Having a candlelight wedding.

A candlelight wedding is full of sparkle and warmth.  Using candles at your wedding is an easy way to play up a cozy atmosphere.  Here are six simple tips for safety and efficiency when using open flames and candles of all types at your wedding.


You need more candles than you think.

If you want to make a big impact you need to double or triple the number of candles you think you need.  There are at least 20 candles on this 10 person place setting.  Plus about 10-15 more on the brick wall shelves behind it.  A large number of candles are needed to impact the entire room with a warm glow.

The same is true for electronic LED candles.  More is better if you want candlelight to be a major part of your wedding.


Candle vases should be sturdy so they won’t tip over.

This is true for an indoor or outdoor candlelight wedding.  For both electronic and flame candles.  If you don’t use sturdy candle vases you could be cleaning up broken glass at your reception.

 I’ve attended weddings where candles are put in flimsy little vases with nothing to stabilize them.  Then a guest reaches for something at dinner, knocks one over and it breaks.  Make your candle holders sturdy so a breeze or accidental brush by a guest won’t knock them down.   Use weight in glass vases to stabilize them.   Weight can be a heavy candle, water, or flameproof filler like rocks.


Use wax catchers if your guests will be holding flame candles.

Always think of safety first with flame candles at a candlelight wedding.  Holding candles is a fun way for guests to participate in your wedding ceremony.  Flame candles drip even for a short 15-minute ceremony.  So find elegant looking wax catchers to keep your wedding guests safe from wax burns.


Keep candles away from cake and flowers.

You want a candlelight wedding because you love the look of flame candles glowing and flickering.   Remember that wax, burns or soot on your wedding cake and flowers is a real risk.  A good candle alternative is strings of mini led lights.  They’ll twinkle and glow just as nicely as candles while keeping your cake safe.

Hint:  Just like candles, you need more mini lights than you think if you really want to pull off a sparkling effect.


Be careful with flame candles if you rent your wedding linens.

Having a candlelight wedding with real flame candles can be damaging to your reception linens.  Wax and candle soot are difficult to clean up.  Sometimes linens hit with candle residue or wax can’t be cleaned.  Blowing out candles causes small embers to hit the linen and burn holes in it.  This can also be unrepairable.

If you decide you must use flame candles don’t blow them out.  Use a candle snuffer to minimize the risk.  Small amounts of damage might be covered by your deposit, but before committing to flame candles check with your linen rental company.   They might recommend using flameless LED candles instead.


Find a photographer who has experience shooting a candlelight wedding.

All the pictures in this blog combine on or off-camera flash with candlelight.  There’s no 100% “natural light” happening here.

Candlelight weddings usually have low light.  Make sure you tell potential wedding photographers about your candle plans when interviewing them.  Ask about their experience working with low lighting situations.  Pick a photographer who has the lighting solutions needed to achieve what you want with your candlelight.

If you’re planning a candlelight wedding in Minneapolis let’s talk about how I can help you capture the glow of your day.

More real candlelight wedding inspiration on the Knot.