So, you’re thinking of having sparklers at your wedding?
One of our our most popular and most favourite moments of the day is the sparkler exit. Sparkler exits are perfect moment for all of your wedding party to get involved in what has become a staple shot of ours at wedding days. There is always so much fun and laughter being shared amongst guests as the newlyweds walk through the tunnel.
Sparkler exits are not as easy as you may think however, looking through pinterest can make it look all far too easy. Being a popular South Wales Wedding photographer means that we have walked backwards through a plethora of sparkler exits. We are kind of experts now! There is definitely some common themes that we see at weddings, so we have created this crash-course on how-to rock your sparkler wedding shots!
1. Don’t drink and sparkle
Let’s face it, sparklers happen in the evening of your wedding day. The bar has been open since 1pm and your wedding guests have more than likely supplemented the bottle for the table, with a few cocktails and beers.
So don’t give a sparkler to a wedding guest who has a bit too much to drink. Just remember these sparklers burn at very high temperatures and are considered fireworks. We don’t want any un-wanted trips to A&E on your wedding day.
So the motto of this point is…
SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!
2. Blue hour is best
A lot of photographers say that pitch black is best for sparkler shots and they aren’t wrong! In fact, theres no right or wrong answer for sparkler shots. However, we have found a real liking to blue hour (twighlight) light for our sparkler exits.
Although we also love it when the sky is completely black (Keep scrolling to see some examples).
We also suggest blue hour for reasons mentioned in Point 1. In summer it doesn’t get black until 11pm or later. By which point uncle bob and auntie maureen have probably had one too many tipples and will be waving the sparklers about like a scene out of Harry Potter.
3. Make room
Wedding sparkler exits can be a true test of logistics with us having to arrange all of your guests into two lines that are close enough to be seen by the camera but far enough away that they aren’t going to ignite you as you walk through the tunnel.
Our favourite places to photograph sparkler exits are either at the entrance to your wedding venue or in a big open space that is recommended by the wedding venue for sparkler exits.
4. Lighters, lighters and more lighters
We see far too often a tunnel of 40+ guests trying to light all of their sparklers at the same time with only 1 or 2 lighters. They then turn to lighting them with each others sparklers and before your know it the first sparkler to be lit has fizzled out and you haven’t even started walking through the tunnel yet!
So our best advice is to get 20 lighters to pass around and make sure that they are windproof lighters. The amount of times we have wrapped our hands around them as a wind shield is crazy and also dangerous. Wind proof sparklers are cheap and really effective at getting the sparklers lit quickly.
Also by investing in your lighters you are increasing the amount of time we have to capture those fun moments, as we won’t be waiting around for other guests to light their sparklers.
5. Get long sparklers
Briefly mentioned in point 4. sparklers burn really fast! so the best types of sparklers are the longest ones you can buy. A lot of companies provide the pretty looking wedding style sparklers but they are never long enough and fizzle out before you are even half way through your tunnel.
If you are buying sparklers yourself then we urge you not to skimp out on them. If you are reading this blog then the sparkler exit shot is something you have set your hearts on. So don’t miss out on some truly amazing sparkler exit photographs because there were some for £5 cheaper. Here is a link to some sparklers that we would recommend to our couples.
6. Get loads of Sparklers
The more sparklers the better! Like mentioned above, setting up the sparkler shot can be a logistical nightmare with guests being a bit merry and not fully listening to our guidance. Resulting in some sparklers fizzling out before some are even lit. So it is great to have a couple of spare sparklers just to be on the safe side of things.
Let’s not forget that sparklers are not just for the photographs but also for the fun and interaction they give you and your wedding guests. So having some spare sparklers for you all to have fun with after the sparkler shots is always a great idea!
7. Book a confident wedding photographer
If you haven’t gathered already, we absolutely love sparkler shots and think they are a great addition to every wedding day. But what you may have also picked up on, is that sparkler exits can be a headache to organise. Guests are loud, excited and typically less alert to instructions than normal.
So your wedding photographer needs to be able to take control of these situations, making sure everyone is having fun whilst ensuring their safety.
Lighting is also a problematic factor with sparklers as each type has a different colour, some are silver creating a more tungsten (blue) light and others create an incandescent (warm) light. Not to mention the fact that as the sparklers die out the light significantly decreases. These are just some of the variable (without considering walking backwards though a path of fire lit metal rods and ensuring they are getting the shot) that wedding photographers need to factor in.
So it is important that you book a wedding photographer who is confident in delegating and photographing sparkler exits.
Bonus sparkler tip!
If you have children attending your wedding day and would like them to be involved in the sparklers. Please do not let them hold the metal rod directly, but instead use solid fruits and vegetables (apples and carrots) to wedge the sparkler into so that they have something far safer to hold onto and enjoy that magical moment with you.