37 Ways to Use Colorful Taper Candles at Your Wedding Reception

Colorful candlelight is a whimsical way to decorate for your wedding day.

Burgundy candles on tablescape

PHOTO BY NIRAV PATEL

Soft, flickering candlelight is an absolute plus at your wedding reception—after all, everyone looks better by candlelight. And while white and ivory taper candles are a classic choice, we also love the more playful idea of colorful candles on the table. They’re unexpected, fun, and an easy way to add a pop of color to the overall reception space.

What Is a Taper Candle?

A tapered candle is a long, thin candle with a cylindrical base that narrows on top. They could be plain or twisted and are generally inexpensive, making them a good decor option.

Colorful tapered candles are especially helpful in setting the mood for any aspect or setting of your wedding. You can line them up along the aisle, include them in your altar setup, or incorporate them in your reception table setting, as they're more commonly used. Tapers in blush tones render soft romance, pastels add whimsy to any setup, neutrals feel rustic, and dark hues like burgundy or black add a sultry romantic vibe.

Tapered candles are also a great way to make a tablescape more cohesive by matching them to your dinnerware or centerpieces or to further enhance themes, especially seasonal ones. For fall, consider using warmer seasonal shades like marigolds, oranges, or plums. For winter, consider frosted hues like dusty blues, blacks, and grays. You could even make them the focal point of your table, whether you flesh out your table with candles or keep the look minimal with a scant smattering of them. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite colors and ideas in the taper-candle spectrum, from dusty rose and soft blues to black and forest green—and every color in between.

Here are 37 colorful taper candle ideas to use at your wedding.

01 of 37

Pair Blush Pink With Gold

Blush pink candles on gold candelabra

Photo by Rachel Pearlman

You can’t go wrong with blush and gold—it’s such a classic color combination. Complement lush, garden-inspired pink centerpieces with brass candleholders paired with soft-pink candles to create a soft, romantic glow throughout your reception space. We especially love how the candles fit perfectly with the table number and the plates.

02 of 37

Add Drama With Height

Burgundy candles on tablescape

Photo by Nirav Patel

This couple’s outdoor reception combined rustic wooden tables, mix-and-match antique chairs, vintage French plates, and cut glassware. Tying the look together were the burgundy taper candles down the center of every dinner table. Plus, the extra-long length added drama!

03 of 37

Go Modern With Black on Black

Black candles on tablescape

Photo by Carla Choy Photography

Mixing and matching black ceramic dishware with black taper candles creates a modern, cohesive look. Add clear-glass bud vases filled with fresh greenery to help keep the overall tablescape elegant and light. We love the varying heights of the metal candle holders to add dimension and interest.

04 of 37

Add Whimsy With Dusty Hues

Blue candles on tablescape

Photo by Ryan Ray

Taper candles are an easy, affordable way to add a luxe look to your reception tables, especially if you're keeping everything else on the table budget-friendly. Start with simple bud vases containing a single bloom, add sprigs of fresh greenery, and round out the look with a trio of candlesticks. We love how the dusty hues of this tablescape feel so whimsical!

05 of 37

Match the Foliage

Forest green candles on tablescape

Photo by Hazelwood Photography

Create a moody, into-the-woods vibe by choosing rustic, wooden dining tables topped with lush garlands of fresh (and fragrant!) cedar. Candles in a dark-green shade blend in perfectly and will add a warm glow as the sun goes down. To keep from going overboard on the verdant hues, add other materials like crystal glasses.

06 of 37

Top Off Greenery With Gray

Thin grey candles on wooden table

Photo by O’Malley Photographers

Complement lush and verdant-green centerpieces with simple gray candles to add a dose of understated elegance to the table decor. We especially love how the low centerpieces were paired with extra-tall candles on brass candleholders.

07 of 37

Match Your Florals

Dusty rose candles on tablescape

Photo by Jamie Rae

Create a cohesive tablescape by coordinating your florals, napkins, and candles. This dusty rose shade is romantic and sophisticated. Plus, it really pops against the bright-white table linen.

