Guide to Wedding Candles

Your wedding is no minor affair. You’ve found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, and your love story is finally coming to its ceremonial culmination — but now the real work of planning your wedding begins. From compiling the guest list and sending out your invitations to picking your theme, deciding on your flower arrangements, and choosing your decor, planning the wedding you’ve been dreaming of depends on a wide variety of factors coming together in just the right way.

Cost of Lighting Weddings

When it comes to creating an ambiance just right for your wedding and reception, lighting makes a big impact on your atmosphere and the overall success of your event. For the average couple, lighting, decor, and flowers make up about eight percent of their total wedding budget. Candles can be ideal for the right lighting aesthetic — but before you start factoring them into your budget, it’s important to consider the kind of candles you need. With so many candle types, decorative holders, and ways to arrange your lighting creatively, decorating with candles for a wedding is a can seem like a process all its own — but if you keep our tips in mind, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

If you’re wondering how to decide on all the candle-related details, like how many to buy, where to buy candles for a wedding, and how to choose the best candles for your wedding reception, you’ve come to the right place. From candle types to creative ways to arrange them, here’s everything you need to know.

Different Types of Candles for Your Wedding

Maybe you’ve never stopped to think about the variety of forms candles come in. You’ll have to decide between LED vs. wax candles for your wedding, compare various shapes and sizes, and then choose the right candleholders to make your lighting stand out.

To make the process easier, start by deciding what kind of candles you think will fit best into the venue and theme for both your ceremony and reception. Here are the types you have to choose from:

1. Tea Lights

Small and usually circular, tea lights are delicate, tiny candles that fill a fitted plastic, metal, or glass cup and burn inside their containers without leaving any residue or needing candleholders to keep them stable and clean. Tea lights can make for a magical atmosphere at your wedding — whether you put them out on their own, pair them with a tasteful collection of candleholders to set them at varying heights on your tables, or string them up around the room in lantern holders. These little lights are ideal for creating an enchanting ambiance without taking up too much space or adding excessive glare.

2. Votives

Votive candles are similar to tea lights, but they’re not built into cups or holders. Still, they are small, sleek lighting choices that can really create a romantic ambiance for your wedding. Votives often burn easily for extended periods of time — up to 15 hours, in fact — making them an ideal choice to keep your wedding glowing throughout the night (or day!). Because they won’t usually come with built-in holders, though, you’ll need to select candleholders to keep the wax off your surfaces. At Jamali Garden, you have a variety of beautiful options in different shapes, materials, and colors to pick from, depending on your wedding theme. These low lights will cast a warm, alluring glow.

Burning Votives for Wedding

3. Pillars

Commanding, classic, and elegant all at once, pillar candles bring a sturdy, traditional presence to your wedding’s decor while providing ample light. They often come in thick cylindrical or square shapes, and they work perfectly in a variety of lighting designs — you can incorporate them into your centerpieces by arranging them on a decorative tray or plate, or you can raise them above the rest of your decor with striking candleholders in a variety of materials and styles. The candles themselves can also come in a multitude of colors, textures, and designs. No matter what you choose, your pillar candles will burn long and bring traditional or modern style to your wedding.

4. Taper Candles

Also known as candlesticks, this candle variety can be simple and traditional but also sleek, stylish, and graceful — it all depends on how you arrange them and what kind of candleholders you choose. Taper candles earn their name because of the way they narrow slightly toward the top, tapering off to the tip and the wick. They’re available in a variety of colors, and they can be arranged independently in elegant candlestick holders or clustered together in a classic candelabra for a stunning impression. If you’re aiming for a more upscale ambiance in the theme of your wedding, tapers are always a tasteful option.

5. Floating Candles

If you’re looking for a lighting option that is a little more exotic, enchanting, and creative than candlesticks or pillars, you might try floating candles. They create dazzling, whimsical arrangements for weddings with themes anywhere from elegant and sophisticated to earthy or exotic. These little lights float on the water to reflect light and create a magical atmosphere at your wedding. Buy them at a decor provider such as Jamali Garden or learn how to make your own floating candles for your wedding with these instructions:

  • Heat paraffin wax on a double boiler on your stove.
  • Add scents and colors to suit your style by stirring in essential oils and dye chips to the melted wax in the inner pot.
  • Pour your heated wax mixture into circular molds or those of your preferred shape.
  • Add in a wick to each liquid candle.
  • Allow your little light creations to harden, providing you with the perfect candles for your wedding.

6. LED Lights

Trying to decide if you want to use real candles vs. LED lights for your wedding? If you’re hoping for the warm, welcoming effect of a candlelit glow when it comes to your wedding and reception lighting, but you don’t want to incorporate the potential risk and mess of traditional wax candles and their flames, you might be more comfortable choosing flameless candles for your wedding reception.

Using LED lights in wedding

Using electricity instead of fire, LED lights imitate the look and light quality of traditional wick candles — while being significantly easier to set up, attend to, and clean up after. They’re available in a variety of candle shapes like tea lights, votives, pillars, and taper candles, and they can be just as luminous and lovely as the real thing.

