Happy Fourth of July! It’s only natural that we celebrate the holiday with our favorite wedding fireworks vendor, PrestoTechnics! This all-star firework show company is a favorite in DFW weddings because they don’t just shoot off fireworks at your event – they individually plan a show for each of their couples and integrate it smoothly into the reception. Co-founder, Preston Ward, is answering all our questions on their entertainment service and sharing what every bride needs to know before booking a fireworks show. Read on if you want to celebrate with a BANG!
Photo // Haley Rynn Ringo
When are the best moments to include fireworks at a wedding?
Usually I recommend waiting until the sun goes down. But that feels too obvious. We do a lot of displays at the end as a grand send off, but I always feel bad when the guest count has dwindled so low and nobody gets to see the show.
I always recommend around the toast time. Outdoor toasts and speeches work great!
What kind of space do you need to shoot off fireworks at a wedding?
Spacing depends on how big of a firework you want. The state requires 70 feet of distance between the audience and the firing site, per inch of the shell. We also look at things like trees, power lines, etc.
What is included in a package with Prestotechnics?
We offer three different package tiers: classic, premium and custom. They all include the product, show design, set up, clean up and at least two licensed technicians on site. The difference between the classic and premium is height of the effects and size of the firework. The premium and custom shows also include music of your choice during the display, for which we bring our own sound system.
With the custom show package we put the bride and/or groom in the driver’s seat, allowing them full customization of the display which is choreographed to music of their choice.
What tips do you have for a couple wanting to light up their wedding with fireworks?
Almost every time we do a display it is a surprise to someone. Unfortunately, more often than not it also ends up being a surprise to the photographer. My biggest tip is to make sure the photographer knows so they can prepare for those once in a lifetime photographs.
I would also recommend not checking the weather until the day of the event. I have seen too many times where a bride stresses herself out because rain is in the forecast a week out, only to have the forecast change ten times prior to the wedding, and it turns out to be a beautiful evening.
My last tip is to be sure to book a display with enough time for us to secure the permits. We strive to never say no to a bride and make every display happen, but the amount of time it takes to receive a permit is out of our hands. Almost every city and county has a different procedure. Some can take 30 days while others may only take a few days.
What makes Prestotechnics so unique?
I think what really sets us apart is the reason we started doing wedding fireworks in the first place. I am a practicing licensed attorney who has a love for fireworks and providing that “wow” moment at weddings. When I was getting married I wanted a display at my wedding, but being fresh out of law school and paying for the wedding myself, it definitely did not fit in the budget. It is the one thing I would go back and change if I could, so I want to make sure each bride or groom can have that moment.
The safety of the audience, facility, grounds, and operators is our top priority, so we do not cut corners. It takes a little longer to set up and clean up, but we feel it is important to shoot a show safely and leave a venue as clean as we found it. Also, many pyrotechnic companies usually do not assist their employees in obtaining licenses to avoid extra competition, but we do. We do not hire “seasonal” staff to set up for us; the staff that work for us are individually trained, and we help them become fully licensed. In addition to our site crew, either me or one of my business partners are present at every display that we put on.
What services do you offer beyond fireworks?
We offer a wide variety of special effects, such as sparkler fountains for exits, cold spark fountains for indoor use and exits, uplighting, lasers, cryo jets, flame effects, confetti cannons and sparklers.
How does weather impact a firework display?
Two questions almost always come up during booking – what impact does a burn ban have and what happens if it rains?
A burn ban does not prohibit the use of fireworks in a professional display. All our displays are permitted through the local authority having jurisdiction over the location, which is typically the city or county fire marshal. I’ve never had a local authority turn me down, even during the more stringent firework bans, due to the abundant safety precautions we take.
Rain isn’t as much of an impact as one would think. We’ve yet to have to cancel a wedding display due to rain. We just ask for flexibility in timing when shooting the display when rain is on the radar. We waterproof the product if there is a chance of rain, and we just need a small window so the audience doesn’t get wet. We understand a wedding show is a once in a lifetime event and cannot be rescheduled, so we put in extraordinary effort to keep the show going.
Thanks to Preston for sharing all his tips and insight on PrestoTechnics‘ fireworks displays. Reach out to Preston and the PrestoTechnics team directly on their vendor profile to get in touch about creating your own fab fireworks show. Cheers!