You Light Up My Day! I Mean… My Night!

I’ve been looking for cute and inexpensive ideas for lighting our reception (besides the recycled paper lamps I want to make). I thought that candles could add a great romantic look, so the search began, and this was what I could find:

Good old paper bags! This one is the least expensive option. Wow! It looks so cute!

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Cinnamon! Ohh I love cinnamon. I actually always keep a piece in my wallet; it smells sooo nice!! And “Canela” (the Spanish translation) was the first baby name I picked when I was a little girl, so I would love to do this!

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Make your own wax votives? I’m down for that! But will I have enough time to do this? Um – I don’t think so! But maybe you’d like to give it a try smile028.

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What about using rocks? Or just painting fake stone textures? This isn’t one of my favorites, but it was definitely worth the share.

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What about pine cones or corn husks to wrap around glass votives? Neat, huh? (Side note: Can you believe that I just NOW learned who Martha is eek04? Yup! I found her work only when I started planning our wedding. I remember asking my FMIL who she was because I heard about her a lot. LOL)

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But then I thought, ‘Hey! Maybe we won’t be allowed to light anything there? It might be a fire danger zone! So, I went back to the paper lantern ideas again smile028.

This tutorial has been seen on lots of blogs and it’s so simple! I love it.

This one comes with REALLY easy instructions found here. How cute would it be to stencil over some of my recycled paper? It looks pretty in my head… LOL.

Okay, so this has NOTHING to do with lights, but I ran into them while looking for luminary ideas.

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Last week I started working on a nest made from fresh branches, so now I’m more familiar with the materials, and I already have the idea in my mind to make my own “cute balls”. This is something I’m doing for SURE, once I’m in California. So, as soon as I make them, I’ll post a DIY tutorial to share. Stay tuned!

These are all my random lighting ideas. Want to share yours? If you are having an outdoor reception, how are you planning on bringing light to your party?


Mrs. Poodle

Santiago, Chile/San Bernardino, CA
Wedding Date:
January 2010
Love, Texas Style: Post Ceremony Formalities
Fiddle-ing Their Way to My Heart
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  1. Member
    Newport Nuptials 1268 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:19 pm

    We are having an indoor reception with lots of white votives. We’re going for a soft romantic look.

    I am in love with the cinamon candles you have!

  2. Member
    Gator 607 posts, Busy bee @ 3:28 pm

    I just bookmarked the home made wax votives! Thank you so much :)

  3. moonbeam Member
    moonbeam 1711 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:33 pm

    Weddingbee should be paying you!

  4. Member
    luckily 38 posts, Newbee @ 3:33 pm

    I love the paper bag idea… so simple, but so pretty! If they won’t let you use candles, I’ve hear that batter powered LED votives (the flickering kind that mimics a flame) look pretty authentic too.

  5. Member
    Karma007 381 posts, Helper bee @ 3:37 pm

    I love the cinnamon stick idea! That is so cute!

  6. Member
    evelinej 370 posts, Helper bee @ 3:38 pm

    I love the vine balls. I had a few of them for decor. They hung from a ribbon. I hadn’t thought of them for centerpieces but it’s a great idea.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Megan, Guest @ 3:44 pm

    The cinnamon sticks would be so delicious!

    My centerpieces were the same as the calla-lilly grapevine centerpieces, I even used the same inspiration photo!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Megan, Guest @ 3:44 pm

    @Megan: delicious smelling I meant. opps…

  9. Member
    alishaneva 2152 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:51 pm

    Great ideas here! I do treasure the idea of paper bags. There’s something so pretty about them. When I was a kid, we used to line sidewalks with them and cut designs in them for different holidays (of course, pumpkins for halloween were the easiest)! The recycled paper lanterns are great as well. Now I’m starting to think … this could be bad.

  10. Member
    mary-alice-me 1864 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:34 pm

    I had an outdoor, daytime wedding, so I didn’t worry about any of this. You’ve got some great ideas, though — I love that second photo.

