Top Tips for a Perfect Sparkler Tunnel
Sparkler tunnels are great fun, who doesn’t love playing with sparklers? Having photographed many sparkler tunnels, we decided to put our top tips together, to make them a success.
Our top tips to make a sparkler tunnel a success are:
- Check that it is okay with your wedding venue. Often people miss this part out and the last thing you want is to upset your venue or even have to pay a fine.
- Get extra long sparklers. There are many places out there that sell specific wedding sparklers, but often these are still short. Please ensure they are extra long. With them being longer, they burn out slower ,so there is more time to play with. Standard sparklers do not last long enough.
- Do not let anyone light the sparklers until the photographer states that they are ready. The key to making this a success is ensuring that everyone lights the sparklers at the same time. That moves us onto the next tip.
- Everyone needs a lighter. Or as a minimum, one lighter between two. We’ve seen venues use blow torches and walk along the line. This means that some sparklers end earlier than others, making the sparklers have less impact in the photos. It also means that the person who is lighting them will be in the photos, rather than it just being photos of everyone playing with the sparklers. The image below shows an example of staff lighting the sparklers and being in the way. This was because they had so many sparklers to light with one single blow torch.
Having a lighter each or one between two allows them all to be lit at the same time and everyone to enjoy the sparklers at the same time. As you can see in the image below, half the sparklers have gone out, but it is still a fun photograph as the couple are racing each other back down the tunnel.
- Fairy Lights. These can be a great addition to the sparkler effect. If your venue has a walk way with fairy lights, this could work really well for the location of your sparkler tunnel.
- Be in the moment. Don’t look directly at the camera. Look at each other, play around and have fun!
- Save a few sparklers for yourselves. You could play around with one or two as you run along the tunnel, but you can also keep a couple to play with by yourselves, after everyone has gone back inside.
- If you want to ‘paint with light’ make sure you allocate time. Lots of people have seen the Pinterest photos of people writing words with sparklers. This is great fun, but it does take time. Quite often people struggle with writing the words, as usually you write it backwards, to write it all in camera.
TOP TIPS FOR A PERFECT SPARKLER TUNNEL CONT.
Health & Safety
Most importantly, we have to look at this from a health and safety point of view. They can be dangerous, so caution must be taken to ensure it’s safe for all involved.
There needs to be outdoor space, with little wind and once they are lit, guests have to hold them as high as possible. Remember, with bridal hair dos, there is lots of hairspray and flammable floaty clothing. So they need to be used with extra caution and ideally a little earlier in the evening, so not too much drink has been consumed.
Sparklers should be purchased from a reputable company, please don’t opt for them just because they are cheap. Ensure you do your research and check out reviews. We have heard some horror stories of ones that are very unsafe.
We highly recommend having buckets with sand nearby, so that guests can put them straight in the buckets once done. It’s a great way to put them out properly, but also keeps them all in one place and the area tidy. This will keep your venue happy as well. As mentioned before, ensure that they know that a sparkler tunnel is on the agenda.
Two final bonus tips:
- You can have a smaller crowd. If you have a lot of guests and you really do not like the idea of trying to get everyone outside, you can just opt for a handful of people. Often we’ve done sparkler tunnels with just immediate family or bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Or instead of a sparkler tunnel, you could just opt to have the two of you play with some during your couple shoot.
- And if all else fails, fairy lights still create an amazing effect! We absolutely love when venues have fairy lights, they make for such beautiful evening couple shoot photos.
Want to check out some more wedding tips, why not check out our ‘Where to Start with Wedding Planning’ blog post?
Sonia & Simon of S2 Images are husband and wife photography team. We photograph weddings nationally and internationally, having covered areas such as Warwickshire, London, the Cotswolds, Birmingham, the Midlands, Surrey, Hampshire, and even as far as Malaysia! We enjoy combining our love for travel with wedding photography. If you are planning your wedding, we would love to know your plans! Please get in touch via our contact page if you are interested in our services, be it national or worldwide.