My Love-Hate Relationship with Sparkler Exits


Ah, the sparkler exit.  Here's the thing, it has its place.  They make pretty photos, it's kind of a no-brainer addition, easily accessible and has been super trendy the last several years. 

In case you don't know what I am talking about, at the end of the wedding, your coordinator lines up your guests into two lines to send you off on wedded bliss.  Sparklers in hand, she/he assists each guest with lighting their torch of love while the newly married couple walks through a sea of twinkle lights into their getaway car while the photographer stands at the end of the line madly taking photos and hoping to capture at least one that can be used in the final wedding gallery that's not blurry, smokey or has your drunk best friend making a crazy face.

After now performing dozens (if not more) of these sparkler exits, I have to say...I am pretty much over it.  There are real logistical issues with sparklers that make them, in my humble opinion, not the perfect choice for this time honored grand exit tradition. I am listing these reasons out below, but don't worry!  If you have hired me as your wedding coordinator and you really want a sparkler exit, I promise I won't judge and I will smile on as I am lighting your guests' celebratory tips 😃  

  • Drunk people and fire do not mix.  Don't get me wrong, by this time of the evening it is almost expected that people have had a few libations and that is just part of the fun...but how often in life do we get our friends and family tipsy and then hand them a blazing fire stick? People can get hurt.  It's never on purpose, but certainly something to consider.
  • Venues don't like them.  There's actually quite a few venues that have finally just added a "no sparkler" rule to their contract.  They are messy and your venue manager will probably be finding the metal sticks lying around on the ground for the next few days (even though you provided a sparkler bucket for disposal). Venues also do not like the "danger" factor and taking on that responsibility if someone gets injured. 
  • You have to provide sparkler buckets filled with sand.  People tend to not want to think too deeply about the clean-up process, but don't forget someone from your party will have to figure out how to dispose of the sand and burned down sparklers so they can pack those buckets in their vehicle at the end of the night.
  • As pretty as the photos look that you see on wedding blogs, it is actually somewhat difficult to position all of these pieces together to create that image. Getting guests to form two lines can be a task within itself at the end of a reception, but now two coordinators have to walk down the line and light sparklers (QUICKLY - because you don't want the first group's to all burn out by the time you get the last group's lit) without anyone getting hurt and repeating the same sentence at each stop, "Light your neighbor's - they are easier to light off of another sparkler."
  • Falling sparks could put a hole in your wedding gown or tuxedo.  After all, you are walking under the sparklers and things are going to fall onto the ground or you.

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking, "She hates sparkler exits! There's no love there!" Not true. Sparkler exits are like an adrenaline rush for me.  It's a challenge and kind of a fun one!  I do think there are other just as beautiful (if not more) options available though for a grand exit that don't require the risk involved, which is why I am writing this post...and why I will be writing a follow-up post to this one outlining those other options.  Stay tuned...