For the past few years, a popular wedding trend has been a sparkler exit for the couple as they leave the reception! The main reason for this trend tends to be that couples love how the sparklers look in photos. Some couples even want to take their sparkler game up a notch by having swirls wrap around them or even “Love” spelt out in front of them while they do night portraits. While these are great keepsake shots, it can be tough to get sparkler exits to turn out just right. So we’re here to give our Twin Cities couples a step by step guide to sparkler exits and photos!
For a sparkler exit, here’s what you need to know!
Before the Wedding
First off, you must double check with your venue that it’s okay to light off sparklers!
About two weeks before the wedding, purchase the sparklers and several torches (so much easier to use than lighters or matches!). Find the longest sparklers possible with a slow-burn rate. This way, they will last longer and you will get more light instead of smoke in the photos! Plan to purchase two sparklers per guest, as well as extra sparklers if you want to do night portraits with them.
Assign a few people to be in charge of the sparklers, handing them out, and lining up guests. This person may be your planner and their assistants or perhaps a few members of your wedding party. Just let them know ahead of time and make sure they know what time they need to put the plan in motion!
ALWAYS tell your photographer ahead of time if you plan to do anything with sparklers. This way they can prepare the location for the best way to nail this shot, as well as bring a tripod if you want to do sparkler portraits. The photographer may even borrow one sparkler the night of to test out the lighting and the shot before the couple makes their exit.
Coordinate with your reception venue, DJ, or one of your other vendors beforehand about stashing the sparklers and torches for you during the reception. You don’t want them stored too far away that it will take up too much time to go get them in the bridal suite or a car.
On the Wedding Day
Arrange to have someone bring the sparklers and the torches to the reception venue on the wedding day. Coordinate with the venue or whichever vendor you had discussed taking care of storing the sparklers for you. The venue may let you keep them behind the bar or the DJ may hide them with their belongings…there are quite a few options but just make sure they get to where they need to be that morning!
When it comes down to the time (which should be at least half an hour after sunset) when you want the sparkler exit, have your DJ or band make an announcement and then the designated people will start to handout the sparklers and line up the guests. This way, the photographer can also have a moment to set up the shot and test the lighting.
Wait until the photographer and the couple are both ready to light the sparklers. Once everyone is in place and ready to go, start lighting! The best way to do this is to have a few people holding the torches in different sections of the line. Then have as many people as possible hold their two sparklers into the flame in order to light them as quickly as possible.
Have each guest hold one sparkler up high and the other lower to capture the full effect as the couple walks through the crowd for this magical moment!
If you want to do portrait styled sparkler wedding photos, here are our tips:
When purchasing sparklers for the exit, purchase a few extra for portraits. Again, you want long sparklers with a slow-burn rate. This is very important because these type of sparklers will allow the sparkler trail to be lit up longer.
You should always check with your photographer and venue beforehand. This is especially important for the photographer because to achieve the perfect sparkler shot, a tripod is needed. Also, the couple needs to wait until the sky is very dark (about 30-60 minutes after sunset) and make sure this is included in the photographer’s timeline.
Depending on the sparkler design you want to capture, you will need a helper (preferably someone wearing dark clothing) to light the sparklers and run around the couple with the sparklers. What does this mean? When the couple is posed, this person will run around the couple or do whatever is needed to create the sparkler design.
Once the couple is in their pose and the photographer is ready, light the sparklers and have the person quickly creates the design! They must make sure they are behind the design and to never get between the sparkler trail and the camera, as this will block the shot! If spelling out a word like “LOVE”, there’s no need to worry about writing the letters backwards or anything like that. This sort of stuff can always get flipped in Photoshop during post-production! The sparkler runner will then run out of the shot once the design is complete!
We hope you these tips help you have an amazing sparkler exit and night portraits!
Are you engaged and looking for an engagement photographer and wedding photographer in Minnesota? If so, contact Jeannine Marie Photography here. Jeannine Marie is serving wedding photography in Minneapolis and St. Paul. She is considered one of the best wedding photographers in Minnesota, featured in multiple publications and listed as one of Minnesota Bride’s “10 Fabulous Local Wedding Photographers.” She is an award-winning wedding photographer and has recently won 2018 ILEA Mpls/St. Paul “Best Event Photography: Wedding”, 2017 Mpls/Stp Magazine Diamond Award: People’s Choice Outstanding Wedding Photography, 2017 Borrowed and Blue Best Wedding Photographer and Most Valuable Vendor, 2017 ILEA Mpls/St. Paul “Best Creative Services – Photography – Wedding”, 2016 Minnesota ISES Star Award: Best Photography, 2015 Mpls/Stp Magazine Diamond Award: People’s Choice Outstanding Wedding Photography and Wedding of the Year, 2015 The Knot Best of Photography, 2015 WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award, and 2014 Minneapolis Happenings: Best Photography. Book your engagement session or wedding photography today!