How to Add Lanterns to Your Wedding Festivities
Looking for something truly unique for your wedding? Releasing wish lanterns into the sky would add a memorable and gorgeous moment to your special day. Tendai Matsika from Wish Lanterns guest blogs this week with advice on how set up everything for your big-day lantern launch, and how to make the moment safe and enjoyable for all of your guests.
A wedding should be a memorable experience, celebrated by friends and family. As such, you should consider what some of the highlights of your day should involve. If you’re thinking of how to make your big day something out of the ordinary, “wish lanterns” maybe just what you’re looking for. Designed to illuminate the midnight skies, these contraptions are rather popular for a variety of ceremonies.
If you aren’t too familiar with wish lanterns, here’s a little background into these interesting devices.
1. What are wish lanterns?
Wish lanterns are just like hot-air balloons, only miniature versions. They consist of a paper cover, frame and fuel cell. When lit, they inflate and, within a few minutes, have airborne capabilities. In Asia, they carry a spiritual significance and are used in ceremonies, including weddings and annual cultural festivals. Taiwan even hosts a festival solely dedicated to releasing the lanterns into the sky, with tho
usands being released every year to ward off disease and evil spirits from the area.
Wish lanterns originated from China and have been used for centuries. They’ve grown in popularity all over the world, with a company known as Wish Lantern being the first to offer them for purchase in the USA.
2. Do I need a professional to set them up?
Unlike fireworks and other fire shows, flying lanterns don’t require professionals to set up or release. What’s more, you don’t need any special permit to operate them, though it’s a good idea to let your venue know your plans. Most wish lanterns come ready for use right out of the packaging. All you need to do is light up the fuel cell, wait until the lantern is fully inflated and let it go. We’d recommend having one for every guest and releasing them all together at a special moment in the evening.
3. Will I set fire to a tree or house – or my wedding dress?
Trust us, you’re completely safe. Although there is some controversy surrounding the product, this has to do with cheap knock-offs that don’t adhere to safety standards. The ones sold by the company Wish Lantern are completely safe and bear a set of safety instructions on the packaging.
We recommend that you release them in an open field far away from buildings and trees just to be safe. Once in the air, the fuel cell will die out and the lantern will fall from the sky, flameless. However, it’s generally advised that you have a fire extinguisher handy. And, if you’re planning to have children as guests at your wedding, don’t leave them unattended with the lanterns. You also shouldn’t release the wish lanterns in wind exceeding 5 miles per hour, so check on the weather forecast in advance.
You are if you buy the cheap knock-offs. Make sure you purchase bio-degradable lanterns, as these are environmentally friendly. When purchasing, remember to look out for the green recycling sign that reads, “Eco-Wishlantern /100% Biodegradable”.
5. How do I plan the whole shebang?
A good idea would be to release your wish lanterns just after the sun sets, perhaps at the end of your ceremony or start of your reception. Well before the day of the ceremony, inform guests of the event and list instructions as well as safety procedures so that they know what to do. This will save you time and lessen the chances of anything going wrong. Have helpers ready to hand out the lanterns as you head out to release them, perhaps your bridal party, family or the venue’s staff. It would be a good idea to give firelighters only to grownups.
As the bride and groom, you should consider whether you should release your lanterns first or not. Thereafter, the rest of your guests can follow. However, you can try your own choreographed release, as there are no conditions as to how you should carry out the ceremonial activity. Make sure your photographer is clued in on the wish lanterns, so that can be prepared for the amazing photo opportunity of your wish lanterns lighting up the sky.
Tendai Matsika is the content manager for Wish Lantern and authors numerous entertaining articles that can be found on his Google+ page. He can also be followed on Twitter for more engaging content @Tsikmode.
(All images supplied by author.)