8 Ways to Use Candles as Wedding Decor

An arch at a wedding ceremony decorated with flowers and hanging candles.

When it comes to wedding decor, it doesn’t get much more romantic and gorgeous than candlelight. This classic decor option can be utilized in many different ways, bringing both beauty and function into your ceremony or reception space. Nowadays, you can even purchase LED lights that mimic the flickering of real candlelight, so even if your venue doesn’t allow open flames, you still may get some use out of these ideas for using candles as wedding decor.

1. Mix it Up with Varying Styles

A table at a wedding with vintage candles.

Having candles on tables as centerpieces or part of the whole tablescape is a pretty common option for wedding decor but to add some interest, consider mixing the options up a little. Use matching taper candles with mismatched, vintage candlesticks for true variety, or even use different colored candles—some white, some black, and even some in your wedding colors—to add visual interest to your table look.

2. Use Lanterns Anywhere

Lanterns with candles hanging from a tree at a wedding.

Utilizing lanterns for your wedding decor is a great idea because they are extremely versatile and can be found in a variety of styles that will work seamlessly no matter what the theme or feel of your big day. Brightly colored lanterns are a great way to add a pop of color and have a bold look, while still keeping that more traditional candle aesthetic. Clear glass lanterns or even mismatched vintage ones would look amazing for lots of different aspects of your wedding decor. Lanterns make great aisle markers for either an indoor or outdoor wedding, amazing centerpieces for circular or banquet tablescapes, and add a gorgeous aesthetic hanging in your reception space.

3. Vary the Height

We talked about mixing up the color or style of the candles you choose, but there are other ways to add variety as well. Even when using candles in a traditional way, such as on your tabletops, varying the candle heights can create a unique look that adds elegance to your tablescape. Mini tea lights and votive candle holders mixed with larger pillar candles in vases or tapers with candlesticks add interest and dimension to your tablescapes and display areas.

4. Decorate an Altar Space

An outdoor wedding ceremony space with a large hanging flower wreath and candles.

Adding candles to your altar space can create a dramatic, beautiful look no matter how you choose to go about it, but bringing aspects of nature into the look, whether the altar itself is outdoors or indoors, can add an extra cool mood to the look. Placing pillar candles on tree stumps, flat rocks, or other natural elements is a simple way to make a big statement with your altar space.

5. Light the Way

Candles in glass votives lining a staircase.

If your venue has a path that you’d like everyone to follow, a simple way to add elegance and beauty to the walk is to line it with candles. This would work well with candles in vases, lanterns, or whatever aesthetic makes the most sense for the feel of your day. This is also the perfect choice for amping up the look of staircases and other grand entry areas. Lighting the path or stairs with candles looks elegant and classy in the daytime and becomes breathtaking at night.

6. Create a Candle Wall

Having a statement wall of some kind is a big wedding trend right now, from flower walls, to greenery, to balloons! But an awesome, unique option that will make a huge statement is to have a candle wall. Whether hanging small votives on a metal wall, hanging holders from the ceiling to create a “floating” look in front of a dramatic brick or stone background, or creating your own wall by using a group of tall candelabras, creating a wall of candles is a dramatic way to make a corner or wall area of your venue into a gorgeous backdrop for photos, cake-cutting, or other key wedding moments. This is also a great option if you love the idea of a statement wall, but are looking for a way to put your own unique spin on the trend.

7. Decorate a Mantle

A mantle at a wedding decorated with flowers and white candles.

If your venue space already has a fireplace, this is a super easy way to make a big statement. Fill the space with multi-height candles to create a soft, warm look in and around the fireplace. If your venue doesn’t have a designated fireplace available, you can still create this look by renting, purchasing, or making a free-standing mantel and then placing the candles in and around it. You get an instant gorgeous fireplace with minimal bells and whistles!

8. Float Candles

To add an extra-special something to your tablescape, consider incorporating floating candles into the look. This is an awesome option for giving a sweetheart table a little something different than the other spaces and you can choose a variety of different types of glass containers for the candles, meaning you can seamlessly fit this look into the general aesthetic of your day. Choosing floating candles rather than standard vases or candlesticks is a great way to make your couple-only space stand out.

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