What to Look For in Wedding Candles

Besides the differences in style as well as LED vs. wax candles, there are other factors to consider when decorating with candles for a wedding. When you choose your candles, think about the following factors:

  • Shape and Size: Depending on how you’re planning to use your candles in your decor arrangement, specific size and shape can be important in the execution of your lighting plans. For example, if you need to light a large area, bigger candles like pillars are probably your best bet. If you’re trying to fit your lighting into a specific type of centerpiece, votives and tea lights might be more versatile. Don’t just think about what style you like when picking your candles — envision your decorative scene and what kind of candles will fit in practically as well as aesthetically.
  • Wax Type: Most traditional candles are made out of paraffin wax, but more and more couples today are opting for unusual candle ingredients that are more eco-friendly or less mainstream. If going green — as well deciding on something outside the norm — is important to you and your soon-to-be spouse, consider searching for and choosing candles made from palm wax, soy wax, or beeswax. As well as reducing your wedding’s environmental footprint, these alternative wax candles can have a refreshing look and scent all their own.
  • Longevity: Your candles will be burning to provide illumination and decoration throughout your wedding and reception, so you want to be sure they’re up to the task. To make sure your choice of candles won’t burn down too quickly or warp too much with melting, look for high-quality candles with specific lasting hour amounts listed.

How Many Candles to Buy for Your Wedding

When you’ve decided on your candle types, it’s important to anticipate the number of candles you’ll need to make your aisle light up and illuminate your reception room and tables just the right amount. After all the time you’ve spent choosing the best lighting options, you don’t want to come in short when it’s time to set up the lighting and decor for your reception, but you don’t want to overdo it, either. So how many candles are needed for a wedding?

How many candles for wedding

When estimating your necessary number, think specifically about your wedding ceremony, reception venue, and reception tables. Are candles the only source of light, or are they merely a decorative addition to the ambiance? Odds are, your candles are there to complement an electric source of light with traditional authenticity and aesthetic style — so you won’t need an overwhelming amount, but your candle needs do depend on how you intend to use them.

Are you lighting your aisle with candles? Use enough to make it clear you’re creating a candlelit path, but don’t overdo it with a candle every few inches — space them out, perhaps every two rows on either side, and estimate the pairs you’ll require based on the number of rows you know there will be.

For tables, think about your guests’ seating arrangements and your planned centerpieces. Are your candles part of your centerpieces — like a staggered cluster of pillar candles on a tray, for example — or are they there to offset the rest of your decor? If your candles are the main attraction, you’ll need significantly more to fill each centerpiece at each table, but if they’re an extra decoration, placing one or two between or around centerpieces on either long or round tables will suffice. Make sure to plan the number of candles you’ll anticipate per table beforehand, and use that amount to estimate what you’ll need for the entire reception. For small choices like votives, tea lights, or floating candles, you’ll obviously need to use significantly more.

Ways to Light Your Wedding With Candles

If you need a little extra inspiration for creating candle displays that take your breath away, illuminate your imagination with these starter ideas:

  1. 1. Lighted AisleDo you want all eyes on the bride during the wedding ceremony? Consider using your candles to create a magical, stunning pathway of light to lead you or your spouse down the aisle during the culminating moment. Use tea lights or lanterns for an especially enchanting effect. You’ll be glowing with happiness, and your guests will be dazzled.
  2. 2. Shimmering PathIf your reception venue is on the same grounds as the wedding itself and you plan to walk from the ceremony to the festivities, lighting a lovely pathway to guide guests to the reception is another classy, magical way to utilize the beauty of candles. They are ideal in either an outdoor setting or along a dimmed hallway. Your guests will feel the sizzle of love and magic as they make their way to your reception.
  3. 3. Dancing LightsPlanning the first dance as a romantic, enchanting start to the post-wedding festivities? Do it in style and stunning beauty by surrounding the dance floor with tea lights, pillars, or lanterns to illuminate each other’s faces and awe the audience as you share your first dance.
  4. 4. Statement FlamesAiming for a dramatic, romantic look? Make a statement with a signature candelabra setup on the sweetheart table of the bride and groom. In a semi-darkened or darkened reception hall, the light of a statement candle arrangement on the sweetheart table can highlight the bride and groom even more, all aglow with love and candlelight.

Using candelabra in wedding

  1. 5. We Are One FlameA tasteful, traditional, and timeless way to use your candles is by carrying on the classic ceremonial step of unity candles. In this tradition, the bride and groom follow their vows by each lighting a special tapered candle and lighting a large pillar candle together to symbolize their joining as one entity. Often, these candles are selected or decorated intricately or especially for this purpose — some couples even engrave their initials or wedding date on the unity pillar candle to save as a keepsake.

Where to Buy Bulk Candles For Your Wedding

There are so many more beautiful ways to decorate with candles for your wedding. Whatever your aesthetic, venue, and vision, when you need to buy the best candles in bulk for your special occasion, Jamali Garden is your ideal source. Offering a wide variety of stunning, quality candles and candleholders in so many styles, sizes, and materials, we aim to inspire and implement the wedding of your dreams. Explore all our unique options and order online today – we offer wholesale pricing options so you can get the quantities you need for your wedding at prices you’ll love.