off.

The recommended sparkler size varies depending on the size of your wedding

For weddings with less than 150 guests, you should select sparklers that are at least 20 inches.

Meanwhile, for weddings with more than 150 guests, you should select sparklers that are at least 36 inches.

Based on her years of experience photographing sparkler send offs, Napear also suggests avoiding 10-inch sparklers.

Yes, they may be cheaper, but they simply won’t stay lit through your entire sparkler send off.

3. Purchase long-lasting sparklers

Aside from selecting the appropriate size of sparklers, we also suggest researching brands that offer long-lasting sparklers.

This is because sparklers vary in quality, with some burning more rapidly than others.

By purchasing from a trusted and quality brand, you can rest assured that your sparklers will burn brightly throughout every moment of your sparkler send off.


Make sure your sparkler send off goes off without a hitch with our concise Sparkler Send Off Checklist.
Free Checklist

Selecting the best lighters for sparkler send offs

When coordinating a sparkler send off one key element which often gets overlooked, is lighters.

It may seem obvious that you need a plan for having guests light their sparklers, but you’d be surprised how many couples end up scrambling to figure out a game plan minutes before their grand exit.

Trust us.

It’s worth putting some advance thought into the best lighters for your sparkler send off.

Don't Use Matches

We recommend you stay away from matches when selecting a lighting option for your wedding sparklers.

The reason being they require two hands to light, are very inconsistent, and can become extinguished very quickly.

Sparklers do take a second or two before they light, and with matches that will be extended.

Also, keep in mind the number of people that will have to properly light matches, and it only takes one hiccup to cause the entire send off to be delayed.

While they have some amazing customizable matchbook designs on the market, we don’t recommend using matches for your sparkler send off.

Traditional Lighters Or Grill Lighters?

While traditional lighters are a step up from matches, they can still be inconsistent if used incorrectly.

Depending on who is at your wedding, some guests may have trouble getting the flame lit and keeping it lit long enough to ignite the sparkler.

Keep in mind that sparklers do burn at a very high temperature, so lighting one with a traditional lighter can be dangerous if done incorrectly.

That being said, a solution to these issues is the grill lighter.

This will give you enough clearance away from the sparkler to keep your hands safe and allow you to keep the flame lit longer due to its’ design.

While we highly recommend using butane lighters/torches, grill lighters are an alternative if you cannot get your hands on a better option.

Butane Torches Are The Best Option

In our experience, butane torches are the best type of lighters for sparkler send offs (don’t forget the butane fuel! Most butane lighters won’t come filled).

There are several reasons for this including that they are easier to use and are more efficient than the cheap lighters you might pick up at a gas station check out.

The long handle also reduces the risk of guests burning themselves as they light their sparklers.

The consistent flame will make sparklers light easier and will help all of your guests have a lit sparkler at the same time.

But before you shell out for a super expensive torch lighter for every guest, check out the next section for optimal lighting instructions.

How to light sparklers for maximum burn time

The quicker you can light all of the sparklers, the more opportunities you’ll have for photos.

As mentioned before, we recommend using butane or propane lighters for that reason.

Regardless of what you choose, aim to purchase one lighter per six guests.

The best way to light sparklers for your send off is to use the lighter to light the first sparkler in a group, then use the lit sparkler to light the rest in that group.

This is because sparklers burn at a much higher consistent temperature and will light the additional sparklers faster than a lighter would.

Setting up a sparkler display table

Once you’ve purchased your sparklers and lighters, it’s time to move on to our favorite part of coordinating a sparkler send off — the display!

Winter Sparkler Send Off Kit
Winter Sparkler Send Off Kit from Bride Envy

There are three key elements that should be included in every sparkler display:

  1. Something to place the sparkler on – it can be a table, a metal cart, a colorful bookshelf, a vintage dresser or whatever you prefer! Don’t be afraid to get creative!
  2. Something to hold the sparklers – when it comes to containers for wedding sparklers, there are so many fun options! Planning a rustic wedding? Why not repurpose a wooden crate? Want something more personalized? Why not splurge for a custom sparkler send off bucket?
  3. Details about when and where the sparkler send off will take place – a sign, a chalkboard, or a markerboard are just a few easy ways to let guests know the send off plan!

Aside from these essentials, your display is your chance to get creative!

For some awesome designs, check out our sparkler send off kits!

