Taper candles lining the center of a dining table are a beautiful way to take your wedding décor to the next level, but how do you ensure they stay lit throughout the reception, especially when your event is taking place outdoors or in an interior room with open windows or doors? When it comes to the possibility of wind, is it just too risky? Here, we take a look at how to keep candles from blowing out at your wedding if you decide to incorporate them in an open-air space.
"We all love the look of open flames—nothing sets a more romantic scene—but when it comes to outdoor settings, you just can't be too careful," says Katie Moore, the lead designer and stylist of BW Theory. Some venues don't even allow open flames at their events because of the risk of fire. Others will allow couples to use candles so long as they're enclosed in some sort of vessel, which blocks the wind and prevents a flame from spreading away from the candle itself. "We bring glass vessels for every single candle we plan on using for an outdoor event," Moore adds. "In the rare event that the wind is calm enough to pull the glass and just use an exposed candle, we run with it." Another reason some venues require enclosed candles? Because their staff would spend the entire evening relighting them if not. If your venue coordinator tells you that open candles almost never stay lit at their open-air events, you should trust their expertise, not fight it.
Use the Right Vessels
Candles and their containers are almost always something that'll be provided by your florist, designer, or stylist. For couples handling every last detail on their own, Moore says, "As long as your glass containers are a few to several inches taller than your candle, you should be fine, even on a pretty gusty day." The height difference ensures the wind won't get in to blow out your flickering flame.
Know When Candles Just Won't Work
Beach locations and hilltops are famous for their gusty winds, which often means you'll have to decide before the wedding whether or not open flames are even possible. "Sometimes LED is the only option you have if you want candle light," Moore says. "Getting creative with the containers is huge. For example, a frosted container is helpful to still see the glow but not notice it's from an artificial source. Also, you want to use them in areas where people won't be right on top of them if possible—at a ceremony site or on ledges of windows—so that you won't have to be so worried about anyone noticing them."
Consider the Overall Lighting Plan
Don't forget that you can also create a warm, glowing light scheme with elements other than candles. In addition to using a smart glass-to-candle ratio, Moore says, "We use a really wonderful mix of string lights, uplighting, and pin-spot lighting to create the ambience we want." Through these elements, you can create soft, amber lighting that mimics candlelight and enhances the overall environment.