  11. Member
    Jenniphyr 3426 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:43 pm

    I like the look of the lines of paper bags…but what a fire hazard! =S

    Love the cinnamon candles and the “cute balls”!

  12. Member
    ladybuglove 740 posts, Busy bee @ 6:19 pm

    love the paper bags and the 2nd pic! actually, they’re all great inspiration pictures!:-)

  13. Member
    jadedragon 27 posts, Newbee @ 6:23 pm

    ive always wondered… doesnt the paper bag have a risk of lighting on fire if its tipped or blown over and the candle flame catches?

  14. Member
    peachesandtulips 408 posts, Helper bee @ 8:20 pm

    Oh, I LOVE the cinnamon-wrapped candles! Gorgeous, warm and cozy.

  15. mouse Member
    Mrs. Mouse 5689 posts, Bee Keeper @ 3:14 am

    I really like the cinnamon and the corn husk candle holders! I bet the cinnamon would smell sooo good! I’ve heard of placing candles in a jar filled with coffee beans so the fragrance fills the air. I LOVE the smell of coffee, so that would be perfect!

  16. poodle Member
    poodle 3386 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:36 am

    @Jenniphyr: I know! That’s why I don’t think we’ll go with that!

    @jadedragon: I’ve never worked with them, but that’s exactly the reason I’m not going to either, even tho idea luckily the LED idea is the perfect solution for that

    @Miss Mouse: uhhh coffee smell!! – that’s just awesome!!

  17. Member
    Champagne Wishes 1187 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:12 am

    We are doing the paper bags too! We are printing a word from a line of a poem on each bag then lining them up down the aisle. The great thing with paper bags is we can do a test run and it won’t break the bank!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    anon, Guest @ 11:45 am

    @jadedragon: They usually have sand or something in the bottom so it’s hard to blow them over.

  19. Member
    NixLapi 558 posts, Busy bee @ 3:29 pm


    Just FYI you can somewhere, somehow get fire retardent paper bags for just this purpose (the Cancer relays around here use them).

    We’re having an a late-afternoon outdoor ceremony and plan on having some form of torches light the way to the reception. They probably won’t be super elegant, but they’ll fit in with our cottage/resort venue and require the least amount of set-up time!

  20. Member
    Jessie516 5480 posts, Bee Keeper @ 8:14 pm

    So many great ideas! My sister actually made candleholders like the ones with cinnamon around them for her centerpiece at the holidays last year. They smelled great and were easy to make.

  21. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 2:18 am

    i love the ‘Canela’ ones! maybe i’ll make some to give away as small Christmas gifts!!

    i used tall lanterns from Ikea to create a ceremony space. it was safe because the candles wouldn’t fall over, and they wouldn’t get blown out either!

  22. Member
    kvpoe 82 posts, Worker bee @ 10:06 pm

    you keep cinnamon in your wallet? like a piece of cinnamon stick? that’s awesome/weird :) it’s definitely one of my favorite smells ever. You’ve got a lot of excellent ideas here! The only plan I’ve got for lighting is to string up a bunch of big, round, white paper lanterns — I think they’re so elegant!

  23. poodle Member
    poodle 3386 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:46 pm

    @kvpoe: I know! Lots go my friends think it’s weird too – but after they smell my wallet they are also doing that hehe – I love the round white paper lanterns!!

  24. Member
    kmattso2 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:43 am

    I really like the simple brown paper bag luminaries…they look so cute lit up at night.

  25. msbuttons Member
    msbuttons 5014 posts, Bee Keeper @ 7:30 pm

    Paper bag luminaries are just so old school and fab! I love how they look! You could always trim the tops of them in interesting shapes (scallops, etc).

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Light up the backyard wedding « something borrowed, something blue, Guest @ 1:59 pm

    […] to your wedding reception with playful, colorful bags with candles inside of them. Check out for an example of what this would look like. This simple, cheap decoration will not only lead the […]

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