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.

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.

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.

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 a second set of sparklers.  You can then provide them as wedding favors 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 colorful 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.

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.