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7 Unique Things You Can Do with Sparklers

Summer is here and you know what that means - BBQ, swimming, road trips, and enjoying those late summer nights. What makes a summer night special? Fireworks! Americans buy an incredible 247,550,000 pounds of them every year. One of the most popular types of fireworks is sparklers. They're easy to use, pretty, and don't require a big backyard. Sparklers are gorgeous on the Fourth of July but they can be a great addition to any get-together all year round. Let's look at seven fun ways to turn the simple sparkler into a staple of every celebration! 1. Sparkler Send-Off For Weddings There are many ways to see the bride and groom off after their special day. Tradition calls for the guests to throw rice. More modern takes have guests throwing rose petals or blowing bubbles. Nothing beats a sparkler send-off though. Picture it - the lights are out, the guests all light their sparklers. The bride and groom then walk under a canopy of golden sparks. Seems easy enough but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure you buy sparklers that will last long enough. A 36-inch sparkler lasts for four minutes, 20 inch lasts two minutes, and 10 inch lasts for four seconds. Second, be safe. Don't hold the sparkler directly over the couple. Leave a little space between the row and the couple so that sparklers don't singe anyone. 2. Better Than Birthday Candles How many years have you topped your birthday cakes...

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How to Take the Best Pictures with Sparklers

There's never too much sparkle and shine, especially in your greatest moments. One of the most loved effects for a fun photo is undoubtedly the sparkler. Since having fireworks at every event might be a tad expensive and dangerous, hand-held fireworks do the trick. When you're capturing keepsake moments on your camera, it's important to know how to capture the photo, especially when using sparklers. It's a tad tricky, but once you have the hang of it, you're good to go. To give you a little help, we've come up with tons of tips and tricks to help you take your best sparkler photographs. Keep on reading to perfect your sparkler photography. Know Your Basics One of the most important parts to taking a successful sparkler photo is knowing the basics of your camera. Throw your DLSR in manual mode, and let's get started. When talking about ISO, we are talking about the camera's sensitivity to light. The higher your ISO, the more light your camera will be aware of and pick up on. Shooting at a high ISO is ideal for dimly lit situations; however, it could produce some grain. Experiment with your camera and see what it can do. Controlling the aperture controls the depth of field and the amount of light you let into the photo. Think about aperture when thinking about focus and ambient light. A larger aperture, a smaller f/number, will create a shallower depth of field and vice versa. Again, experiment with you camera...

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DIY Fall Wedding Decor Ideas

The end of summer is just around the corner, which means that for those planning weddings this fall, it is time to stop procrastinating and get to work tying up any loose ends. If you are planning a wedding this September or October, you have most likely already planned the main details of the ceremony and reception such as the venue, catering, and your dress. However, you may not have fully decided on decor details. If you are planning a wedding this fall and looking for some fun and easy DIY decor ideas that won’t take a lot of time (or money), we have you covered! Read on to learn more about six of our favorite ideas for fall wedding decor. 1. Leaf Place Cards If you are in search of an affordable yet elegant idea for place cards, you may want to consider rolling up your sleeves and getting to work on these DIY gilded leaf place cards. All you will need is an assortment of leaves, a gold leafing pen, and a black or white pen to write the guest’s name. DIY wedding decor doesn’t get much easier than this! 2. Pumpkin Centerpieces Yes, it may seem a little cliche, but with a little creativity, a DIY pumpkin centerpiece is anything but ordinary! Dress them up with paint, hollow them out and use them as one-of-a-kind vases for seasonal floral arrangements, or carve designs into them to create elegant lanterns. The possibilities are endless for this DIY fall...

