As any bride knows, wedding candles are an integral part of any ceremony and reception. They have so many uses that it’s important you choose your candles as carefully as you would choose your dress!

Candles are used for basic decorating purposes for both the ceremony and reception, but they also have more specific uses. Some couples use them in a unity wedding ceremony. The bride and groom each hold a tapered candle, representing their separate lives before they met. Together they light a pillar candle to show their union into a merged life. The three candles can then be placed in a beautiful unity and taper holder showing that the bride and groom are individuals but that together they are more. If either the bride or groom , or both, have children, they can be involved in the ceremony at this point by having their own tapered candles.You could choose a stunning theme for the unity candle and ceremony, such as Asian Fusion or Celtic Charm.

The Asian Fusion candles are a fabulous red, accented with black trim, while the Celtic Charm theme is a variety of beautiful, muted greens. Wedding candles offer a romantic element to the affair, creating a calm and peaceful environment.

Wedding candles add an ambiance like no other piece of décor

It doesn’t matter if you’re having a day or evening wedding, wedding candles add an ambiance no other piece of décor can. Tea-light candles can be strategically placed around the event to add a subtle charm and even scent, if you opt to invest in aromatic wedding candles. If you are worried about the tea light candles going out or causing a fire, battery operated “flickering” tea lights can be used. The flickering of the wicks give the appearance of real candles.

Some couples choose floating wedding candles for their décor. Outdoors, in the pool or pond, floating candle arrangements are stunning! If you’re having an indoor wedding, you can still incorporate the floating wedding candle idea into your ceremony or reception by placing the floating candles in a clear glass vase or container decorated to match your wedding theme.

The holders for your wedding candles are every bit as important as the candles themselves. You can choose plain candle holders that will blend in to the background, or wedding candle holders that match your theme. There are even gorgeous “suspended heart” unity and taper holders, which hold the three candles in a three branched, silver plated holder.

A candle wedding favor can also be a wonderful gift to give to your guests or bridal party. You can have the candle holder engraved with their name or special message showing your appreciation for their participation in your special day. Another great idea is a personalized wedding candle. For instance, a family circle personalized luxury candle, which features a monogram crest with space to enter dates and names around it.

Wedding candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can have large candles to decorate your event, and include miniature versions on each table for the guests to enjoy. One bride even had candles set up in martini glasses – a fun display that set the mood for the party after the ceremony.

Perhaps the most beautiful effect I’ve seen using candles in a wedding was at my girlfriend’s wedding! She chose to use luminaries, which made a lasting impression on all of the guests! As people walked along the path to the wedding, the effect of dozens of doves and hearts set a beautiful mood for the occasion! She even had the luminaries sprinkled throughout the area at her garden reception.

In case you aren’t familiar with them, luminaries are decorated bags.The bag itself is the décor, and inside the bag are tea light candles, which make the decoration shine through and bring the effect to life. They are safe to use and come with instructions so you won’t feel unsure investing in this unique form of wedding décor.

Contributed by Sharon Vaz