08 of 37

Add Pops of Color to an All-White Table

Shades of blue candles on tablescape

Photo by Kate Osborne Photography

For a chic and modern look, choose an all-white tablescape. Then mix and match taper candles in varying shades of blue (or another color in your wedding palette) to add a bold pop of color. Note that the blues popped even more on these white candlesticks.

09 of 37

Add Gravitas With Navy

Navy blue and gold tablescape

Photo by Sawyer Baird

Navy pillar candles added a hint of gravitas, plus a grounding color and element, to this couple's reception table. The darker details also coordinated perfectly with the vintage blue-and-white place settings and made the colorful floral arrangements pop. Pair a light-colored linen with deeper-toned accents, like these navy votive holders and candles, to add depth to the overall tablescape.

10 of 37

Add Warmth With Yellows

Yellow candles on white tablescape

Photo by Jose Villa

This couple’s reception was held in a modern, all-white barn in Napa Valley. Guests dined beneath an installation of fresh greenery, and yellow taper candles added warmth and glow to the space. Bright and sunny candles paired with cheery orange and red florals create an energetic and uplifting vibe.

11 of 37

Try Nude on Nude

Nude candles on table setting

Photo by Tec Petaja

Use tapered candles to accentuate design elements that are already present, like how these nude taper candles on wooden candleholders matched the wooden plates and votives. Coupled with the garland of spirea branches, the cohesive nude-on-nude style felt so fresh and modern. Keep the tan shades far from boring with a pop of color in the table linens.

12 of 37

Match the Location

Barn inspired table setting

Photo by Katelyn Mallett Photography

Consider taking inspiration from your venue and incorporating its colors and textures. In this barnyard wedding, with tons of woods and straw, the couple used candles that brought out the barn's different elements like the woods and hay. The fact that they used multiple colors—brown, ivory, light rose—made the setup even more cohesive and elevated the rustic look.

13 of 37

Infuse Orange Hues for Fall

Pumpkin-inspired table

Photo by Casa de Perrin 

If your decor is seasonal, consider looking to the season for color inspiration. For a fall wedding, try using marigolds, oranges, or burnt siennas. This couple used warm orange candles to match the wooden table lined with multicolored mini gourds and dried flowers. We love the mix of tapers and non-tapers, too!

14 of 37

Consider Lilac for Summer

Floral centerpiece

Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings

Warmer weather means colorful blooms and citrus fruits. With a smattering of cut kiwis, oranges, and dragonfruits alongside an arrangement of wildflowers, this centerpiece meshed the two to create the perfect summer spread. To match some of the more vibrant hues in the centerpiece, like those purple wildflowers and dragonfruits, the couple opted for lilac candles in glass votives.

15 of 37

Match Pinks With Berries

Simple wedding centerpieces with pink candles and fruit

PHOTO BY GIA CANELI PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN BY AMONG THE WILDFLOWERS 

For a summer picnic vibe, draw color inspiration from fresh fruits—which can totally double as wedding favors for the guests if you're also using them as decor. Including peaches, plums, and strawberries perfectly matched the hues of the simple floral arrangements while the use of blush pinks in clear candleholders served as the perfect subtle backdrop to make the reds shine in this garden wedding.

16 of 37

Incorporate Blues for a Winter Romance

Blue and gray tablescape

Photo by Kristina Adams Photography

For a winter fête, consider incorporating shades of blue, ivory, and gray. This rustic winter spread mixed different glass hues—mercury glasses, gilded candleholders, and tall transparent votives. The pop of a few pale blue candles against the wood accents, mercury tones, and robin's-egg blue linen was especially breathtaking.

17 of 37

Get Peachy

Fruit table décor

​Photo by Mike Larson; Event Planning by Bash Please; Floral Design by Marigold; Rentals by Theoni CollectionBright Event RentalsFound RentalsLa Tavola Fine LinenFrances Lane & GotLight

Nothing screams "fresh" more than delectable shades of peach. Peach candles are such an easy way to add a romantic glow that feels modern and a little bit playful. This tablescape showcased peach candles in clear, tall glass votives and incorporated peach roses and fruits strewn on the table. It's both elegant and eclectic.

