Incorporating Candles from Start to Finish

By Audrey Isaac,

It should come as no surprise that candles are one of the most popular elements of a wedding. With their romantic glow and soft flicker, they are the perfect tools for couples to create the warm and welcoming atmosphere that they want for their celebration.

From the vows to the final moments of the night, here is how you can include candles in every step of your special day.

The Ceremony

While the ceremony is a relatively short part of the wedding timeline, it remains the most sentimental and meaningful moment of the day. What better way to capture the intimacy of the ceremony than with soft candlelight? Line the aisle with tall vases or luminaries filled with pillar candles for a breathtaking aisle to walk down.

Better yet, incorporate candles into the ceremony proceedings to signify your commitment! The unity candle is a special tradition with three candles at the altar. Each of the newlyweds holds a lit candle and, together, they light the third candle to represent their joining in marriage. To say the least, it can be a very emotional and meaningful ritual.

The Cocktail Hour

Cocktail hour can seem like just a transition between the ceremony and reception, but keep in mind that it’s the first time that guests get a chance to socialize and chat before the reception. If the cocktail hour space is separate from the reception area, consider keeping it simple with votive candles on cocktail tables. If the two spaces are one and the same, feel free to let the reception décor do the work.

The Reception

It probably comes as no surprise that the majority of the décor is saved for the reception space – it is, of course, where most of the time is spent. Between dinner, dancing and dessert, the reception is a time for celebrating the couple’s marriage and joining together as friends and family. While professional lighting is often used on the dance floor, use candles to complement the feel and highlight special places, like the sweetheart (or head) table, the cake table and the guest book table.

Keep in mind for all parts of your wedding to discuss your lighting plans with your venue coordinator, especially if it’s an indoor property. With candles, you’ll want to stick to the fire regulations – in some cases, battery operated candles may be a better choice.

The Post-Wedding

For guests, the wedding ends as they leave the venue. For the couple, however, the magic is only just beginning. Get in touch with your wedding night accommodations to see if they can set up some battery-operated candles before you get there – that way, the mood will already be set upon your arrival. There’s no better way to end your perfect day!

Everyone’s wedding day is different, but it’s safe to say that candles can help give your special celebration feel just the ambience you were looking for.

Audrey Isaac is the spokesperson for 100 Candles, a wholesale market for candles and lights. Since 2002, thousands of wedding and event professionals have entrusted 100 Candles with their wholesale candle accounts. For more information, please visit