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Seeing Sparks: Setting Off Fireworks at Your Wedding Reception

Megan McCarty Jordan Dechambre

Fireworks displays at wedding receptions are proving to be a favorite for happy couples and guests alike. Whether a special treat for guests, a surprise gift from the bride to the groom or vice versa, lighting the night sky is a fabulous way to start a new life together … with a bang!

When Laura and Mike Oppor of Chicago held their intimate wedding ceremony and reception outside of Clintonville, they blurred the line between indoors and outdoors with a tent reception, campfire, lighted outdoor furniture and a fireworks display.

“When the band took its set break we had everyone head outside and we set the fireworks off,” says Mike. “We immediately followed that up with the guests releasing wish lanterns and playing with sparklers.”

While the couple loved the crowd-pleasing display, Oppor admits he did worry about the weather. “We didn’t want to light them off if the ground was too dry,” he says. “Lucky for us, it rained four to five days before the wedding. We also had enough moisture in the air to have dew the next morning, so we felt confident the fireworks wouldn’t cause any fire danger.”

If you’re considering hosting a fireworks display at your wedding, first check with your venue to make sure there are no rules prohibiting fireworks use. Next, take to the Internet to find a certified fireworks professional to create your display (preferably a company that complies with National Fire Protection Association Code 1123 for fireworks safety standards), as do-it-yourself displays are often time-consuming and—above all —dangerous. Bartolotta Fireworks Co., for example, is a Milwaukee-based company that serves all of Wisconsin.

Despite weather worries, Mike sings the praises of a fireworks finale. “It was a great way for Laura and I to get a moment to ourselves and just enjoy our celebration. It was one of those ‘icing on the cake’ moments for us, and seeing how excited everyone was for the show made it that much better,” he says. “We wanted to make sure people had fun and it wasn’t just another boring wedding. I think the fireworks really complemented everything else we did.”

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