18 of 37

Incorporate Black

Black candles on tablescape

Photo by Jamie Mercurio Photography

While some steer clear of using black in weddings, black candles can add a touch of understated elegance to any setup. In this wedding, tall black tapers in different antique candleholders added drama and sophistication to the more muted grays, beiges, and metallics of this table.

19 of 37

Use a Dramatic Candelabra

<p>Reception Tent with Candles</p>

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

Sometimes, it's the vessel that counts. For a high-drama tablescape, use a candelabra with multiple prongs. This couple used five-pronged golden candelabras topped with ultra-thin white tapers for an elevated fantasy look. Lumier, is that you?

20 of 37

Choose Muted Pastels

Hints of pastel tablescape

PHOTOGRAPHY Samm Blake; FLORAL DESIGN Doe and Jay Studio; DAY-OF COORDINATOR The Day Of Company 

Candles in muted dusty hues are perfect for complementing centerpieces rather than overpowering them. We especially love how the couple paired taller tapers with the shorter, more minimal floral vases with dainty sprigs.

21 of 37

Find Unique Shapes

Hanging lights above table

Photo by Elena Popa Photography

The shape of the tapered candle can affect the mood of a tablescape. If you're looking for a more one-of-a-king table, consider using extra-pointy candles in varying heights. There's a certain dark, whimsical aura about this decor that we love, especially when paired with hanging lights.

22 of 37

Add a Pop of Orange

Candlelit table for Fall

Photo by Rachel Takes Pictures

Embrace the season's colors and elements. We love how this couple incorporated orange candles on brass candleholders. The candles popped in a tablescape of dried floral arrangements.

23 of 37

Keep It Bright With Cobalt

Colorful tablescape with blue candles

Photo by Pat Furey; Rentals by Tableset Luxury Rentals

For a bold pop of color, consider matching your candles to your vivid table runner. This couple used a simple cobalt blue table runner to pop against the wood and tied the look together using the few blue candles on gilded candleholders. A bright, sunny tablescape perfect for an outdoor bash.

24 of 37

Keep It Dainty With Powder Blue

Blue taper candles

Photo by Flora & Flauna; Event Planning by Tall & Small Events; Floral Design by Athabod 

This pretty table setting used a variety of delicate flowers in small clear vases and powder blue candles to add a dainty pop of color. We love the choice of blue in this otherwise simple and muted table, giving the tablescape a soft, feminine vibe. Choose varying colors, but keep to pastels to maintain a cohesive springtime appeal.

25 of 37

Consider the Vessel

Simple wedding centerpieces

PHOTO BY LAURKEN KENDALL; FLORAL DESIGN BY SARAH WINWARD 

Sometimes, it's not just about the candle color but the vessel the taper is mounted on. This artsy tablescape made use of funky pieces and shapes, just look at the graphics on the plates and the wispy, dried centerpieces. We especially love how the dusty rose candles, placed atop the pink silk table runner, were mounted on funky ceramic white votives.

26 of 37

Keep It Minimal With Light Pink

Simple pink wedding centerpieces

PHOTO BY REBECCA YALE PHOTOGRAPHY; FLORAL DESIGN BY WILD BLOOM BY KRISTEN GRIFFITH-VANDERYACHT 

This couple had a bare, mostly minimal table and we loved how they used a row of tapered candles to serve as the table's chic focal point. The choice of light pink added a subtle romance to the rustic venue.

27 of 37

Consider Gray Neutrals

Gray linen on reception table

PHOTO BY CHRIS AND RUTH PHOTOGRAPHY; Planning and Design by Laura Bravi

Gray candles are a wonderful way to add a candlelit glow to the evening without drawing too much attention while also rendering a warmer neutral to blend in the background. This tablescape used gray and white candles for that warm glow that perfectly framed the gorgeous floral centerpieces and decadent glasses.

