Aisle Guide

There are few things we love more here at Aisle Planner than an über-romantic candlelit affair. After all, is evening wedding decor really complete without the flicker of a few (or a few hundred) flames? But, as much as we love a tablescape dripping in candlelight, candles happen to be one of the wedding-decor areas where logistics and rules can burst a couple's bubble quicker than you can say pass me the matches. Today, then, we're shedding serious light on all you need to know about candles at your wedding.


1. Not all venues allow open flame.


This one is a biggie. If your heart is dead-set on candlelight as part of your wedding decor, make sure you and your wedding planner talk to your venue about any restrictions on candles. Certain venues might not allow them at all, while others will have requirements surrounding them (i.e. all candles have to be enclosed in glass hurricanes). Other venues might allow for candlelight indoors, but not outside (due to environmental regulations or high fire-danger levels).


2. The time of year might affect whether you can have candles or not.


Depending on the time of year you tie the knot and the area's current fire-danger level (low, moderate, high, extreme), a venue that allows candles in February might not allow them in August during peak fire season. This is especially true for forested areas and public lands. Be sure you work with a pro or talk to your venue directly so you can avoid getting caught by surprise when you're not allowed to light those 300 votives your florist brought.


3. There's a chance of ruining linens.


When it comes to candles (and that super moody dripping-candle-wax effect so many weddings are going for these days), there's always a chance to ruin linens—this is especially true if your candles aren't enclosed in glass hurricanes. Make sure you understand the logistics of what you'll owe if linens are ruined, and work with your florist or event designer to figure out ways to avoid any damage while still achieving the aesthetic you want.


4. You'll have to deal with hot wax at the end of the night.


When tons of candles are involved, wedding teardown isn't exactly a breeze. Hopefully, you're not the one responsible for teardown on your wedding night (check out our Aisle Guide piece on the logistics of wedding decor setup and teardown for more on that)—but, either way, if your planner is only allotted a tiny time slot for loading everything out, you'll want to consider how candles and hot wax come into play.


5. There are plenty of alternatives that still make an impact.


Any professional event designer will tell you lighting makes all of the difference when it comes to setting the mood for a celebration—so don't scrap lighting all together just because candles aren't in the stars for you. From funky, suspended Edison light bulbs to romantic string lights to chic chandeliers, the options are endless when it comes to candle-alternatives that still make a flaming impact. Head to the lighting section of our Inspiration Gallery for tons of inspo—and also never underestimate the power of a good electric votive; there are tons of super realistic, flickering options out there that can be turned on and off at the simple touch of a single remote button (yes, please).

Hero photo courtesy Whiskers & Willow