Will Wedding Sparklers Become a New Tradition?


Wedding sparkler send off

Chances are, if you’ve been to a number of weddings over the past few years (and there are between 2.1 and 2.2 million of them to choose from in the U.S. every year!), you’ve come across a wedding sparkler send off. In this Instagram-friendly event, guests each receive 36 inch sparklers to light as the bride and groom make their final exit, replete with pyrotechnics. It’s fun, it’s cool, it’s memorable, and it’s oh-so-trendy right now. But is it really poised to become a new “tradition”?

In most cases, wedding sparklers are really just an updated version of throwing rice at the couple when they exit the church. It’s meant to signify prosperity, fertility, and good fortune. However, rice started becoming less popular because people were worried about birds eating the remains on the ground and getting sick from it.

Then people started throwing birdseed — it’s kind of the same, right? And it’s friendly to the birds, at least. But it’s not exactly attractive to find bits of seed in the nooks and crannies of your veil or wedding dress throughout the rest of the evening. Ivory and white are still the most popular wedding color choices for 44% of couples; unfortunately, little black seeds will stick out these garments like a sore thumb. And no one wants birds swooping down on them either!

So are wedding sparklers perhaps the best solution? There’s certainly a sizable market building around them. While a traditional sparkler lasts for about 45 seconds of burning, quality wedding sparklers can last two to four minutes. Most of them are smoke-free, and they don’t leave anything behind that might hurt the birds.

Of course, that’s not to say things can’t go wrong when you’re playing with fire. A Tennessee bride recently had her hair catch on fire after a sparkler send off, and in 2008 two Texas guests were severely burned while trying to light their sparklers.

The sparkler aesthetic or dangers might not be for everyone. Is it a new tradition or just a passing fad? Only time will tell. In the meantime, if you want something eco-friendly and safe, maybe opt for flower petals!

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