Today is the Fourth of July, our great nation’s birthday, and so it is a wonderful day for declaring my love of sparklers. Who doesn't remember celebrating the fourth as a child, bright-eyed and happy, holding a sparkler in their hands, waving it back and forth with wonder and awe. I remember it… the excitement of grabbing one and holding it in my hand, the uncontainable anticipation as my dad put the end of a flame to the top of the sparkler and then the most beautiful burst of sparkle and light and gold as the sparkler came to life! I would jump up and down and run around leaving bright gold tracks in the air behind me. I remember it well. Today, I still enjoy lighting sparklers, now with my own bright-eyed and happy children, and my heart still bursts with anticipation as I wait for those first few sparks.
Sparklers and all their charm are not only for the Fourth of July. They are finding their way more and more into other types of celebrations. With their scintillating show of gold sparks, sparklers are now being used to spice up the festivities at weddings across the country. The glitz and dazzle of sparklers make them a welcomed new trend, especially in farm weddings where they make a nice contrast to the rustic nature of the venue.
At some weddings they are held by guests to form either a passageway or a sparkling tunnel for the happy couple to pass through or under. They can also be used on cakes for a show-stopping effect. Large ones, which burn several minutes, can be stuck into the ground to make a sparkling effect at a reception or to create a sparkling outdoor “aisle”. They can also be painted to match any color scheme.
Wedding photographers prefer large sparklers because they provide more valuable time to set up the perfect shot. If the camera is set to a longer shutter time, you can swirl out words with the wedding sparklers such as the bride and groom’s names or the word “love.”
Shorter sparklers make fun wedding favors to take home when they are grouped together and tied with ribbons in your wedding colors and include a matchbook personalized with the happy couple’s name. Ten-inch sparklers only last for about 45-seconds, so if you are using these for your get-away photos, make sure each guest has a small stock (4 or 5) on hand so they can relight a new one as the other is burning out.
For our more cautious readers, sparklers, when used as intended, are extremely safe. Sparklers are classified as novelties by the federal government and are not defined as consumer fireworks, so they can be legally purchased and shipped through the U.S. mail system. Most states allow the use of sparklers. If in doubt over your local ordinance, it is always a good idea to check with your local or state authorities. Also, always test out your chosen sparkler a few weeks beforehand. Try some different lighting methods and decide which one will work the best for your event. If children will be present, decide how the sparklers will be handed out so that there will not be any possibility of unsupervised use of the items.
With planning and proper precautions, sparklers will definitely add a spark of excitement to your celebration!