Reception Trend: Light it Up

Wish lanterns provide a grand exit

At Lauren Russo and Zach Hill’s July 16, 2011 nuptials, held at the bride’s family home in Roche Harbor, guests were left staring openmouthed. Not at the seven-course meal or the sumptuous cookie bar, but at the stunning flotilla of glowing paper lanterns released into the night sky. While brainstorming grand exits with event planner Stephanie Solomon of Solomon Event Planning, the high school sweethearts found inspiration in the bride’s proud Italian heritage: the lightweight, hot-air-propelled floating lamps often used in Asian and European nuptials to symbolize a wish for good luck. At the end of the evening, friends and family penned good wishes and loving sentiments to the couple on more than 50 lanterns, simultaneously lighting and releasing the glowing orbs into the air as the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Hill gazed at the spectacle. The green-minded bonus? The lighted wicks automatically extinguish a mile up in the air, and the lanterns are biodegradable. Sold in packages beginning at $17.99 for five lanterns at

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