Staging an amazing 'Sparkler Exit' photo is a great way to end the night on your wedding day. As a wedding photographer, I hear this request quite a lot! Read on below to learn all about "Sparkler Exit's" including the what's, why's, where's, and how's! I also get into a lot of misconceptions and mistakes people make when planning for that epic wedding photo.
Staging an amazing 'Sparkler Exit' photo is a great way to end the night on your wedding day. As a wedding photographer, I hear this request quite a lot!
Read on below to learn all about "Sparkler Exit's" including the what's, why's, where's, and how's! I also get into a lot of misconceptions and mistakes people make when planning for that epic wedding photo.
What is a Sparkler Exit?
A sparked exit is a staged wedding photo taken outside a wedding venue at night where all the guests at a wedding stand across from each other to form an aisle.
The guests light their sparklers and hold them high into the air. The wedding couple then walks down the aisle, illuminated by the sparklers being held by their guests.
These photos are traditionally taken at the very end of the wedding reception as the married couple is exiting the party. Yet, they can be staged earlier in the evening before the reception has ended.
Tips for a Perfect Sparkler Exit
Talk to the Venue
This is the first on your to-do list when planning a Sparkler Exit. Some venues don't allow them at all! So it's wise to check with the venue coordinator first before you get your heart set on it.
Venues that do allow sparkler exits often I a game-plan already in place because of their popularity in recent years. They will offer suggestions for locations and other tips.
It is also a good idea to ask them if any of the staff will be available to assist. Coordinating a mob of often intoxicated people is no easy task and the more help you have with this the better!
Talk to your Photographer and Videographer
The next people you need to get on board with this idea is your wedding photographer and videographer. Make sure they have photographed or filmed one before (and ask for examples!) or at least check to see if they have the resources available to them to capture one.
There's a lot of things that can go wrong with a Sparkler Exit photo from the photographers perspective, so checking in with them that they will be fully prepared is important.
Other things to discuss with your photographer and videographer is the exact location, the time, and who will be helping to set-up the crowd.
Talk to your DJ or MC
Make sure your DJ, MC, or bandleader is aware of the Sparkler Exit. They are going to want to know what time, where it is, and any other instructions you want to pass along to your guests.
They are going to play a big part is getting everyone outside in an orderly fashion because they are the ones with the microphone.
Also, let them know if this is going to be the grand finale of your wedding (after your last dance) or staged earlier in the evening. That way they can have a plan in place if they need to get everyone back inside to continue the party. This is because guests may not know what to do after the exit and might leave!
Buy the Right Sparklers
When shopping for sparklers for a Sparkler Exit photo there are a few very important factors to consider.
THE LENGTH OF THE SPARKLERS: The longer the sparkler is the more time you have to get everything perfect. You may even have time to do the exit twice, which is a great way to ensure you get an amazing photo.
SMOKELESS: Make sure you are buying 'smokeless' sparklers! Though smoke may look cool in some pictures, if your wedding night happens to be muggy or humid at all the smoke with hover, choke everyone, and completely block your photo.
LIGHTERS: How you are going to light the sparkers is so important. Imagine it's the windiest day and what you will need for firepower! Sparklers typically require high heat to get going, so your standard gas station lighter is not going to do. Having several lighters available is key! Also, have a few designated, responsible people to assist lighting.
Unless you are hosting a 'dry wedding', assume every wedding guest holding fire over your head will be impaired to some degree. This is why having a game plan and a sober team ready to execute your sparkler exit is so important.
Don't rely on people being able to figure out what to do.
Have your venue coordinator, photographer, videographer, and DJ all on the same page and ready to make this a magical moment (and not a disaster!)
Walk Under Sparklers, Dip, Repeat
If everything goes according to plan, your photographer and videographer may want you to do it again.
I know this sounds weird and staged and awkward, but "rehearsing" your exit will only make the second time around that much better.
Really nailing the moment can be difficult for the photographer with all the activity going on. All it takes is a few seconds to reset, get the crowd excited again, and have a second chance at capturing a spectacular photo.
Running Through the Crowd is a Bad Idea
Don't run through your Sparkler Exit!
Take your time by walking at a slow pace, hold hands, and laugh at how crazy this moment really is. Kiss, smile, twirl, dance! If you genuinely have fun while it's happening, it will show in the wedding pictures and video.
Pause halfway or near the end and do a dip. This will guarantee to get everyone excited and cheering for you. If you need help getting the perfect 'dip', your photographer should have some tips for you.
What do I do Once it's Over?
If your Sparkler Exit is the finale to your wedding reception, keep on walking and get in your awaiting ride. Just remember to say your goodbye's and thank you's earlier in the evening.
If everyone is supposed to go back to the party after the Sparkler Exit, make sure you personally invite everyone back inside. Some people might think it's all over and leave prematurely.
Also, have a system ready to extinguish and dispose of the sparklers. A couple of buckets of water placed in obvious spots will help keep your venue's property clean and safe.
Where to Have Your Sparkler Exit
Finding the right location for your sparkler exit can have a huge impact on how your photos look.
ASK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER: Your venue may have ideas on where to have it but the best person to ask for suggestions is your photographer. They are going to consider a lot of things that a venue may not even think about. And we are doing this for the photo, right? So use their advice.
THE BACKGROUND IS IMPORTANT: If your venue entrance/exit is kind of blah on the outside you may want to think about using a different nearby location. Think about what will be behind you as you walk down the aisle of sparklers. There needs to be some kind of lighting (streetlights, buildings, a tent) because pitch black behind you does not make for an interesting photo.
AVOID FIRE HAZARDS: It may sound obvious, but anything that could catch fire needs to be far away. Avoid haybales, mulch, cars, and decor. It's always best to have your sparkler exit on a paved, stone, or gravel walkway. Avoid grassy areas, fields and wooded areas.
I hope you found this blog post helpful in planning your own sparkler exit! Leave your comments and questions below. I will happily respond and update my post if there is something I overlooked in this article. Happy planning!