Ah, the sparkler send-off. Who doesn’t want a photo that captures the end of the night: your guests full of love, the two of you the stars of the show, juxtaposing the darkness of the night with the bright sparks that exist all around you.
A sparkler send-off can be many wonderful things, but it mainly exists as a photo opportunity. It also involves more organization and planning than you might expect. First, you need to purchase the necessary items. Sparklers, right? Wrong. You will need no less than the following: sparklers for each guest, containers to hold them (more than one because you don’t wait to wait for it to be passed around), containers with sand to put them in afterwards, and lighters. You will probably also want some personalization (some tags that say “Let Love Sparkle” or something along those lines) and a sign that gives people the heads-up that the send-off is coming. All told, a nice sparkler send-off will run you about $100.
Then, there’s organizing your guests. It will be the end of the night, they will be tired and tipsy, and you will be asking them to stand in straight lines. You will need to have the DJ make an announcement and have some people in your wedding party be the designated organizers who get everyone lined up and who begin with the lighters. These bridesmaids and groomsmen, who have already put a full day of work into your wedding, will then have to go down the line for all the guests and make sure they are lit. You and your spouse will be standing at the back of the line waiting. When you are done, those same organizers will have to collect all of the used sparklers in containers with sand.
The photos from these send-offs are beautiful, no doubt. But this is by no means an integral part of our wedding, and I want anyone who decides on one of these to be fully aware of the work required to get those photos.