Candlelight produces a certain kind of romantic allure that casts a glow—both figuratively and literally—on all elements of a wedding. Whether you choose to decorate your reception tables with colorful, tapered candle centerpieces, or you opt for large votive candles in an outdoor space, candles add a timeless je ne sais quoi to the big day.
As you'll see in the images below, an open flame is undeniably stunning both in real life and on film. All those flickering flames cast an amber glow that creates an unparalleled ambiance and looks amazing in photographs. (We also happen to think that everyone looks especially beautiful in a candlelit space).
Below, you'll find examples of candle-accented décor done just right. From tapered candles of varying lengths on elegant tabletops to pillar candles lining a winding staircase, you're sure to find the right lighting for your wedding style.
Place Candles in Textured Glasses
At this stunning wedding, small votive candles were placed in textured glasses and set out among the bouquets on dinner tables. The glowing affect is stunning.
Use Candelabras as Centerpieces
To create the look for a formal soirée, place tall gold candelabras on your tables. As this Tara Guérard designed wedding proves, they can easily elevate an otherwise simple display.
Here, hanging votive candles in geometric orbs make this industrial wedding venue feel oh-so romantic. And, of course, the additional pillars and votives on the floor don't hurt either.
Add Votive Candles to Side Tables
Discrete and elegant, these votive candles add a glimmering accent to a side table (especially one made of glass) that beautifully compliments a bouquet of flowers, like these light pink roses.
Hang Tea Candles from Trees
How beautiful is this layout? Not only is there a tree coming up through the middle of the table (surrounded by ferns and flowers), but the couple opted for tea candles hanging in little glass circles, as well as taller standing column candles.
Contrast Pillar Candles and Hanging Light Fixtures
You know when they say "more is more," well this Chicago wedding is the perfect example. We love how these pillar candles are used in groupings on the tables and also in the hanging light fixtures up above.
Use Candlesticks and Taper Candles
A gold candlestick and a white taper candle can do no wrong, as shown here with a lush garland of greenery, fruit accents, and small white votives.
Fill Open Spaces
Sometimes, it's smart to fill open spaces with candlelight. And it's really smart when said area is as pretty as this metallic edged mantel.
Use Dramatic Candelabras
Here, tall candelabras make a statement on long tables and add an old-world touch that meshes well with the historic space. When you're working with a venue this gorgeous, it's really best to not compete.
Mix and Match Metallic Containers
We're obsessed with these sleek mini vessels. Mix and match metallic containers (each filled with a votive candle or tea light) to create a simple yet modern display on the cake table.
Line the Staircase
We can't decide if this candle-lined staircase is more for show or necessity. For one, it's smart to line tricky areas (like staircases) after dark, but this setup is so dreamy that we'd be tempted to say "I do" here, too.
Create a Sky of Stars
Create the look of stars in a clear-top tent by hanging glass orbs filled with tea lights. The more, the merrier.
Make Your Staircase Sparkle
Make your grand entrance all the more grand on a staircase glowing with tea lights.
Play With Height
When you spend months curating the perfect tablescape, you best show off your handiwork by mixing in candles of varying heights. These tall, black candles and mini votives make the perfect pair.
Make It Modern
When you think of candlelight, you often think of a very ethereal, romantic look. But you can totally make it modern by using sleek cylinder vases like these.
Use Gold-Rimmed Containers
Okay, we know you've seen pillar candles placed on the floor. But how cool are these gold-rimmed containers? We have heart-eyes for them—and this backyard wedding in Atlanta.
Use Taper Candles Above and Below
Make a show of white taper candles on the table and in the chandelier.
Light the Way With Lanterns
Lanterns add a special touch to the entrance of this historic church. We especially like how the containers' black rim matches the black iron railing.
Ditch the Flowers
At this wedding in Italy, the bride used zero flowers and there's really no need when you have candles like these.
Decorate a Fireplace
You typically see taper candles on set dining tables but they look especially great around this brick fireplace. (Seen here also with pillar candles, votive candles, and candle-filled lanterns.)
We're obsessed with these gold candlesticks, which look as if they were hand-selected from a number of vintage shops to create the perfect (or not so perfect) arrangement.
Hang Bistro Lights
We can't get enough of this light-filled scene. Who knew the balance of taper candles on tables and bistro lights up above could be so perfect?
Place Lanterns at the Altar
You already saw lanterns lining a staircase but you can also use these for added romance at the altar. We especially like them clustered in asymmetrical groupings, using different sizes.
Do Something Unexpected
Forget candles on the table (just kidding) when you can put them below the table. We're all about this unexpected idea.
Accent With Cherry Blossoms
Add candles and cherry blossom branches to a historic fireplace and you're done.
Deck Out Dessert
Mini votives make this table into one of the sweetest dessert displays we’ve ever seen.
Design a Show-Stopping Staircase
While we adore greenery-covered railings (we do) it's really the candles that transform this show-stopping staircase. We'll pose here for bridal portraits, please and thank you.
Pose Among Candles
Any candle-loving bride must pose for a pic surrounded by hundreds of candles.
Use Small Candles in Mismatched Glasses
At this wedding, the bride and groom opted for tiny candles in mismatched glassware to accent this stunning white wedding cake.