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Can you release lanterns at a wedding?

When planning a wedding, couples often look for unique ways to add some magic to their special day. From floral arrangements to centerpieces, everything should be perfect on the big day. One trend that has recently caught on is the release of lanterns during the wedding reception or as a part of exit celebrations. However, before making the decision to release lanterns, it is important to consider the potential risks and legal issues associated with their use. So, can you release lanterns at a wedding? Let’s explore this question in more detail.

What are Lantern Releases?

Lantern releases, also known as sky lanterns, are paper or fabric lanterns that are released into the sky. These lanterns are typically released with a lit candle or other heat source that causes them to rise into the sky. They are beautiful and often used to symbolize good luck, unity, or to make a wish.

Why are Lantern Releases Popular?

Lantern releases are becoming increasingly popular in weddings as they add a touch of beauty and magic to the event. It is a beautiful sight to see dozens or even hundreds of lanterns floating up into the sky. This creates an unforgettable moment for the couple and their guests that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

What are the Risks of Lantern Releases?

Lantern releases pose several potential risks that should be taken into consideration before deciding to incorporate them into wedding celebrations. First and foremost, lanterns could drift away and cause a fire. This poses a risk to both people and property. There have been many cases where lantern releases have led to wildfires, destruction of property, and injuries.

Secondly, lantern releases can pose a threat to wildlife and the environment. Birds, especially, can get tangled in the lanterns and hurt themselves. Similarly, when the lanterns come back down, they can litter the environment and cause harm to animals living in the area.

Thirdly, lantern releases could lead to legal issues. There might be restrictions on releasing lanterns in your area. This could lead to legal fines or even imprisonment.

Legal Issues Surrounding Lantern Releases

The legality of lantern releases varies depending on location. Some cities and states have banned sky lanterns due to safety issues or environmental concerns. It is important to check with local authorities and agencies before organizing a lantern release. You may need special permits or risk facing fines or legal penalties.

Alternative Ideas to Lantern Releases

If lantern releases are not feasible or legal in your area, there are still many alternative ideas that can help create unforgettable moments. Some popular alternatives include:

1. Bubble Send-Offs – Guests can blow bubbles as the newlyweds exit.

2. Sparkler Exit – Guests hold sparklers to create a magical atmosphere as the couple exits.

3. Confetti Toss – Guests toss confetti as the couple exits.

4. Petal Toss – Guests toss flower petals as the couple exits.


In summary, while lantern releases can add magic to your wedding, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and legal issues associated with them. Before deciding to incorporate them into your celebrations, it is important to check with local authorities and agencies, such as the Fire Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. If lantern releases are not feasible or legal in your location, there are several alternative ideas available that can create the same magic and beauty. The most important thing is to make your wedding day special and memorable in a safe and responsible way.


Is it illegal to release lanterns?

Sky lanterns have become popular for various events, such as weddings, celebrations, and festivals. However, while they create a beautiful spectacle in the sky, they can also be risky and dangerous. The question arises whether it is illegal to release lanterns or not.

The short answer is yes, it is illegal to release lanterns in many places. This is because sky lanterns are usually made of highly combustible material such as paper bags or light fabrics, and they are lifted by the heat generated by an open flame candle. The risk of fire caused by a sky lantern is significant and may lead to damage to property and injury or even loss of life.

Therefore, in order to protect the public and prevent the risk of fire, many regions and countries have prohibited the release of sky lanterns. It is essential to note that releasing a sky lantern can cause harm to the environment as well, as they can end up in wildlife habitats and pose a threat to animals and their natural habitats.

For example, in the United States, several states and municipalities have banned or restricted the use of sky lanterns. In the United Kingdom, the government has also introduced strict regulations regarding the use of sky lanterns.

The release of sky lanterns can cause harm to both people and the environment, which is why it is illegal in many regions and countries. While they are visually stunning, it is crucial to consider the potential risks that sky lanterns pose and find alternative ways to celebrate. It is always advisable to adhere to the laws and regulations in place for the safety of oneself and others.

What is the meaning of the sky lanterns at a wedding?

The sky lantern ceremony is a beautiful and symbolic gesture that has become increasingly popular at weddings in recent years. The act of releasing sky lanterns into the sky has its origins in ancient Asian cultures, where it was believed that the lanterns would carry people’s wishes and messages up into the heavens. Today, the sky lantern ceremony has come to represent the releasing of one’s deepest fears and desires. It is a symbolic cleansing, a letting go of everything that troubles you.

