Nothing tops a candlelit wedding flooded with tapers, votive light, lantern light, + tiny twinkle lights. I have yet to meet a bride who doesn’t say within moments of speaking for the first time: “oh, and I want tons of candlelight- just boatloads.” Aww- bless your heart, don’t we all?!
We most often find ourselves on a private property in the middle of nowhere, building out a wedding from the ground up- our favorite kind. The blank slate is a designer’s dream, and it gives me the opportunity to think like an architect, developer, general contractor, + decorator all-in-one. Creating truly experiential weddings is way easier without four walls + a bunch of silly rules to hem you in.
That being said, wind is NOT our friend. Folks tend to think we fear rain the most, so let me set the record straight. For starters, we don’t fear anything- we’ve meticulously planned + pre-arranged for plans A, B, C, and D. Rain has never ruined a wedding of ours; if anything, it’s an ice breaker and a bit of drama to add to the existing magic.
Wind, on the other hand, is my mortal enemy. Cue my Dark Sky app, which golf pros + planners alike use to call the ball (ha- pun intended) and to check wind velocity. Creating elegant + seamless weddings up and down the coast makes for a constant “breeze”- which is positively delightful for everyone but those of us trying to keep candlelit weddings aglow. Let’s just say we keep Bic’s stick lighter division in business.
A few of our favorite sources for candlelit wedding bits + bobs:
• Mole Hollow rocks the Casbah with nuanced colors, multiple sizes in thickness + height, lovely customer service, and pretty packaging to boot. The candles themselves have this linen-like texture that we totally heart.
• Creative Candles is our absolute go-to, especially for their tall spindly skinny minnies + minimalistic diminutive glass taper holder cubes. Don’t miss their color Paris Gray- it’s the best.
• Jamali Garden is where we start when we’re digging deeply for just the right series of votive to flood every surface for that first layer or level of candlelight. Just don’t call with item-specific questions if you’re in a fragile state- they’re as New Yawk-ish as it gets and are almost comically terse on the phone.
• Accent Decor either has it, or no one does. They truly stay on top of trends and have an über sleek site that makes shopping a breeze. To the trade only.
This is where it gets a bit sticky. There are plenty of hideous ones available for rent, but no thanks. I love the simplicity of super clean-lined glass ones, and of course antique burnished brass ones with a barley twist or simple design. The same goes for candlesticks, to be honest. If you’re really looking to invest, this may help:
• Abigail’s is a to-the-trade-only beautiful tabletop company with some phenomenal china, glassware, and the like.
Be prepared to throw down. More is more with lanterns- in quantity used, height, quality of materials, + durability. We have the insider track on a decade’s worth of wholesale resources for lanterns, but we’ll be sharing those resources in an innovative + thoughtful way in months to come.
• Pottery Barn is the good ole stand-by for rope handles, powder coated paint treatments, and a semi-coastal vibe.
• Target has their in-house line Threshold, which totally crushed it. I’m telling you, someone at corporate stole someone from Kate Spade or Tory Burch or somewhere legit because the patterns, textures, finishes, and colors are spot on.
• West Elm has fresh, clean, simple lanterns for that candlelit effect that fills our dreams.
Top tip: scented candles at any affair where food is being served is not okay, period. You won’t want “Eau de Laundry” to cross paths with Kobe beef, k? Annnd- if we’re going there, it must be stated that 1982 called and it wants its mulberry-colored floating pillar ball candles back.
Here’s a roundup from fabby brides out there who swap (albeit amazing + memorable) al fresco dining, dancing under the stars, and ceremonies under ancient oaks for architectural detail, soaring ceilings, terra firma, and abundant candlelight.Christian Oth captured this golden candlelit wedding perfectly- just as expertly as Sean Connell for Christian Oth captured one of our candlelit weddings.
Once again, the CO team nails it. I love how simple + classic their bride kept her long estate tables, especially because she selected soaring skinny ivory taper candlelight.
The lefthand pic from Brides and the right-hand pic from Junebug Weddings both reflect the romance + drama of some serious candlelit estate table weddings.What makes this Elizabeth Messina-captured wedding work in particular is how young + fresh the white taper holders are in contrast to their pretty powder blue tapers. Love.Kurt Boomer nailed the shot on the left- and the caneback chairs, trestle leg tables soft neutral palette, pea gravel, and delicate candlelight don’t hurt either. On the right is an image via Style Me Pretty that resonates with quite a few, perhaps because of the use of vintage bottles as candlelight holders.
This stunning tablescape was shot by Aaron Delesie at the wedding of John Legend + Chrissy Teigen, designed by Lisa Vorce. Pix like these make me want to stick to ivory tapers only, but I guess a girl’s got to branch out every now + then. More on that wedding via Huffington Post Weddings + Martha Stewart Weddings.