The Best Way to Get that Sparkler Photo at the End of Your Wedding Night! / by Hannah Byrne

I'm a sucker for a good sparkler photo. The excitement! The joy! It's just one of those feel good shots and a great way to end the night. But they don't just happen - there's a bit of planning that goes into getting the perfect sparkler photo. I thought I'd share a few tips to help you be prepared for your grand exit!

(If you only have time to read one tip, head down to #4!!!)

1. The longer the sparkler the better!

So this might seem obvious but sparkler exits tend to be a last minute thought. And you definitely need to order sparklers ahead of time, versus grabbing them at Walmart the day before. You'll want to have extra long sparklers so that everyone's sparkler is going off at the same time. If they are too short, by the time the last sparkler is lit, the first will be out. And for these photos to turn out best, you want as much sparkler light as possible. So having them all going at the same time is super important! And way more fun! Here is a sparkler you could order that would do the trick!

2. Don't forget the lighters & sand buckets! 

OK, maybe another obvious point... But with all the details of a wedding day this can definitely be overlooked.. Having lighters helps get the process going really quickly and limits the confusion. At this point in the evening, most of your guests have had a few drinks and aren't going to be very helpful with hunting down lighters. Have a handful and give them to a few people. Once a few sparklers are lit, you can use those lit sparklers to light neighboring ones. The process goes really fast, but you've got to help get it going! Here are some lighters you could order!

The start of the exit is important, but the end is just as important! Fill some buckets with sand and have them close by. Your guests can stick their sparklers in them at the end. Otherwise, everyone will throw the hot sparklers on the ground, which is not only dangerous, it's also a pain to clean up! With sand buckets you don't have to worry about having a clean up crew - your guests will just clean up after themselves (hopefully)!

3. Have a point person! 

This goes back to your guests being 5 drinks in and hyped up on dance music. They aren't going to be very helpful and you definitely don't want to spearhead your own sparkler exit! If you have a planner this is one of the MANY things they do to help your day run smooth. But if you don't, make sure you have at least one person designated to organize - or maybe all your bridesmaids! If you want to walk through a tunnel of sparklers, have them line your guests up in two lines. They can help get the sparklers lit and give you the go ahead when it's time for you to enter.

4. The sparkler photo doesn't have to happen at the very end of your night!

I rarely take the sparkler photo at the end of the night! Does this surprise you?! It doesn't mean you can't do another sparkler exit at the end with all of your guests, it just means it won't be photographed. Most times your photo coverage will end before the end of your reception, this poses a problem for getting this shot! I often have couples who really want me to get the sparkler photo but don't have room in their budget to keep me there an extra hour or two. Well, here's your solution!

Take 20-30 of your friends off the dance floor for 10 minutes, run outside and grab the photo! I actually prefer to do this photo at some point during the reception instead of waiting until the end of the night. Why?

1. It's way less stressful for everyone !!!!!

2. I can typically photograph you for 1-2 minutes versus only getting one single shot of you running through the tunnel

Lilja & Hannes (the couple in all these photos!) decided to have their sparkler photo right before their coverage ended, but not at the very end of their night. I got SO many amazing photos because we weren't rushed at all! So fun!

I hope this tip was helpful! Have a question about planning your wedding?! Shoot me an email & I'll do a blog post about it! hannahleighphoto@gmail.com