The other day I was in the coffee shop waiting on a meeting and over heard a bride talking to her wedding planner. They were talking about the exit for the reception. When the word SPARKLERS was said, my ears perked up. After a bit of listening in, it became clear the photographer was not aware of the brides plans to use sparklers. I have done several weddings where the bride and groom decided to exit with sparklers and failed to tell me about this idea until the day of; this can cause major problems for your wedding photographer and photos.
As a professional I may look cool, calm and collective but when I find this news out last minute, my brain begins to go into over drive. Why didn’t they tell me before now? Did I bring the tri-pod? Did they get the correct sparklers? Holy sh#t these photos may not turn out. Yep, that’s what goes through my head when I hear of this last minute detail.
Capturing the beautiful photos of the bride and groom leaving with sparklers takes time and careful planning. Here is what a bride and groom need to know before they choose to use sparklers.
1. Did you get the correct ones? There are a ton of different sizes and burn times for sparklers along with a smoke free option. You need to pick one that will not go out as soon as you light it and will cause a little smoke as possible. The sparklers you need should burn for at least 20 sec, especially if you have a lot of guest be a good length for the exit walk way and have very little smoke coming from them.
2. Is there enough room for all of the guest plus the photographer during the exit? Time and time again the plan is to form the tunnel in a space that is to small. This can cause so many issues,getting burned by a sparkler because people are to close together, the bride and groom having to duck to far so the photographer can not get the photo, and possible injury to the guest because of limited space to back up.
3. How is the lighting at the venue? The back light from florescent bulbs or not enough light can ruin the photo. Talk to your photographer before hand to see if this will be an issue.
4. Communicate with your wedding photographer. Make sure you tell your photographer every detail of the wedding, especially if things change last minute. If you do not have a wedding coordinator the photographer becomes your unofficial coordinator and will most likely need to take charge to get people moving and going to help the wedding go smoothly. They also will need to make sure they have the correct equipment to capture this moment.
5. How intoxicated are you and your guest planning to get? Your wedding is a celebration! If there is alcohol, there will be some intoxicated guest, which is perfectly ok. While working a fantastic wedding a few years ago the guest got very intoxicated, a few times I feared for my safety and the safety of the bride and groom coming down the aisle.One guest got so close to me they burned me with the sparkler and almost burned the camera. Be mindful of this fact and the safety of yourself and others. You can always to do a fake leave before the festivities get really really fun.
There are other alternatives to sparklers: ribbon on pom-pom sticks, flower petals, the traditional rice, bubbles, glow sticks, balloons and silly string.