WEDDING WEEK - Planning a Sky Lantern Send Off

Images by our wedding video team SHO Films, Album Design by Rachel Anne's Photography

Images by our wedding video team SHO Films, Album Design by Rachel Anne's Photography

One of the most magical moments from our wedding was when Sam & I sent Sky Lanterns into the night sky with our guests at the end of the Reception. Over the years, I have had brides ask me for tips on how to make this, somewhat intimidating, trend happen at their wedding...without burning down the venue ;)

10 Tips for Planning a Sky Lantern Send Off

  1. Ask Permission - Talk to your Event Coordinator and call your local Fire Dept. to confirm your plans and see if there are any rules/restrictions.
  2. Purchase Count - You only need to purchase about 1/3 of your RSVP'd guest count.  1 lantern per couple/family, keeping in mind that a portion of your guests will have already left by that point in the Reception. (We purchased 50 lanterns for our 175 guest count.)
  3. Online Deals - Once you've got your count, head online to score some deals! We purchased our wedding Sky Lanterns at  This company carries different shapes, colors, sizes, and multi-packs...and often features SALES! ;)
  4. Colors & Shapes - Play up your wedding theme with matching colors! Sam & I purchased 50 Eclipse Sky Lanterns in a combination of pink & purple. We also bought 2 white ones individually: 1 for the two of us to send off together at the Reception (white for the bride!) and the other to use as a test before the wedding!
  5. Test it First - It's important to test one at home before the wedding day...that way you can learn the lighting process. While the lanterns you order should come with instructions, you don't want to have to read through them at the wedding and risk ruining the excitement of the moment. Plus the way the lanterns fill with air tends to be a little finicky. Practicing ahead of time means you can learn the best method to use at your wedding.
  6. Ask for Helpers - Invite some of your Bridal Party over when you are testing the extra sky lantern. It is a great way to teach them how the process works, since they will be the perfect people to help explain the process to your guests that night!
  7. Easy Lighting - Purchase BIC Stick Lighters for your Bridal Party to take around and light the guests' sky lanterns. These stick lighters make the lighting process quick & easy as they stay lit with the click of a trigger. No hassling with matches or small, traditional sized lighters!
  8. Talk to the DJ - Be sure to coordinate with your DJ so that he can make the big announcement when it's time for everyone to head outside. Also, so that he knows his dance floor will be empty for that part of the evening and he will have the chance to take a personal break.
  9. The Countdown - When it's time for the big event, make it FUN! Gather your guests into a crowd or a circle with you two, the bride & groom, in the middle.  The happy couple gets to be the first to set their sky lantern off into the night sky, guests follow their lead!  Count it down with a YELL...3...2...1!
  10. Anniversary Extras - After it is all done, be sure to keep any leftovers...make sure no one throws them away! On your anniversary each year, set one off wherever you are.  Or even go back to the very spot from the night of your Reception and remember the love you felt on your wedding day =)  That's what Sam & I did on our first anniversary, super special!

With these helpful tips, Sam & I hope to be
capturing photos of you by the light of a Sky Lantern Send Off! ;)

Rachel AnneComment