As the reception wound down on Saturday night, the newlyweds unveiled a final surprise: large paper lanterns that upon lighting the base would fill with hot air and then float away. Beautiful concept, especially as we were to light and them release them over the bayou. Eight of us lined up, readied our white lanterns (the bride and groom's was a large red heart), watched them puff up and then let them go. There's a burn ban in effect in southwestern LA right now, no one had thought to check the wind direction, and we were lighting these to the immediate right of a group of pine trees . The first lantern cleared the pines, the second just barely, and the third, fourth and the red heart flew straight into the tree. My co-Maid of Honor and I, both very type-A, exclaimed, "what a bad idea" and "y'all, that tree is now of fire." Some guests poo-poohed our suggestions to do SOMETHING, but others hauled ass to find ladders and water. It was funny in a ridiculous way. One reveler started throwing objects at the red lantern in the hopes of dislodging it from the branch in which it had nestled and caught. The hose wouldn't reach, the ladder wasn't high enough. The remaining lanterns were not saved but rather lit and released. One caught in a tree. My co-MOH and I continued to express some disbelief about the sitch, and T was hilariously aghast.
Fortunately, the flames receded, and all was well, but really, wouldn't a fire have been an unfortunate cap to the evening?! Here's the red heart the morning after.