28 of 37

Flank Altar With Tapers

Wedding photo booth with candles

Photo by Shannon Rosan

While tapered candles are more commonly seen on reception tables, there are other ways to incorporate them in your wedding. This abstract ceremony setting is a great example of how a simple setup of candles can give any altar a warm ambiance.

29 of 37

Match Your Hanging Garland

Greenery-inspired reception venue

Photo by Jeremy Harwell

If you opt for a hanging garland, you may want to limit your centerpieces to keep your focal point up. At this wedding, the couple left the table mostly bare but added dark-green tapered candles on clear, acrylic vessels (that matched the chairs) to complement the hanging centerpiece and make the look more cohesive. We love that the candles direct your gaze upward!

30 of 37

Shades of Red for Fall

Fall tablescape
Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

Here's another example of candles that match the overhead decorations. But instead of opting for one color, this couple chose to bring out the many hues of the fall-inspired centerpiece and employ a line of candles in varying shades of red. We love how the tapers pop against the whites, browns, and greens of the venue.

31 of 37

Go Bohemian With Blacks

Black bohemian tablescape

Photo by White Willow Photography

We can't get enough of the versatility of sleek black candles. When paired with deep reds, golds, and browns, black candles render a sultry, bohemian vibe. This table incorporated black tapers on gold candlesticks paired with charcoal gray ceramics and linens, gold-plated wineglasses, and ruby carnations. Doesn't it look sexy?

32 of 37

Vary Candle Heights

Reception table with black candles

Photo by Sarah Falugo

One great technique to make your tablescape look much more elegant and interesting is to have candles of varying heights. You could either use tapers of different sizes or use a combination of votive lengths to add flair to your table. These black candles were mounted on mini, midi, and tall votives. Just exquisite.

33 of 37

Contrast Colors

Yellow candles on blue tablescape

Photo by Inga Avedyan

Pick bold, contrasting colors for an unexpectedly fresh vibe. This simple table combined wooden chairs, white florals, and a blue tablecloth and runner. Yellow tapered candles mixed with lower, chunkier ones popped against the blue tablecloth and runner.

34 of 37

Get Creative With Your Sweetheart Table

Colorful sweetheart table

Photo by Braedon Flynn; Venue: Casa de Monte Vista

When crafting your tablescapes, don't forget the sweetheart table! You can turn this special table into a colorful work of art with fun, bright pillars in varying heights. Just take a look at this bohemian, gypsy-inspired Palm Springs wedding with pink and purple candles climbing from the floor that perfectly match the vivid oversized floral arrangement and the marigold runner.

35 of 37

Mix and Match Vivid Hues

Teal and purple tablescape

Photo by Lilly Red Creative

This tablescape looks like a gorgeous oasis filled with lavender orchids and birds of paradise. The rich lilac and teal elements are perfectly complemented by the teal tapered candles mounted on brass candleholders. For a vibrant tablescape like this one, don't be afraid to pair different vivid hues.

36 of 37

Complement Ikebana Arrangements

Simple wedding centerpieces ikebana style

PHOTO BY HEATHER WARAKSA OF THE WEDDING ARTISTS CO; PLANNING BY ELIZABETH MCKELLAR OF THE NOUVEAU ROMANTICS; FLORAL DESIGN BY VINE GARDEN MARKET 

Ikebana centerpieces are inspired by the Japanese art of floral arrangement. They're often asymmetrical and use less common wildflowers or greens. Complement a unique arrangement with a minimalist candle and candleholder. This couple opted for black tapered candles on square acrylic vessels to accentuate the green centerpiece more.

37 of 37

Keep It Simple

Simple wedding centerpieces with yellow candles

PHOTO BY JENNY FU; FLORAL DESIGN BY FLOWERS IN YOUR HAND 

While candles often complement the other elements in a table setting, you can also opt to make minimal tapered candles the focal point. This elegant tablescape makes use of both thick and thin sunny yellow candles on brass candle holders. The yellow hues work well with the wooden elements in the farmhouse-style reception venue. Simple but elegant.

Related Stories