Displaying fireworks for a wedding has long been a UK tradition. Aside from the visual spectacle, a fireworks display serves as a beautiful conclusion to a lovely night. Some couples opt for a simpler and more intimate show, such as lighting up wedding sparklers. Others want a magnificent display of colours and lights. Whatever method couples choose, a fireworks display can only improve a meaningful ceremony like a wedding.
How It All Began
Although fireworks were created in China, it did not take long before Europe recognised its beauty and how it can magically make occasions extra special.
The War of the Roses
The first use of fireworks in English history was in 1486 during the wedding of Henry VII of the House of Lancaster to Elizabeth of the House of York. Apart from the union of two essential people from two opposing houses, the celebration was extra special because it was considered the official end of the "War of the Roses" or the war between two kingdoms. Since then, fireworks have become a common sight at weddings of the elite.
The Winter Queen
Another notable wedding firework display in the UK's history occurred on the wedding of the "Winter Queen" Elizabeth Stuart to Frederick V at Whitehall Palace. They got married on Valentine's day of the year 1613. Three consecutive nights before the wedding, the night sky at the Thames was filled with beautiful sparkles that amounted to £8,000 of their total £100,000 budget. It was considered one of the most expensive fireworks displays in the world at the time.
Queen Alexandra’s Wedding
Fast forward to 1863, another grand fireworks display occurred and should be recorded in the fireworks timeline. It was during the wedding of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. The Queen organised everything herself because, according to her, she had never seen fireworks in her entire life.
Everything was carefully planned and decided. Even the seating arrangement was designed so that the guests could see the fireworks display without any interference.
The First Non-Wedding Related Display and the "Fire Master" Appointment
When Queen Elizabeth I entered the picture, she hosted an event for the same reason: she had never seen fireworks before and wanted to be surprised. The main difference between this event versus others was that there was no special occasion to celebrate for the night. She only wanted to see them. Fortunately, the Queen enjoyed every minute of the display.
Because of her fondness for the exhibition, Queen Elizabeth I decided to appoint a "Fire Master" at the palace to take care of the fireworks on every given occasion.
In Europe, fireworks started as an expensive display that only the elite could afford. Nowadays, fireworks have become an affordable and accessible form of entertainment that can make any moment extra special. Although it can be used in many different scenarios, weddings are one of the most popular.