Here's how to have fireworks at your wedding, safely and legally
It's been a long day, and you're almost danced out, but you don't want your wedding day to end. It's been a long year planning, and you're finally at this big climactic moment: your exit. Tomorrow, whether it's back to real life or on to your honeymoon, all of the planning and nerves and excitement will be behind you. That is a blessing and a curse. People often report feeling something of the "wedding blues" the week or so after, when there's no more to do, nothing to plan, and you've got to find a new place to channel that energy. People also report feeling extremely relieved.
It is for this complex matrix of feelings that we humbly suggest to you the wedding day finale that most people only dream of: a fireworks display.
Listen, we don't know each other, but as you plan your wedding, we are extremely confident that your relationship, love, and planning skills warrant a light and sound spectacular that will remain in your memories and your guests' Instagram posts for decades to come.
Did you know know can purchase verified DIY fireworks kits in Canada starting at $400? Really, that's a very large bang for a very small buck.
But! It's not as simple as ordering on Amazon and setting off your display wherever and whenever. Of course it isn't—fireworks, while beautiful, can be dangerous, destructive, and a huge nuisance.
Here are our dos and don'ts for ending your night with fireworks. If you follow these as a checklist, your fireworks finale should go off without a hitch.
Photo from Pinterest.
Do read up on your local bylaws
Although it seems people set off fireworks whenever, their purchase, possession, and use are highly regulated. In Vancouver, for example, it is only legal for someone with a permit to purchase fireworks between October 25 and 31 from a permitted retailer. They also must be discharged inside those dates too (if the 31st falls on a Sunday, these dates change to October 25 to 30!).
Additionally, using fireworks without a permit or in a way that may damage property or disturb or harm people or animals can be punishable by a several hundred dollar fine per offence. And also, nobody wants the police and fire department showing up at their wedding, right?
Find these bylaws by Google searching "[your town's name] + wedding + fireworks + bylaws", or get in touch with city hall if you need more guidance.
Do respect noise policies
If you've obtained a permit to set off fireworks on a Sunday, don't set them off at midnight unless you are miles from the nearest neighbour. Be respectful of the people around you, and warn them ahead of time if you can.
The only thing worse than cops showing up at a wedding is a very angry neighbour in his pajamas.
Photo from Wedding Ideas Mag.
Do keep your neighbours in mind
Further to respecting your neighbours, be sure to take any necessary measures to ensure that they and their properties are safe. Fireworks can be erratic and may cause damage. This is why we always recommend hiring experts to manage risks.
But in lieu of experts, warn your neighbours ahead of time. Many cats, dogs, and children are very frightened by fireworks, and it is so disrespectful to not do your due diligence in giving people around you a heads up so that they can make plans to keep their families happy.
Of course, this problem is solved if you're at a more remote venue, but you should always keep the surrounding environment in mind.
Do consult with your venue
Can you imagine operating a beautiful chalet on Crown Land, and to have a wedding come to a close one Saturday evening, only for everyone to filter outside and start setting off fireworks without your permission? As a couple, you would be saying hello to a hefty fine to make up for the stress.
Always consult with your venue ahead of time. Golf courses are great sites for fireworks displays, but they are highly regulated, so the management should definitely be involved. The people who know your venue—and its risks—best are the people that run it. Always coordinate with them ahead of time.
Photo from Pinterest.
Do hire experts when possible
Pyrotechnicians are actually kind of affordable to hire. For $1,750 plus tax, Rocket Fireworks based in Ontario will send a technician to create and execute and clean up your dream firework display. These experts can also assist you in obtaining the necessary permits, liaising with the venue, and can advise on the most beautiful display.
Do designate a fireworks handler in lieu of experts if necessary
Rocket Fireworks also sells DIY Wedding firework packages which include detailed firing instructions, safety notes, and all of the tools and equipment you'll need. However, while this will save you money, you should not be the one handling it on your wedding day. Assign this important job to a trusted, and sober, friend ahead of the wedding, and give them plenty of time to get comfortable.
Photo from Leighton Bainbridge.
Don't be careless
Do not be careless! You could start fires, someone could lose a finger or their vision, or be burned by fireworks. Fireworks are small, aesthetic explosions. Don't forget that. Kids and pets should be kept far away from the firing site, and no one who is inebriated should be assigned to work with the display. The only worse thing than cops showing up to your wedding, or an angry neighbour in his pajamas, is an ambulance. Enough said.
Don't be caught without having done your research
Take your bylaws seriously, and get the proper permits. Being caught out will cost you.
Photo from Pinterest.
Don't forget to warn parents or folks with sensitive ears
If there will be kids at your wedding, either provide ear protection or childcare, or let parents know ahead of time that there will be a noisy fireworks display at the end of the night. It would hurt everyone's hearts and ears if a child is startled and cries through the whole display.
Don't forget to get some amazing photos
To end on a lighter note, always let your photographer know what to expect. This might be your only opportunity to get an incredible kiss-silhouette photo backlit by dazzling, brightly coloured fireworks. That is the photo that goes on thank you cards, on Christmas cards; that is the photo that gets framed and put on your nightstand. It's a big, crazy thing to do—don't forget to capitalize.
Are you considering fireworks? Let us know below!