Today's Bride

Chinese Lantern Releases: Take to the Sky!

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It’s no secret that brides and grooms want their weddings to be memorable. From lavish ceremonies to exciting reception exits, they are continuously figuring out ways to up the extravagance of the big day.  One unusual way today’s couples have begun adding that “ooh” and “aah” factor is through the release of Chinese lanterns.

Photo by Dom Chiera Photography

Photo by Dom Chiera Photography

Chinese lanterns are no new symbol, however. These flying paper lanterns have been a long-standing tradition at Asian festivals celebrating the Chinese New Year. The flame of the candle in the lantern symbolized knowledge and wisdom for the coming year. For today’s weddings, however, these Asian staples have taken on somewhat of a new meaning. Lanterns released at weddings are said to be a token of the couple’s love: A bright light shining in a sea of darkness. Pretty romantic, right?

Not only are these releases a romantic tribute for you as a couple, but they can also be really fun for your guests. These lanterns really have the biggest impact when you’re sending off a huge cluster into the sky – so invite your guests to get in on the action! You might choose to have each of your guests make a wish for you, the newlyweds, as you embark on your life together. (For this reason, Chinese lanterns are also known as “wish” lanterns.) We can’t imagine a more perfect send-off for the evening!

Photo by Dom Chiera Photography

Photo by Dom Chiera Photography

Although it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of doing a lantern release, it’s important to remember that you’ll need approval first. Due to potential fire hazards, some venues – and even cities – have restrictions on releasing them. If your venue staff does provide clearance to do your release, make sure it takes place in a field or other open area where there’s little chance of a lantern getting stuck in a tree, power line or other overhead obstruction.

Fortunately, to deter that there are now several vendors who sell safer models that come with flame-resistant paper and are 100% biodegradable. Most lanterns will fly to more than 1,000 feet in altitude and will travel several miles in distance. After about 20 minutes, the flame is supposed to blow out and the lantern gently floats back down for a safe landing. However – because of the unpredictability that comes with such a lengthy trip – it’s important to make sure you adhere to all safety warnings and proceed with extreme caution.

If you are able to carry out your release responsibly, it will certainly make for a memorable moment at your reception. (And they’ll look great captured in the photos your photographer snaps!) Because of the obvious beauty these lanterns can bring, be sure to keep them on your radar as you and your fiancé search for inventive additions to add to your wedding!

Photo by Riverfront Photography

Photo by Riverfront Photography

BCR Studios by Brad

Photo by BCR Studios by Brad

Photo by Riverfront Photography

Photo by Riverfront Photography

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