As if the celebration of love wasn't spectacular enough, some couples are finishing off their nuptials with a real bang by including wedding fireworks as part of the festivities.
Why Have Fireworks?
Everyone loves a good fireworks display and it can add a lovely touch to what was already a memorable event. While everything else can be photographed and video-taped by guests, fireworks are something that requires everyone to put down the camera and just watch and enjoy and remember, which can create a moment of closeness in the group and a feeling of spontaneity. If your budget will allow for this touch of drama and sizzle, it's definitely something to consider.
Issues Surrounding Wedding Fireworks
The first issues to deal with when you're considering having fireworks at your wedding are safety and legality. You must get permission from your local authorities (or those at the wedding location) before you go forward with any other plan. Town and state laws vary widely. There may be special circumstances, so that even if you live in a state that bans fireworks displays, you can still have a show at your wedding. Start by contacting The American Pyrotechnics Association. They will be able to advise and assist you and offer a range of alternatives. You should also talk to your local fire department and sheriff's office. If you only want to use sparklers, it will probably be a straightforward arrangement. If you actually want a full display, you should be prepared to deal with a lot of paperwork, including extra fees and licensing.
Even if you are only using sparklers, safety must be a major focus. There will be paper and fabric and often people will have been drinking and the possibility of an accident must be kept in mind. Wire sparklers, though more expensive, are safer than bamboo sparklers. Be sure that they are only used outside and have several responsible people know where the nearest fire extinguisher is.
Indoors or Outdoors?
Obviously, the best place to do a proper fireworks display is outdoors in a wide-open area. Fireworks can be a great ending to an evening beach wedding, as it's fairly safe to operate fireworks from a barge on the water or even on the sand if the area isn't too populated. Country clubs and golf courses will often allow fireworks - again, talk to the authorities and owners of the venue to make arrangements.
If yours is a smaller budget, an indoor display is possible. Again, safety must be a prime factor. Common sense and proper arrangements with the venue will help, and the venue must have the space and ceiling capacity for utilizing indoor fireworks.
Hire a Professional
No matter what option you choose, this cannot be emphasized enough: hire a professional. If you want to save money by having a friend run the show, it's better to save money and not have wedding fireworks at all. So long as you are not planning your wedding on July 4 or New Year's Eve, professionals are available and are worth the cost.
Go to a major fireworks site such as Fireworks America or Fireworks Express for more information. You'll see that often a technician is part of the cost structure, which also may include licensing and insurance. They can advise you more specifically on other options, such as merely having fireworks as part of a centerpiece display, which can cost as little as $75 rather than the $3,000 you might pay as a minimum for an outdoor display.
Don't Forget the Cleanup
Indoors or outdoors, on a beach or a country club lawn, there will be plenty of debris left over after the display, and whether by mandate or the law of common courtesy, it must be cleaned up. When you hire a professional, they will often take care of cleaning as part of their fee, but if not, be sure to make that arrangement before you sign off.
Done right, wedding fireworks can be joyous and spectacular - a lovely way to end a lovely day.