The Prettiest Ways to Decorate Your Wedding With Candles

Here's how to elevate the ambiance.

Colorful tapered candles are lit on top of a wedding reception table surrounded by glassware and small pink flowers.

Photo by Michelle Scott Photography

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.

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Place Candles in Textured Glasses

Votive candles sit among pink roses and baby's breath on a wedding reception table.

Photo by Masson Liang Photography

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.

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Use Candelabras as Centerpieces

Reception Tent with Candles

Photo by Corbin Gurkin Photography

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.

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Hang Votives

Hanging greenery with candles

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

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.

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Add Votive Candles to Side Tables

White votive candles sit on a glass side table with a bouquet at roses at a wedding.

Photo by Stanlo Photography

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.

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Hang Tea Candles from Trees

Wedding table with a blue table cloth, glassware, a center tree, and hanging candles.

Photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie

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.

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Contrast Pillar Candles and Hanging Light Fixtures

Photo by Kyle John; Design by Kehoe Designs

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.

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Use Candlesticks and Taper Candles

Candlesticks

Photo by Melissa Oholendt Photography

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.

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Fill Open Spaces

Photo by Matt Lien Photography

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.

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Use Dramatic Candelabras

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

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.

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Mix and Match Metallic Containers

Candles

Photo by Jose Villa

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.

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Line the Staircase

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography; Flowers by The Bloom of Time; Planning by Taryn Leach Events

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.

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Create a Sky of Stars

Reception

Photo by Greer Gattuso

Create the look of stars in a clear-top tent by hanging glass orbs filled with tea lights. The more, the merrier.

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Make Your Staircase Sparkle

Photo by Christian Oth Studio

Make your grand entrance all the more grand on a staircase glowing with tea lights.

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Play With Height

Table Settings

Photo by Sarah Falugo

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.

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Make It Modern

Photo by Branco Prata

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.

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Use Gold-Rimmed Containers

Outdoor Altar for Atlanta wedding

Photo by Kelly Anne Berry

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.

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Use Taper Candles Above and Below

Photo by Davy Whitener

Make a show of white taper candles on the table and in the chandelier.

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Light the Way With Lanterns

Candles

Photo by Greer Gattuso

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.

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Ditch the Flowers

Candles at cathedral

Photo by Lisa Poggi

At this wedding in Italy, the bride used zero flowers and there's really no need when you have candles like these.

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Decorate a Fireplace

Candle lit fireplace

Photo by Brittany Mahood

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.)

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Go Vintage

Photo by For the Love of It

Photo by For the Love of It

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.

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Hang Bistro Lights

Photo by Nirav Patel Photography

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?

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Place Lanterns at the Altar

Floral arrangement

Photo by Sasithon Photography

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.

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Do Something Unexpected

Photo by For The Love Of It

Photo by For The Love Of It

Forget candles on the table (just kidding) when you can put them below the table. We're all about this unexpected idea.

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Accent With Cherry Blossoms

Candles and flowers

Photo by Samm Blake

Add candles and cherry blossom branches to a historic fireplace and you're done.

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Deck Out Dessert

Photo by Jose Villa

Mini votives make this table into one of the sweetest dessert displays we’ve ever seen.

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Design a Show-Stopping Staircase

Photo by Amanda Megan Miller Photography

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.

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Pose Among Candles

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography

Any candle-loving bride must pose for a pic surrounded by hundreds of candles.

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Use Small Candles in Mismatched Glasses

A white wedding cake sits on a white table surrounded by white flowers and small lit candles.

Photo by Haley Rynn Ringo Photo

At this wedding, the bride and groom opted for tiny candles in mismatched glassware to accent this stunning white wedding cake.

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