Weddings are what? Tens of thousands of dollars and they are up and done in 4-6 hours. A year of planning for 5 hours, guys. Mind blowing. We’ve got these massive parties, we spend a shiny penny or two on them and then we close ‘em off with… womp womp, sparklers.
Half of you just said ‘oh thank God, she said it’ and the other half of you (like me, even though I said it) LOVE sparklers. I mean, I do say a prayer for my hair every time I coordinate a sparkler exit and now that the years have passed and I feel safe confessing, I may have once pushed an aunt that was pressing a lit sparkler against the bride just as she was about to walk out. It kind of surprised me to discover that a sparkler exit had turned into a full contact sport, and I’ll never forget her face or the instant regret I felt BUT, the bride did not catch on fire. So there’s that.
All in, they are beautiful in my opinion but mercy are they a bear to manage. Alcohol, fire, lots of girls doused in hairspray and perfume… it’s just a bag of fun.
With that said, vendors have inside jokes about them and really do wish for new and fresh ideas. But before we start, there are two others I’d like to talk about. Rice and Chinese Lanterns. Really, most venues won’t allow either but for the ones that do and the couples that consider them, I urge you to reconsider. Rice kills birds, which maybe a lot of people don’t know? And Chinese Lanterns are a good way to burn down the hill country. Oh, I guess there is a third: balloon releases. The litter and harm to animals makes me sad.
TWO OF MY FAVORITE EXITS
Two of my favorite exits of this last year were pom-poms and streamers. The pom poms were unique and everyone got excited about them!
The streamers were just plain hilarious. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about how long these strands were so the couple got tangled as they progressed through the line. Adam made the best of it and gave us his best inner-Chris Farley while Toni used him as a shield to make her way behind him. It was awesome and I can still hear the laughing. Total memory!
BUT I would go with the right length if doing it again. I will say, we were particular about finding ones that were easy on the clean-up. The streamers stayed attached to the poppers so nothing flew away.
Photos by Justin Douglas Photo
AN EXIT I’D LIKE TO SEE
I’d really like to see a Second Line as an exit for a wedding. If you’re at all familiar with NOLA style weddings, you’ve likely seen one. Having walked Bourbon Street as part of one for a friend's wedding, I can't tell you how fun they are for guests! For everyone. Basically, the bride and groom lead a parade. They are directly followed by a small jazz band with their guests following suit. In the streets of New Orleans, we walked about a mile while all of the rooftop bars and people on the street danced alongside us and cheered on the couple. I think Austin is set up well for this, especially for couples getting married downtown!
If you’re really into the sparkler look but not totally into sparklers, I recommend connecting with companies like Big Dog Pyro about flare paths and even dance floor statements that can close the night out in style. In a lot of ways, I feel like a controlled “show” is much safer than waving, wands of fire, in the hands of the inebriated.
Whatever you choose, think about clean up. Anything that guests are tossing or don’t know what to do with once used (eh hem, sparklers) is a higher risk for clean-up fines. In all fairness, it’s pretty rare that guests are belligerent about sparkler trash because we always have galvanized buckets for them to use for discarding but it never fails that 2 or 3 weddings every year, there is a guest list that just drops them and walks away. Trying to pick them all up in the dark is impossible. Flower petals are usually fine and easy to sweep if the terrain isn’t rocky so just check for that. I know confetti has gotten shut down pretty fast by most venues. The clean-up is wild. And unfortunately, certain types can stain if they get wet and I promise you don’t want that taken out of your security deposit.