The lighting of the sky lanterns at a wedding is a powerful moment that symbolizes the couple’s hopes and dreams for their future together. As the lanterns rise into the night sky, they carry with them the couple’s love and commitment to each other, signifying the start of a new journey together.

Many couples also see the sky lantern ceremony as a way to honor loved ones who have passed away, releasing their spirits into the sky to join in the celebration of the couple’s love. The lanterns also serve as a reminder that those who are no longer with us are never truly gone, and that their memories and love will always be with us.

In addition to its spiritual significance, the sky lantern ceremony is also a breathtaking sight, adding an extra element of magic and beauty to the wedding day. The lanterns’ warm glow against the night sky creates a romantic and intimate atmosphere that is perfect for a wedding.

The sky lantern ceremony is a beautiful and symbolic gesture that adds depth and meaning to a wedding ceremony. It is a powerful reminder of the couple’s commitment to each other, the love and support of those around them, and the hope and possibility of a bright and joyous future together.

What are the rules for sky lanterns?

Sky lanterns are a popular decorative item used in various celebrations, festivals, and events worldwide. They are also known as “Chinese lanterns” or “floating lanterns”. While they may seem harmless, sky lanterns pose several safety concerns and are, therefore, subject to legal restrictions in many countries. Here are some essential rules for sky lanterns that must be followed to promote public safety and prevent mishaps:

1. Choose the right location: It is essential to launch sky lanterns in a large, open outdoor space, away from trees, powerlines, and buildings. A beach, a field, or an expansive park would be ideal. Avoid launching them in areas that are prone to wildfires or have dry vegetation as it can cause a fire hazard.

2. Check weather conditions: Check the weather forecast before launching sky lanterns. Avoid launching them in windy conditions as it can be dangerous and may cause accidents. Do not launch them during rain, snowfall, or any other adverse weather conditions.

3. Keep away from Airports: Sky Lanterns, for obvious reasons, should not be used close to airports. The reason for this is that the light emitted by Sky Lanterns may lead to confusion to officials responsible for monitoring the air traffic. Therefore, Sky Lanterns should not be used in areas where they may pose a risk or danger to aviation.

4. Avoid launching near roads: Sky lanterns should not be launched near roads or highways due to the risk of causing traffic congestion and potential accidents. If the lantern drifts onto the road and gets hit by a car, it could cause the driver to swerve and lose control, potentially leading to an accident.

5. Use only biodegradable lanterns: When purchasing sky lanterns, make sure that they are biodegradable and made of flame-resistant materials. Cheap lanterns made from non-flame retardant materials can ignite quickly, posing a fire hazard.

6. Don’t release lanterns alone: It is always safe to launch Sky Lanterns in groups. This would ensure that someone is on standby to help in case of any problem.

Sky lanterns are beautiful and enchanting, but they come with inherent risks and pose safety hazards if not used correctly. It is essential to follow the rules mentioned above and take safety precautions to prevent accidents and protect the environment. It is always wise to consult with local authorities and seek permission before launching sky lanterns to ensure that they comply with local laws and regulations.

Are sky lanterns littering?

Sky lanterns are a popular choice for celebrating events such as weddings, festivals, and special ceremonies. They are beautiful, magical and can create an unforgettable ambiance for any event. However, when the lanterns eventually run out of fuel, they fall to the ground, often in very remote or hard-to-reach locations, and their impact on the environment can last for years or decades.

The issue of sky lanterns as littering is a significant problem because they can cause serious harm to wildlife and the environment. Despite being advertised as “biodegradable,” lanterns made of bamboo can take decades to break down and can injure or entrap animals in the meantime. In addition, wire frames and other components used to construct the lanterns can take years or even centuries to decompose.

Furthermore, sky lanterns can also be the cause of dangerous fires. Reports of sky lanterns causing devastating damage to crops, property, wildlife, and even human lives are increasing in many countries. In Germany, for instance, over 30 animals were killed in a zoo after floating lanterns started a fire, deeply traumatizing the surviving animals and the staff.

Although sky lanterns are beautiful and create a memorable atmosphere for special events, they have dire consequences on the environment. They have been proven to cause harm to wildlife, ignite harmful fires, and contribute to littering. It is essential that we seek out alternative ways to celebrate, such as using LED lights or planting trees, to reduce the impact of our celebrations on the environment and wildlife. With our help and awareness, we can work towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future.