Wedding Special Effects

How do you display the wedding sparklers?

Sparklers are quickly becoming a common tradition at weddings, and for a good reason. Imagine that you have just gotten married and celebrated your love with your family and friends, and now it's time for your big send-off. You grab your spouse's hand and leave your reception while walking through a tunnel of gleaming light. Your photographer captures dramatic, whimsical photos that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Wedding sparklers add shimmer and shine to your ceremony or reception, and there are plenty of ways to incorporate them into your special day. A wedding sparkler display helps set the tone for your event and encourages guests to participate in the sparkler send-off or photo opportunities. Setting up your display takes some forethought, so use these tips to create your one-of-a-kind wedding sparkler showcase.

When it comes to your wedding, you want everything to go according to plan. Everything during your wedding should run smoothly with proper planning and preparation. With that being said, we have tips for you to make your wedding elegant and truly stunning. Today, we will walk you through the steps to create a magical wedding sparkler display.

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Determine Your Sparkler Needs

Before you can create a stunning wedding sparkler display, you need to narrow down exactly when and where you plan to use the sparklers. This determines how many sparklers you need when your guests should access them and whether you need to plan for indoor or outdoor conditions. Order a few more sparklers than you think you need to ensure every guest has one.

The type of sparklers you need depends on the intended use. If you want a small group of guests holding sparklers around the dance floor during your first dance, you might opt for smaller heart-shaped sparklers. A big sparkler send-off might require longer versions with burn times of a few minutes. Your display of unlit sparklers should be sized to match the specific amount and style of sparklers you choose. For larger batches, make sure you have the space to create a bigger overall display to prevent an overcrowded look.

Wedding Special Effects

Collect Creative Containers

Your wedding sparkler display should have safe, attractive containers for presenting the sparklers to guests. Your containers can match your wedding theme. If you're having a rustic outdoor ceremony, you might use vintage tin pails or milk jugs to hold the sparklers. For a more formal modern event, glass vases lend elegance to your display of unlit sparklers. A beach wedding might feature sparklers placed in a sand-filled planter.

Keep in mind that your container needs to be sized for the length of sparkler you're using. Wedding sparklers are much larger than the smaller versions sold at fireworks stands. This allows a longer burn time and a consistent, smoke-free sparkle. If you're using a bucket or vase, one measuring about 10 to 12 inches accommodates about 50 to 100 18-inch-long wedding sparklers. If you're using 36-inch sparklers, you might need a container measuring 15 inches or larger to accommodate the same amount.

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Deciding Where to Locate Your Display

Placement is another consideration when you're making your display. If you plan to use sparklers during the reception, putting the containers near the entrance of the venue lets guests grab one as they move between your ceremony and reception locations. Sparklers intended for use during the cake cutting might be placed near the cake table. A send-off sparkler display works best near the exit so guests can get their sparkler right before the end of the event. This way, they don't have to keep track of a sparkler throughout the reception.

Make Clear, Clever Signage

The signage on your wedding sparkler display helps guests understand what to do with the sparklers. Include instructions that tell guests how many sparklers to take and when they're expected to light those sparklers.

Many couples make a simple, easy-to-understand sign stating the purpose and time. The sign pictured above is a great example. Others prefer more creative wording, making signs that state "Let Sparks Fly" or "Light the Way for the Happy Couple."

Another idea for signage at your sparkler display is to make sparkler tags. These are small tags that are attached to each sparkler that indicate when they are intended for use. You can personalize these sparkler tags with your names and wedding date. Another option is to add sparkler tags to the second set of sparklers. You can then provide them as wedding favours so guests can bring the excitement of your big day home with them. If you go this route, make sure to include a note telling guests to remove the tags before lighting the sparklers.

Decorating Your Sparkler Display

Make sure that guests see your sparklers by making your display into a decorative work of art. This can garner attention and get people talking about the display. Incorporate some of your wedding flowers, a bit of lace or colourful fabrics into the display to enhance your overall wedding theme. If your sparkler distribution is intended for the reception, you might set your wedding bouquet near the sparkler container after the marriage ceremony. This can help to bring additional attention to the area.

Use Decorative Buckets to Display Your Wedding Sparklers

All of this is possible with wedding sparklers. However, it can be hard to figure out how to display them or keep them in line with your wedding decorations. One way to do this is by ordering a few sparkler display buckets. Simply fill the bottom of one of our galvanized sparkler buckets with sand to keep it from falling over. Then, simply decorate the bucket until it becomes a beautiful focal point. You can add ribbons or flowers in your wedding colours to further incorporate the bucket into the vision you have for your wedding. Depending on your choice of embellishments, your sparkler display buckets could take on a rustic feel, an elegant look, or a modern flair. Our buckets come in two sizes. The 11" buckets will hold 50-100 20" sparklers, and the 15" buckets will hold 50-100 36" sparklers.

