How to Stage a Perfect Sky Lantern Release at Your Wedding

A sky lantern release at a beach wedding.

Planning the perfect wedding exit, as you and your beloved are whisked away to your new life as a married couple, is all the rage. It’s a great way to end your celebration with a beautiful bang—or an elegant whisper. One whimsical option for a wedding exit that will surely make for a memorable social media moment is staging a sky lantern release.

A sky lantern release involves you and your guests lighting and releasing paper lanterns into the night sky at the same time. It’s a fun and magical thing to do together, and it makes for amazing pictures! However, there are a few things to consider beforehand. For all of your questions regarding how to stage a perfect sky lantern release, here’s everything you need to know.

Choose a safe place to launch the lanterns

Safety always comes first, and since sky lanterns use an open flame and are often made of flammable tissue paper, there’s always the chance, however small, that a sky lantern can catch on fire and create a safety hazard—which is why location is everything. Choose a spot that’s open and wide and free of obstruction, like trees and power lines. Also be aware of nearby flammable material, like dead foliage and grass, which could potentially burn upon a sky lantern landing. Also, you’ll want to follow any city by-laws since you don’t want to release your lanterns in an area where it would be illegal.

Select a point person to coordinate the launch

You’ll want to designate someone, or a couple of people, as the point person to coordinate the launch. Ideally, this would be your wedding planner or whomever you’re dealing with at the venue. You can even ask members of your wedding party to help. This team would explain the process to your guests while also leading them to the preferred spot for the launch. They would make sure everyone has a lantern and an ignition source, while also keeping things as safe as possible, including keeping guests spread out.

Make sure you choose the right amount of lanterns for everyone

A sky lantern release at a wedding reception.

This is important because you don’t want anyone to feel left out! The number of sky lanterns that you need will be based on how many people will be involved in the release. Typically, you will have two people share a lantern. Imagine if you had 200 guests; you would need 200 lanterns! Not only would that be pretty pricey, but it could also increase the risk of an accident. Of course, the least expensive option, and perhaps simplest, is if only the wedding party and/or bride and groom were involved with the release. It just depends on what type of vibe you’d prefer.

Purchase high quality products

Sky lanterns being released at a wedding reception.

This is a good tip since it’s really easy to become swayed with cheaper lanterns. High quality products are safer and will most likely work properly compared to less expensive models. Choose a reliable brand with solid reviews.

Only release the lanterns if the weather is right

We know—it would be disappointing if you couldn’t release your lanterns on your wedding because it’s rainy or windy, but that is the safest thing to do. Sky lanterns are meant to hang peacefully in the sky so if there’s a harsh wind or a chance of rain, the effect of the sky lantern release just won’t work. In that case, it might be a good idea to have a more cost-effective back-up plan in place for your wedding exit (like sustainable confetti or sparklers).

Staging the perfect sky lantern release on your wedding day is easy once safety and logistics are taken care of (and Mother Nature cooperates). Then, you and your guests can safely release your sky lanterns high in the sky for a peaceful and magical experience. And don’t forget to make a wish!

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