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Wedding Favor Ideas for a Summer Wedding

While swept up in wedding planning, one important detail that many couples often overlook is wedding favors. If you are in the middle of wedding planning and happen to have let this little detail slip your mind—fear not! Memorable wedding favors don’t have to break the bank, and there are tons of cute seasonal wedding favor ideas that work for summer weddings and are easy to pull off at the last minute. Below we share five of our favorite wedding favor ideas that will add a fun touch to your special day. 1. Sunglasses Wedding favors that also serve a purpose during the event are always appreciated by guests! If you are planning a wedding in the afternoon, sunglasses are an excellent favor idea. Guests that didn’t come prepared for the sun will thank you for the thoughtful touch, and they will provide friends and family with years of use following your big day! We love this basket of basic wafers with a cute sign and these cute shades with personalized tags for an extra special touch. 2. Flip Flops Planning a beach wedding? Why not provide your guests with flip flops so that they don’t have to worry about walking around on the sand in dress shoes? Providing comfortable footwear is also an easy way to guarantee the dance floor will be full of guests having a blast all night long! Buy in bulk and fill up a cute basket like this, or even personalize your flip flops for...

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How to host the perfect 4th of July party

[caption id="attachment_1036" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo Credit: Julia Dennebaum[/caption] Can you believe that the Fourth of July is next Tuesday? Whether you have been planning an epic blowout for months or are just now piecing together a last-minute gathering for friends and family, here are a few tips for hosting a fun, patriotic Fourth of July party that your guests will remember for years to come. 1. Entertain guests with classic yard games One key to hosting an enjoyable Fourth of July party or cookout is keeping your guests entertained while they wait for the headlining event of the day: fireworks! An easy way to keep kids (and adults) busy all day long is to set up classic yard games like a ring toss, horseshoes, cornhole, croquet, and even badminton. If you opt for a ring toss, we love this customized Fourth of July version. 2. Mix up some red, white, and blue drinks! What’s a Fourth of July party without some refreshing and patriotic beverages? If you are looking for some fun ideas, we love these red-white-and-blue Jell-O shots, this patriotic punch that can easily serve a crowd, and these festive Fourth of July wine spritzers. For those that don’t drink, there are plenty of alcohol-free ideas out there, like this bucket of berry flavored refreshments or these fun red-white-and-blue layered drinks. 3. Test out some patriotic recipes No Fourth of July party is complete without some fun, red-white-and-blue snacks! Keep it simple and healthy with patriotic fruit kebabs, test...

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Five fun ways to use sparklers at your wedding

[caption id="attachment_1023" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo credit: C. Tyler Corvin Studio[/caption] Sparklers are a timeless wedding send off idea, which is probably why many weddings only incorporate sparklers into a grand exit. However, there are many fun and festive ways to incorporate sparklers into your entire wedding day, including both the ceremony, photos, and reception. Below we share five of our favorite ways to add some sparkle to your big day with wedding sparklers. Use them to illuminate your first kiss Who says you can’t incorporate wedding sparklers into your ceremony? We love the idea of handing out sparklers to guests to light as you share your first kiss as man and wife at the end of the ceremony. This is a sweet way to make the memorable moment extra special. (Insider tip: remember to pass out matches or lighters so your guests can easily light them up at the correct moment). Spice up your wedding photos with sparklers If you are looking for a way to add a little personality to your wedding photos, sparklers may be just the touch you’ve been waiting for. The possibilities for incorporating sparklers into your wedding photos are pretty endless. Bridal Musings suggests adding them to your formal portraits, as well as to photos of you getting ready, ceremony shots, and even casual photos at the reception. Another photo idea we love? Using them to write for totally unique photos. Some fun sparkler writing ideas include having bridesmaids spell out L-O-V-E in bridal party...

