Chris Tinning is a pyrotechnician and creative director of leading online fireworks retailer Firework Factory. The company counts Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and WAG Coleen Rooney among its customers, and Chris has previously held the title of UK Semi-Professional Firework Champion.
Here are his top tips on putting together a firework display that will snap your guests out of their drunken stupor and end your wedding day on a high:
1. Don’t be limited by budget - Don’t be dismayed If you can’t afford a professional show, the effects created by DIY fireworks are getting better and bigger all the time and easily compete with many used by professionals. You can buy more fireworks for your money and create the same impact with a DIY display.
2.Ask the venue what is possible – If your reception is taking place at a venue other than your home it is best to ask the management what fireworks are acceptable and if they have relevant insurance. Even if the fireworks display is taking place at home I would recommend letting your neighbours know!
3. Don’t make it too long – If the display lasts for anything more than a few minutes people start to lose interest. It needs to be a short but spectacular display that wraps up the day nicely.
4. Think barrages, not rockets – All men love rockets, but ultimately they are not going to give you a good return on investment and there short-lived nature will make the display seem quite disjointed. Multi-shot barrages may not have the exciting appearance of rockets but they make DIY displays possible – often lasting up to several minutes.
5. Go big bore – All seasoned firework junkies know that the number of shots is not a measure of how spectacular a firework will be. As shot count increases, size often decreases, so for the loudest and boldest bursts stock up on big bore 25 to 30mm barrages.
Finally: Be safe – Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix. Ensure someone over eighteen and sensible is given responsibility for setting and lighting all fireworks.