So you've done it, you've chosen your venue for your wedding! That's amazing! Good for you! First thing to do is have a toast. The venue is one of the biggest pieces of your wedding day vision. Now you get to start putting all of the ideas together for design.
Candlelight is our fave design element and can really elevate the experience for both you and guests. Who doesn't love some sparkly, low light during dinner time? This post is all about how to check and make sure you know what your venue's rules are for candles and how to achieve what you are looking for while still keeping everyone safe (I mean, we don't want to burn the building down with all of our fiends and fam inside) and the venue happy.
What is an open flame policy?
Read through your venue contract! It should have a clause in there about candles. Do they allow them at all? Do they allow open flame? Don't see that policy? Ask! Before you go through the investment of time and money into developing your lighting concept, make sure you are clear on the policy.
What do I do if my venue doesn't allow candles at all?
Some places will only allow flameless candles and if that's the case hunt down that awesome friend who has a Costco card and go grab their giant pillar candle pack. It's usually there during the holiday season and they last forever. We bought ours 3 years ago and they are still going strong and get sent out on events all the time. ALSO! Make sure to ask your florist or planner, a lot of us have them and can totally rent them! Consider using fairy lights as part of your decor vision. IKEA and the Dollar Store often have them and they can really bring the romance to a candle free venue. Or just grab you some mercury glass and stick a faux tea light in there and no one will be able to tell the difference!
My venue allows candles but no open flame? How do I do the things?
So glad you asked! First, you have to decide on the look you are going for. If votives are your jam, they are super easy. See below for a few recs on where to rent and what candles to get to create the perfect design!
If you are wanting the super trendy taper look, first source your candle holder. Then go about looking for your fave taper candle to gorgeously burn all night long. Now, measure the entire height of the votive plus the candle and assume the flame will be about 2" tall.
I have to do this like 8 times because math is not my thing. Once you have that number be on the look out for glass cylinders to sit over the top of the taper. They need to be tall enough to be an inch taller than the entire holder AND candle PLUS the flame! They look pretty darn cool. Again, ask your vendors. MH Events owns our own and love to rent them to our couples!
If you are renting votives or holders remember they do not come with the candles you need! You will need to provide your own candles!
Lastly, let's talk about being a good renter of candle holders and votives. There are some awesome places to rent these super cool items for your wedding. Party Place and Vintage Meets Modern are our faves. Remember that these items are only yours for the actual wedding day. As soon as they come back in to the shop, they are cleaned up and sent back out for another awesome couple to enjoy. You can also be charged for getting wax all over tables and holders which a real bummer. So here are a few quick tips to be kind, rewind (we used to have to do that at Blockbuster....) for candle rental return. Get dripless tapers! Trader Joe's white ones actually work really well! Or get on Amazon and find some that match your color scheme and order a few to try them out at home first.
If you're going for the votive look, consider sourcing fuel cells instead of tea lights. They are waxless and burn for way longer than a standard tea light. I have linked our fave ones on Amazon so click on fuel cells! Clean up is a super breeze, you can just dump them in the trash and not get wax all over the inside of the votive. Wax tea lights are less expensive though so if you go that route make sure you talk to your vendor team about blowing them out and letting the wax harden before dumping the tea lights into the trash.
Be a nice candle person!
All of us vendors will all thank you for it!