If you’ve already made a start on your wedding planing (which you might have started all of about 20 years ago), you’re probably no stranger to the sparkler exit. Just as it says on the tin – this is your big wedding send-off coupled with the added fun of fire.

They’re nothing new – in fact, I’ve almost come to expect a sparkler exit at the end of every wedding I photograph. And as with anything popular – there’s good reason why they’re popular.

Put simply – they just work.

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Ian & Joanna’s Wedding at Orestone Manor, Devon

The sparkler exit is a relatively simple way of creating something that’s seriously awesome. They’re weirdly cheap to buy and you don’t need a sea of people to make it look good. You just need a handful of sparklers, a pocketful of your most sober wedding guests and a dark corner outside – then you’re good to go!

Have your guests form two rows about three metres apart or just enough space for you both to walk through the middle without coming face to face with a sparkler. Your photographer will likely hand out the sparklers in bunches and ask you to hold them together before lighting.

At this point, speak with your photographer to make sure you’re all on the same page. You won’t have a lot of time on your hands once they’re burning so it’s best to do this now! Light them fast, separate the bundles and hand them out to everyone with spare fingers.

Make sure you each have a sparkler in hand and you can light yours last. The winner is the one with the last burning sparkler – of course we would make sure that’s one of yours!

As with all good things, it’s not all warm and rosy.

…But Stay Safe Out There

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Ally & Gareth’s Wedding at The Old Vicarage in Christchurch, Dorset

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that drunk people + hot fire sticks = bad. That’s maths that anyone can do.

Even though a grand wedding exit is usually (and rightly so) at the end of the wedding, that’s often not the best idea with a sparkler exit. As the night goes on – people get tired, people go missing and people have a few too many. This really is a recipe for disaster when you bring fire into the equation.

Thankfully – it doesn’t have to the middle of the night for a sparkler exit to work. Obviously it needs to be fairly dark – but what you can do is take advantage of what’s known as the “blue hour.” You’ve probably seen it, the time after the sun has set and all the colour has gone but the sky isn’t completely dark yet. This is the time to do it.

Will Our Venue Mind?

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Rachel & James’ Wedding at The Italian Villa, Dorset

We also have the restrictions imposed by the venue. There are different rules at every venue.

Some are totally cool with it and actually pull out all the stops to make it work for the photographer. Some are kinda cool with it but ask you to do it in specific locations and like to completely remove themselves from any involvement – which is totally fair enough. And the others are very strict and don’t want even a single sparkler anywhere near their venue.

It’s worth having this dialogue with the venue right from the start. If the venue doesn’t allow them on its land, I’m sure you’d rather know a year in advance than five minutes before you planned to do it. At least that gives you plenty of opportunity to do a different, potentially even grander, grand exit.

Is a sparkler exit our style?

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Charlotte & Oly’s Wedding at Chalk Barn in Wiltshire

If you’re having to ask this questions then the answer is more than likely – probably not.

Every couple has their own style. Even if you have no style, that’s a style in itself. Your wedding should epitomise your relationship. It should sum you both up and at the end of the day, it’s all about you two.

If a sparkler exit looks and sounds awesome – go for it! If you’re after something more intimate and emotive then there are plenty of other opportunities we can work with.

Final Thoughts

As I said before – the sparkler exit has been done a million times over and you know what, who cares?

They still bring the ‘wow’ factor and everyone still loves them. Sure, it might be a fashion trend, but why not be a part of it? If you’re part of the fashion then that’s cool – and if you’re a bit late to the party then that’s still cool. At least then no one will be doing it and you’ll seem all hipster, countercultural and retro.

The way I see it is that sparkler exits are a sure fire way to get all of your closest friends and family involved with a photo that always looks amazing. And who wouldn’t want that?