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The Surprising Truth! – Surprise displays are not a great idea!

You might think a surprise fireworks display for your wedding is a great idea. You imagine the faces of your loved ones light up with joy when they find out about the fireworks.

However, in our 20+ years doing fireworks, nothing causes us more heartache than surprise displays. In this blog post, we discuss how to do a surprise display the right way. And avoid some of the pitfalls.

We are happy to work with you to create a surprise fireworks display. However, we are not mindreaders unless you tell us as soon as possible, we can’t help. Tell us about who is the recipient of the surprise and how we can communicate with you. We will work with you to keep the surprise intact right up until the day.

Tell your loved one about the fireworks on the day.

Don’t wait until the last minute to tell your loved one about the fireworks. We might be visible rigging the display during the day and will spoil the surprise. Not many venues have hidden firing sites. We will be in our uniforms so that the venue staff and any security or officials know who we are.

By telling them early, they will have the pleasure of looking forward to fireworks. And you will still have that special moment of surprise.

Crowd watching fireworks
Crowd watching fireworks

Don’t let your guests leave before the fireworks.

We aim to finish rigging a display about an hour before firing to allow a little wiggle-room for problems. During that hour after set up, we are observing your wedding from our firing site. Often we watch guests leave in their cars by the dozens before the fireworks are due to start. A recent wedding had 300 guests during the afternoon, only 50 people were there to watch the fireworks in the evening. If only they knew, more would have stayed to watch the £1500 display!

Tell your guests! Announce the fireworks – make a thing of it! Encourage guests to stay and enjoy them. The anticipation of a fireworks display will excite your guests and will add energy to the evening. Those that won’t want to party into the late evening will stay for the fireworks and then leave happy that their day ended in spectacular style.

Don’t have a very late firing time if you can avoid it.

Try not to have your fireworks late in the evening as guests with children will often need to leave before. Older relatives may not want to stay up late either. It would be a shame for them to miss the fireworks!

An ideal time is during the mid-evening break. You will guarantee the most people will be there to watch the fireworks. It will act like a shot of adrenalin for guests to party for the rest of the evening. And the venue can turn around a room or set out a buffet while everyone is out watching the fireworks.

(If your wedding is at the height of summer, it won’t be dark enough for fireworks until late.)

C heart-shape L written in fireworks. Lancework is the art of writing in fireworks.
Lancework – writing messages in fireworks!

Sometimes it’s an audience of just two!

We have fired many displays for marriage proposals that have been a total surprise for the other half. We once wrote ‘Marry Me?’ in fireworks after a football match. We once rigged a display in a farmers field in the middle of nowhere and waited for the client’s car to ‘breakdown’ by the gate so he could propose after the fireworks.

Surprise displays can be good in the right situation. Just remember to avoid the pitfalls. The single most important thing is to talk to us early on.


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