Fireworks at your wedding provide a wow factor for your guests and are a beautiful and memorable way for you to celebrate your new life. Done well, wedding fireworks can set the seal on a perfect day, but some thought and planning is required to get the most from your pyrotechnics.
Points to Consider Before You Book Your Wedding Fireworks Display
Many, but not all, wedding venues in the UK allow fireworks, so always check with your venue first before setting your heart on a display.
As a general rule, a professional display will need an open space approximately the size of a football field. However, good fireworks companies will work with you to accommodate tighter spaces if it is safe to do so.
On most nights of the year it is illegal to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, so factor this into your wedding planning if you’re hoping for a fireworks finale. Exceptions exist for New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year, Diwali and Bonfire Night, so you may be in luck if your wedding happens to coincide with one of those dates. Within the legal curfew it’s ultimately up to your wedding venue how late you may have your fireworks, so again, check before you book.
DIY Display or Professional Fireworks?
Professional wedding fireworks displays start at around £800 – £1,000 for a short display. You could potentially put on a DIY display for a fraction of that, so it’s tempting to think about simply roping in the best man to sort it all out.
However, most wedding venues will only allow professional fireworks displays, for safety and insurance reasons. If a smaller venue such as a pub does allow you to do your own fireworks you will need to arrange your own insurance.
If you do choose to do your own fireworks, perhaps for a garden reception, it’s a major responsibility – not least for safety reasons – and not one to take lightly. Retail grade fireworks (those available to the general public) are not as powerful as professional grade ones. Also, the art of timing and choreographing a good display is not something you can learn quickly. However, many retail fireworks outlets will offer advice on safety and planning, so if you do opt for the DIY route make full use of the assistance available to you.
If you use a professional wedding fireworks company they will take care of the procedure from start to finish. They’ll liaise with and survey the venue, set up, handle crowd control and safety, and the clean up post-display. The event will be fully insured, giving you valuable peace of mind on your special day.
Choosing the Right Kind of Fireworks Display
Surprisingly, shorter fireworks displays are often better for weddings than longer ones. Opt for display of between 4-8 minutes for maximum entertainment value.
If you have a lot of children or elderly guests at the wedding, consider quiet fireworks, where the focus is more on the colour and effects than the noise. Some venues are increasingly stipulating low noise fireworks only, to minimise disruption to their neighbours.
Your fireworks company should be able to explain the different display options to you. A typical wedding fireworks display will include a mixture of fountains, Roman candles, wheels, aerial shells and cakes (groups) of fireworks, but your display company should happily work within your preferences and will accommodate your colour scheme too if you wish. Ask about lance work (fire writing) as a special finale – your intertwined initials would make a romantic and meaningful end to your show.
Choosing the Right Wedding Fireworks Company
Personal recommendation is always a good way to find a wedding fireworks company, but failing that good questions to ask a potential provider include:
- How much experience do they have?
- Can they show you videos and testimonials from happy couples?
- What level of insurance do they have?
- What if it rains – will they go ahead anyway or cancel the display?
- Can they do special effects for you such as hearts in the sky or lance work?
- Can they choreograph your fireworks to music of your choice?
- Do they provide a ceremonial start button for you to press, if you wish?
Follow your instincts when choosing a wedding fireworks supplier, and don’t necessarily allow price to be the deciding factor.
If you have chosen a professional wedding fireworks company they will take care of the safety aspects for you. However, you can help by taking a responsible approach with your guests. If you are having sparklers, for instance, don’t let guests who are worse for wear use them (designate a groomsman or bridesmaid to check). Keep children close by and under control.
In a smaller venue, it’s polite to inform neighbours in advance so they can take steps to keep pets and livestock safe.
Guest post by Jon Culverhouse of Fantastic Wedding Fireworks
Image from Fantastic Wedding Fireworks