Add Sparkler Tags for a Personalized Touch

Another way to make your sparklers look great on display is to add sparkler tags. These can be personalized to feature your wedding date. Guests can keep the tag as a memento of your wedding, and you may want to keep a few to put into your wedding scrapbook. You could also add your name and your spouse's name or a quote. You can incorporate your wedding theme or colours on the tags as well. It's important to note, however, that your guests should remove the tags from the sparklers before lighting them. These tags are not made from fireproof paper and could pose a fire hazard if they are left on once the sparkler has been lit.

Browse our selection of galvanized sparkler buckets and sparkler tags today. You'll be glad that you incorporated such a magical element into your special day, and you'll love looking back at the pictures of your decor and the lighting effects from the sparklers. You shouldn't feel like you can't enjoy this new wedding tradition because of the cost. Please note that because we understand that weddings can be expensive, we offer free shipping on all wedding packages. 

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Use Various Sized Sparklers in Your Wedding Reception Display

At, we offer sparklers in 6, 10, 12, 20 and even 36-inch sizes. Because all our sparklers are smokeless, you can take bright, flawless photographs at any time you'd like! For wedding send-offs, we recommend 20-inch or 36-inch sparklers because they burn longer and give your photographer more time to capture your special moment. To help you plan, check out the burn times for our various sparkler options:

  • 36-inch wedding sparklers: These last approximately 180 seconds and produce beautiful golden sparks. For these sparklers, we recommend using a container you can set on the ground due to their long length. Try placing them in tall vases or display buckets at the guest book table or hanging them from a rope.
  • 20-inch wedding sparklers: These high-grade steel sparklers burn for 120 seconds. Centrepieces are a great way to distribute these sparklers, and they fit nicely in most mason jars and display buckets due to their height.
  • 10-inch wedding sparklers: Sparklers that are 10 inches long remain lit for 40 seconds and are a popular choice for display buckets and centrepieces. They're inexpensive and easy to display since they're so short.
  • 12-inch heart sparklers: Another popular choice for display buckets and wedding reception centrepieces, 12-inch sparklers burn for 55 seconds and are heart-shaped to add flair and fun.

How to Display Wedding Sparklers

Wedding sparklers have replaced rice, streamers and even confetti in recent years to become the new send-off tradition — and for a good reason. With sparklers, you'll have a mess-free reception and plenty of dazzling pictures to remember your big day for years to come. Once you decide on the size of your sparklers, the logical next step is to plan how you'll display them. To showcase your sparklers in a way that's both functional and stylish, try:

  • Filling the bottom of one of our galvanized sparkler buckets with sand. This way, when you fill your bucket with sparklers, it will stay upright for the entire reception. Our wedding bucket displays are 15 inches tall and can hold 100 36-inch sparklers.
  • Decorating your wedding sparkler centrepiece with sparkler tags for an elegant, simple look. Our beautiful sparkler tags are cost-effective and display phrases like, "thank you for celebrating with us" and "let love sparkle."
  • Weighing down a couple of wide-mouthed mason jars with sand. Place these displays where your guests will have easy access.

Sand is perfect for keeping either a display bucket or mason jar upright at a wedding reception. Sand buckets also give your wedding guests a safe place to place the wires after they've burned.

Using Sparklers for your Send-Off Line

By far the most popular option is to use sparklers during your wedding send-off line instead of rice or confetti. This also provides one of the most exciting experiences possible. Simply replace the normal birdseed, rice, confetti, or bubbles with wedding sparklers instead. Your photos will be better, your guests will love it, and you will both feel like the centre of attention one last time on your big day!

Ways to Use Wedding Sparklers in your Photos

Sparklers always seem to make photos more interesting, but there are two ways to do it that work the best. Here's a little information about each of those ways.

Writing in the Air

One of the most sought-after photos for many brides involves writing in the air with lit sparklers. You and your guests can create all sorts of great effects by drawing, letters, numbers, or shapes in the air with a sparkler. Just get everything set up and let your photographer capture the magic on film!

As a Photo Backdrop

Handing out wedding sparklers for your guests to hold in the background of images is another unexpected visual treat! Imagine a deep, passionate, kiss with the glow of sparklers in the background. What could be more romantic than that?

Ways to Use Wedding Sparklers in your Centerpieces

Using them in your centrepieces may seem silly at first, but it's actually a great way to dispense wedding sparklers at your reception! It's also one of the easiest ways to use wedding sparklers there is. Here are three clever ways to integrate sparklers into your centrepieces without making them stick out like a sore thumb.

Mixed with Floral Centerpieces

The easiest way to create sparkler centrepieces is to mix them in with the normal flowers you are already planning to use. The sparklers will blend in perfectly, and you can place a little instructional card near the vase to inform guests of how and when they are to be used.

