There are a lot of wedding related things that may seem sort of mysterious to people who have never planned a wedding before…exits are definitely one of them. Since I’ve been around the block a couple times (when it comes to weddings, that is), I wanted to share my best tips for creating an amazing, stress free sparkler exit that will also photograph beautifully!
Choose the longest sparklers you can find
When you’re looking for sparklers you’ll want to order the longest ones you can find. The time the sparklers last is directly correlated to their length. The longer the sparkler, the more time you’ll have to enjoy the moment and for us to create an epic shot!
Pick a spot that has at least some lighting
We can make all sorts of magic happen at night with our cameras thanks to the miracle that is off camera lighting, however, we suggest making sure that where you do your sparkler exit has at least some kind of ambient light source. That could be a porch light, string lights, or something else that’s giving off a bit of light so that our cameras can focus on moving subjects (aka, you!)
Designate a sparkler liason
This person can be your wedding coordinator, your maid of honor, or another trusted individual who’s pretty organized. Ask this person to be in charge of handing out sparklers, lighting them when it’s time, and getting people lined up. On the wedding day, we’ll also be on hand to give suggestions and lend a hand to this person if they need our expertise!
Light the sparklers right before you are about to exit
A common mistake we see at weddings is people starting to light the sparklers a little bit too early. Once you have a few lit, lighting the rest actually goes by really quickly. And once those suckers are lit, you only have a limited amount of time before they’re done for good. How anti-climactic would it be to exit to only a couple of lit sparklers and a bunch of burned out ones?? By making sure the sparklers aren’t lit until right before you are ready to make your grand exit, you’ll ensure they are fully lit for the big moment.
Have people start lining up before the time you have scheduled for the exit
Though we suggest not lighting the sparklers until right before you are ready to walk out, it’s definitely important to get your guests lined up earlier. If you plan to exit at ten pm, it’s smart to have the DJ play the last song at 9:45ish so that guests can start making their way out around 9:50. It takes a while for people to get organized outside for exits. They have to collect their things, grab a favor, and say their goodbyes before heading outside to grab a sparkler. It’s really smart to start the process a little earlier if you have a venue that has a strict time you’ve got to be out by.
Make sure guests know about your exit!
A lot of times guests may not realize there’s something at the very end that they need to stay for, so they’ll head home at some point during the reception. The best “turnout” for sparklers is usually when people know about the exit in advance. Consider creating some kind of signage to let them know when you’re having your exit!
There’s something about a sparkler exit that makes you want to run out through all of your friends and family who are lined up cheering you on…but it’s so much better for both the photos and your experience if you walk kind of slowly instead. Take a deep breath, soak it all in, and remember this last moment from your big day. That will give you a chance to really make a good memory of this, and it’ll give us plenty of leeway to capture it! We also encourage kisses during this time! What says wedding day better than the two of you getting in one last smooch with your family and friends celebrating around you??
Bonus Tip: If you haven’t purchased enough coverage for your exit from your photographer, consider staging an exit during the reception before your time is finished with bridal party and key family members!