When my parents got married, there was only one way to send the couple off–with handfuls of hard rice thrown up in the air.
It was a nice party atmosphere–kind of an edible confetti–and it served happy couples on their big day for a long, long time.
Now there are so many other ways to send a couple off to wedded bliss–doves, bubbles, kazoos, ladybugs, party horns, birdseed, Soul Train like dance lines (okay, I haven’t seen the last one, but how cool would that be!!)
Hipster moves aside, for a nighttime wedding, my favorite has got to be sparklers. They’re celebratory, dramatic, controllable (try to get bubbles to go to just the right place in photos), and mercifully (for this inn owner, anyway) short-lived. Once they’re done, they’re done: There’s no clean up required. This is unlike birdseed, which must be swept up for days! Apparently the birds in our area aren’t particularly hungry.
A couple of things to remember when using sparklers as your send off:
1. Get long sparklers. Short ones are more likely to burn your hands, and more likely to fizzle before the bride can find the groom (or the other way around–someone is always talking to someone in the dining room!) and both of them can exit.
2. Have multiple lighting stations. If you want the couple to walk down a runway effect, line people on both sides and distribute lighters to every third person. This way, everything is lit quickly–the first person lights theirs, and the two people on each side light their sparklers with the others (again, it’s good to have longer sparklers so that no one gets burnt).
3. Make sure your photographer is ready before the lighting begins! Ask for a verbal “I’m good!” to be sure.
4. Keep guests/sparkler holders in a straight line. You don’t want the photographer backing up into a sparkler as they try to get the perfect shot.
5. Little kids and sparklers don’t mix. They hold them too close to the burning end, they throw them at the ground, they poke them towards the bride and groom as they pass. Better to hold very little ones so they can watch the excitement, without being the excitement (the person holding the child should not have a sparkler either).
6. Have a bucket with water behind each line of people, so that they can drop their sparklers in it to extinguish them. Feel free to decorate the bucket if you’re running with a theme.
If you’re looking for a great nighttime wedding spot in St. Augustine, feel free to give us a call! We have lots of great ideas for weddings any time of day.