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Incorporating Sparklers into Warm Weather Celebrations

Most of us think of wedding sparklers as a timeless and beautiful tradition for a picture-perfect wedding send off. And that's somewhat true (sparklers are great for beach weddings!), but who says that sparklers have to be reserved for weddings alone? Sparklers can add a touch of magic to any party or celebration throughout the year—no matter how big or small the occasion. With the warm weather here to stay, it is time to get busy planning outdoor festivities to celebrate this season’s special occasions! As you plan for warm weather gatherings, here are a few of our favorite ideas for incorporating this timeless tradition into your spring and summer celebrations with friends and family. Graduations For many, May and June mark graduation season, which means hosting huge numbers of friends and family to congratulate your graduate and send them off on their next adventure. Whether you are celebrating a high school graduate or a collegiate scholar, sparklers add an element of pomp and circumstance to any graduation party. Try them out for a celebration the graduate and guests will remember for years to come. Memorial Day In addition to being a day of remembrance, Memorial Day weekend also marks the unofficial beginning of the summer season in the United States. Many choose to celebrate by escaping to the beach for a long weekend or having friends over for a backyard cookout to kick off the summer fun. If you are planning a Memorial Day party over the long weekend,...

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Five Fun Ways to Keep Guests Entertained at Your Reception

When planning a wedding every bride remembers the basic elements such as vows, venue, floral design, catering, music, photography, and a wedding send off. However, in the whirlwind of planning all of these details, many couples forget to plan activities to keep their guests entertained during the reception! To ensure that your guests have the time of their lives, you may want to consider some fun activities to keep them entertained all night long. Here are five of our favorite fun and unexpected wedding entertainment ideas that will guarantee your special day is an event your friends and family will be talking about for years to come! 1. Classic Board Games Setting up a table of your favorite games—such as Checkers, Yahtzee, Life, Connect Four, or Jenga—will provide fun entertainment options for children and adults alike! This is an especially nice gesture for guests that are uncomfortable dancing, unable to dance, or have small children to entertain. 2. Photo Booth A photo booth will keep your guests entertained from cocktail hour until your grand send off! In addition to being a great way to keep guests busy, a photo booth also gives your friends and family a sweet memento to remember your wedding that can double as a party favor! We love these fun photo booth ideas from Martha Stewart Weddings including a sailboat set, fun props, and a photo booth bus.  3. Art Setting up art supplies like markers, crayons, and colored pencils on each table alongside paper tablecloths...

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30 Wedding Send Off Ideas for the Perfect Exit

  When planning a wedding, there are many details to be attended to. In the whirlwind of planning, one of the most important details often gets overlooked: the grand wedding exit. The exit can consist of anything from lighting wedding sparklers to ringing cow bells. If you are searching for one-of-a-kind ideas to end your big day on a high note, you have come to the right place! Here are thirty of our favorite wedding send off ideas to make your special day extraordinary. 1. Confetti Poppers [caption id="attachment_891" align="alignleft" width="617"] Photo Credit: The Knot: A Retro Glamorous Wedding at Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, OH[/caption] Loaded with festive confetti and colorful streamers, confetti poppers are a fun and affordable way to add some color and excitement to your grand exit! You can buy these in bulk from your local party store, or opt for one-of-a-kind, hand-made confetti poppers from Etsy’s online marketplace.[note]https://www.etsy.com/market/confetti_poppers[/note]  [note]https://www.theknot.com/real-weddings/a-retro-glamorous-wedding-at-museum-of-contemporary-art-cleveland-in-cleveland-ohio-album[/note] 2. Bubbles [caption id="attachment_894" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo Credit: Southern Jewel Photography via Bridal Guide[/caption] Perfect for a wedding send off—no matter the season—bubbles will add an elegant yet playful touch to your event. In addition to looking beautiful in photos, bubbles will provide endless fun for your guests, both children and adults alike! Did we mention they don’t require any clean up?[note]http://www.southernjewelphotography.com/[/note] [note]http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/the-details/reception/wedding-sendoffs#159180[/note] 3. Balloons [caption id="attachment_926" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo Credit: Oh Happy Day via Linen Table Cloth[/caption] We love this wedding send off idea for a fun-filled daytime event. Brightly colored balloons will add to the festivities and...

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