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Lesbian couple smiles on wedding day with guests behind them holding sparklers.

Wedding Sparkler Exits – How to Plan for the Best | Minnesota Wedding Photography

Bride and groom walk through a row of people holding sparklers.


You may be asking yourself, “What is a sparkler exit?”  Well, it’s a lot of things.

Sparkler exits at weddings are just a few of the following things:


✨ Popular.  Seriously, if you have been on Pinterest at any point in the last ten years, you’ve seen sparkler exit photos.

✨ Not at easy as they look.

✨ Require a little bit of planning for an amazing result.

So let’s get started.  You want to have a sparkler exit at your wedding.  If you have never done one or seen one done, you’re probably thinking they are pretty cut and dry.  Have your guests light sparkers, pose for the camera, and BOOM.  Done.  Not so fast. Nothing so pretty is ever that easy.

Below are a few tips to keep in mind when doing sparkler exits.  Many of these tips can also be applied for other types of parts of a wedding, such as a lantern release, smoke bombs, and more.


Many people think that a sparkler exit has to be just that – the exit at the end of the night.  This isn’t true and honestly looks far better if it’s earlier in the evening.  Why?  Check this out.

  • If your photography is ALL done before you really start partying at your reception, you don’t have to think about it. Who doesn’t love that?  I know I do.  If I am going to cut loose and enjoy myself, I don’t want to think about ANYTHING.  I just want to have fun.  I don’t want to have to plan.  I don’t want a vendor to come up to me and go, “Hey, remember that photo you wanted?  Well, it’s time to go outside and do it,” when I’m in the middle of jamming out to “D.M.S.R” and on my third cocktail of the reception. Odds are, it’ll be more frustrating than fun.
  • Paying your photographer to stay until the end of the night for a true exit is a drag.  For both you and the photographer.  As photographers, we can only take so many reception photos before people start looking ways that they don’t want documented.  So waiting hours for a sparkler exit when it is something that can easily be done earlier is not a great option.


There are other reasons, but I think you get it.  This is why we like to do sparkler moments rather than exits.  So these tips will mainly apply to those.


Bride and groom walk through a garden during sparkler exit with guests.


  • No one likes to be taken by surprise.  Sparkler photos take quite a bit of planning on the end of photographers to achieve a really great result.  Not only photographers, but videographers and DJs like to know when they are happening as well for planning aspects.  So make sure to tell your vendors that you want to do one.
  • What vendors should you tell?  As many as you can.
    • Tell your venue you want to do one.  Some venues do not allow them or have specific rules regarding them, so make sure to ask if you can even do it.
    • Tell your wedding planner that you want to work one into the day.
    • Tell your photographer and videographer.
    • Tell your DJ so they can plan other reception things (dances, etc) around it.



We highly recommend this someone being your wedding planner.  If you have a wedding planner, you’re golden because they know this drill.  If you do not have a wedding planner, specifically designate someone ahead of the date.  Designate someone that is reliable.  When we say reliable, we mean, reliable enough to deal with fire.  Let this person know that about ten minutes or so prior to the shoot, they will be working with the photographers.  They will be in charge of gathering the people you want in the photo and making sure everyone listens, so get someone who is not afraid to be loud and in charge.  When you are dealing multiple people, you need to get loud.


Bride and groom do a sparkler exit back to back.


This cannot be stressed enough.  We have seen multiple sparklers that burn out fast due to how short they are.  Here are things you absolutely want:

  • LONG SPARKLERS.  The longer the better because then they won’t burn out fast.  Here is an example of what you want. Get the 36 inch ones.
  • Those long grill lighters.  MULTIPLE LIGHTERS.  Why?  You want everything lit as fast as possible.  Passing one lighter around to light multiple sparklers can turn into an issue.
  • Multiple water buckets.  Out of respect of your venue, have these to put out the sparklers properly.



These shots are super exciting.  There’s a lot of excitement and things get super pumped up.  Pushing through them really fast is EASY to do.  Keep in mind that you’ll want to walk through the sparklers.  You many have to do it two or three times to ensure the best shot(s).  Pose it up.  Lift each other, kiss, look at one another, dip, and more.  It’s fun – have fun with it!


We love helping engaged couples plan for the best day possible.  Make sure to check out more of our articles on wedding planning and more!!







Sparkler Exit

Wedding Sparkler Exits – How to Plan for the Best


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