On Sparkler Tags or in Holders

Instead of placing them directly in your centrepieces, you can decorate your sparklers using tags or holders. Just choose a sparkler tag or holder online that match your wedding theme. You can find a ton of great options on sites like Etsy. You can place them at each seat for an elegant and fun way to give your guests an unexpected surprise.

Bucket of Sparklers at Guestbook Table

Instead of placing them in centrepieces at each table, consider consolidating them to one easy to find a bucket. The best place to put your sparkler bucket is at the guestbook table so everyone can see it. Add a little sign to encourage guests to take a sparkler along with any information about how and when they should be used.

Using Sparklers during your First Dance

One great way to make your first dance more special is to have your guests surround you with lit sparklers. Imagine having all of your friends and loved ones watching you dance with the dazzling effect of sparklers all around you! You will adore the photos, and you will know that all eyes are on you and your amazing love.

Ways to Use Wedding Sparklers during your Ceremony

Most people find ways to use wedding sparklers during their reception, but there are also a few ways to use them during your ceremony. Here are three fun ways to create an unexpected and elegant display during your actual wedding.

During Bride's Entrance

Imagine that everyone stands for the bride while they're holding lit sparklers. It's an amazing sight to see while preparing to enter the ceremony hall, and it adds a little something extra to the entrance.

During the First Kiss

Similar to the bride's entrance, you can have your guests light their sparklers just before the big kiss. Not only will you feel amazing standing at the altar, but you'll capture some breathtaking photos at the same time.

As a Unity Candle Substitute

Many couples do sand ceremonies or light unity candles, but this is also one of the best ways to use wedding sparklers instead! You could either both hold the sparkler while it performs, or you could each have a small sparkler and light a larger sparkler together!

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Ways to Use Wedding Sparklers on your Cake

It may not be a stretch to use sparklers on a birthday cake, but what about your wedding cake? Here are some fun ways to make an ordinary cake into something much more wondrous.

For Cake-Cutting Ceremonies

Consider adding some wedding cake sparklers to your tiers before you cut your cake. They can draw everyone's attention to your cake-cutting ceremony while also making it a more remarkable and memorable event.

Instead of Birthday Candles

Most people use candles on their birthday cake, but why not sparklers instead? Replace those boring birthday candles with specially designed sparklers for a spectacular presentation. Make sure you buy birthday candle sparklers instead of using regular ones to ensure you don't damage your frosting.

Using Number Shaped Sparklers on a Cake

Instead of using sparklers designed for cakes, you can optionally use number sparklers. Essentially, they are regular sparklers that are formed in the shape of a number. You can use them to write out the year or your wedding date on the top tier of your cake. However, since they aren't designed for use on food, make sure you leave plenty of space between the lit end of the sparklers and your frosting.

Keep Accessories Convenient

Sparklers aren't the only thing necessary for a successful shimmering send-off. Your guests also need a way to light the sparklers. If you're lighting the sparklers with electric lighters, consider making a sparkler lighting station adjacent to the display where trusted wedding party members or close friends are available to help light sparklers at just the right moment.

Plan for Sparkler Disposal

Safe disposal is an important part of sparkler use, so include a bucket filled with sand or water along with your display. If your original display includes sand, you can post a sign indicating that sparklers can be extinguished in the same place after use. If guests are entering from one area and exiting through another, you might opt to create a second coordinated display at the exit of the venue for sparkler disposal.

Finally, you're ready for your special day. Breathe and relax! The day has finally come to throw the celebration of a lifetime. Grab your sparkler, light the end and hold it high!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you plan to use sparklers during the reception, putting the containers near the entrance of the venue lets guests grab one as they move between your ceremony and reception locations. Sparklers intended for use during the cake cutting might be placed near the cake table.

While a small, intimate wedding would allow you to use sparklers 10 inches in length, a larger venue of over 100 guests in attendance would require 36-inch sparklers. Offering three full minutes of burn time, you should have plenty of time to capture that picture-perfect moment.

In theory, sparklers should last almost indefinitely. They are essentially just gunpowder, so as long as they stay dry, they should perform properly. However, even humid conditions can introduce too much moisture over an extended period of time. So, the recommended shelf life for them is 5 to 7 years.

We recommend ordering Wedding Sparklers one to two months before your wedding day. Every wedding sparkler sold by us have a shelf life of up to three to five years. Just need to make sure you store your sparklers in a dry and cool location.

Guests line up in two lines on either side of the exit walkway. Bride and Groom are ready in the wings, waiting for the green light to make their exit. THEN the sparklers are passed out to guests (if guests have sparklers in hand before the line up is in place, they WILL start to light them and it will be too early)

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