Picking a sparkler send off song

So you have your sparklers, your lighters, and an incredible sparkler display table ready to go.

But what about the music?

Songs for sparkler send offs are another element that often get overlooked when wedding planning.

However, we consider this one of the most important parts of coordinating a sparkler send off, since the song you choose sets the mood for your final farewell to friends and family.

If you are trying to decide on the perfect song for your exit, we have you covered with this list of our top 10 songs for sparkler send offs.

  1. Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York”
  2. Louis Armstrong’s “It’s a Wonderful World”
  3. Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”
  4. Beyonce’s “Love on Top”
  5. The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”
  6. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’”
  7. Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody”
  8. R.E.M’s “It’s the End of the World As We Know It”
  9. The Monkey’s “I’m a Believer”
  10. Pharrell Williams “Happy”

Hiring a photographer to capture your sparkler send off

A well-executed wedding sparkler send off is guaranteed to be one of the most and memorable moments of your wedding day.

This said, you will want to have this magical moment captured on film so that you can look back on it for many years to come.

Unfortunately, wedding sparkler send offs are notoriously difficult to photograph, which is why it is essential to hire an experienced photographer that knows how to photograph a sparkler send off.

Below are a few tips and tricks on how to hire a wedding photographer that will capture the magic and romance of your sparkler send off.

1. Research, research, research

One of the most important parts of choosing a wedding photographer that knows how to photograph a sparkler send off is to do a little bit of research!

Fortunately, the internet makes this step quick and easy.

For every photographer you are considering, check out their website as well as their social media channels like Facebook and Instagram.

As you look through their work, keep an eye out for wedding sparkler send off photos.

If you don’t see many, that probably isn’t a good sign.

However, if they have successfully shot multiple sparkler send offs in a style that you love, they may just be the photographer for your big day.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Another key to finding a photographer that knows how to photograph a sparkler send off is to ask questions!

When you meet with potential photographers ask them how many sparkler send offs they have shot.

Ask them to show you examples of their work.

And don’t be afraid to ask about their technique when it comes to shooting sparkler send offs.

3. Ask your friends and family

Does your crazy cousin Carly have incredible sparkler send off photos?

What about your best friend Lauren whose wedding you were in last spring?

One of the best ways to find a great photographer is to ask friends and family members about the photographers that they used.

If you have seen their send off photos and love them — ask for a referral!

If you haven’t seen their photos, ask if they have any from their sparkler send off that you can see.

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to find a photographer that you love!

Finding a photographer that knows how to photograph a sparkler send off can be a daunting task.

But with a little bit of research, you are certain to find a photographer that can perfectly capture your wedding sparkler send off.


Make sure your sparkler send off goes off without a hitch with our concise Sparkler Send Off Checklist.
Free Checklist

Examples of successful wedding sparkler send offs

As you plan your very own wedding exit, we thought it might be helpful to see some examples of successful sparkler send offs!

Below are some of our favorite sparkler send off pictures from real life weddings.

When it comes to wedding sparkler send off pictures, it doesn’t get much better than this!

happy sparkler send off
Photo credit: Leandra Brown via MunaLuchi Bride
This couple proves that you can have a playful send off even at a formal event! We absolutely adore this wedding sparkler send off picture.
Photo credit: Benj Haisch via Woman Getting Married
This is a lovely example of a rustic, farm wedding send off done right! For the boho bride, it doesn’t get much better than this playful and unique sparkler send off!
carrying through sparkler exit
Photo credit: Awesomesauce Photography via Martha Stewart Weddings

Is it just us or is this the perfect example of a playful and fun sparkler send off picture?

running through sparkler exit
Photo credit: Polyakov Photography via Tsou Loved Weddings

Another example of a beautifully-executed sparkler send off!

long sparkler wedding exit
Photo credit: Equally Wed

Note the length of the sparklers allowing for plenty of burn time!

Last but not least, we simply love this elegant black-and-white wedding sparkler send off.

black and white sparkler send off
Photo credit: Caroline Lima Photography

So what are you waiting for?

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on planning the details of your dream wedding sparkler send off!

By sticking to the guidelines laid out in this post, we are confident you will plan a sparkler send off to be remembered!


Make sure your sparkler send off goes off without a hitch with our concise Sparkler Send Off Checklist.
Free Checklist
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