Candlestick Centerpieces

It occurred to me a few days ago that I have mentioned several times how we’re not using floral centerpieces, but never actually let you all in on what WILL be gracing our tables.

I knew right off that big, lush floral centerpieces wouldn’t be in our budget, and I have always loved candlelight, so I admit that I was pretty drawn to candle centerpieces right from the start. I wanted to make them dramatic, though, and I figured that the best way to do it would be to have tapers at each table, but didn’t have any idea how to make enough of a statement with them. That is, until I ran across this picture in a magazine probably at least a year ago:

(Photo credit for Martha, of course)

I loved the look immediately. I also saw right away the potential for a very “Phantom of the Opera”-type drama for this look in our deep purple.

The problem then was how to get enough candlesticks. Let me tell you, most taper candlestick holders are not cheap! I tried the usual suspects: eBay, Craigslist, etc., but finally settled on thrifting them from around the city. It was an ambitious project, given that we needed about 100 candlestick holders to have enough for all of the tables, but after about four months of thrifting once or twice a week (and a few additions from my dad and step mom’s adventures!), I was able to collect over 100 of them.

This is just a small sampling of our collection. I love all the different heights and shapes!

*Please excuse the poor quality photos, we’re in the middle of unpacking and it was just a drive-by mock-up!*

I also picked up some wax candle adapters, which I had never heard of until I started wedding planning:


(Photo Credit)

They apparently keep tapers from tipping over in holders that aren’t sized perfectly (which is a definite risk when you’re thrifting them!), so we won’t have crookedness like the middle candle in the picture I took above.

Then I ordered the purple taper candles in bulk for $75 from the cheapest place I could find them, and voila, we had centerpieces! I resolved not to spend more than four dollars apiece on each of the holders, and most were only a dollar or two, so all in all I spent about $350 getting gorgeous centerpieces put together! That was one of greatest budget-slashers, since the floral quotes I was getting here in the city were running in to the several thousands, even for simple arrangements.

Are you incorporating candles into your centerpieces? How are you trying to make them unique?


Mrs. Star

New York City
Wedding Date:
October 2009

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  1. Member
    star 2107 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:04 am

    @BeachyBride2010: Oh, that’s such a fun idea! What a great friend you are!

  2. Member
  3. Member
    MexicanGirl 724 posts, Busy bee @ 11:53 am

    very chic and (what’s more important) cheap idea! i think they’re going to look great!!

  4. Member
    msbuttons 5014 posts, Bee Keeper @ 12:05 pm

    What a great idea! And what perseverance to collect that many of them…so smart!!!

  5. Member
    alishaneva 2152 posts, Buzzing bee @ 4:43 pm

    Such a fantastic idea! They look so great and will be so awesome on your wedding day!

  6. Member
    doublemint921 499 posts, Helper bee @ 3:27 pm

    What a great find(s)!! I love the Phantom of the Opera feel you mentioned! Definately sounds like it will fit right in with all your other wedding projects. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together in the end. It’s al so dramatic sounding. It will be stunning! :)

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Rebecca, Guest @ 7:43 pm

    I love candles and think they are a GREAT alternative to the normal flower centerpieces. I think for my wedding we are going to put tea lights inside mason jars.

    ***One quick and really amazing tip though for taper candles, is to keep them in the freezer until you are ready to use them. This, somehow magically prevents the wax from dripping and could potentially prevent any unfortunate linen damages!

  8. Member
    star 2107 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:50 pm

    @Rebecca: Ooh, that’s a great tip — where did you hear that from?

  9. Member
    Jenniphyr 3426 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:20 pm

    Ooh, candles. And Phantom of the Opera…awesome!

  10. Member
    libra5979 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:44 pm

    I came across your recap posts and saw your centerpieces and just had to go looking for this post.
    The Martha pic is also my inspiration, and after an unfortunate incident of ordering 180 candle holders online that ended up being orange (!!!), I am thrifting my way to my total.
    Have you considered selling your stash now that you are post-wedding? Like, to a lovely couple in Arizona? :-D (Seriously, though….)
    They turned out beautifully, and now I am even more sure on our decision to scour every thrift store in the valley. Thanks for totally making my day!!

  11. Member
    star 2107 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:18 pm

    @libra5979: Aww, thanks! I adored how they looked at our wedding and would do all the thrifting again in a heartbeat. I already sold them to another bride, actually, but she commented on my latest post — maybe she’d be willing to sell them to you after her wedding?? Worth a shot! Good luck! ;)

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