They may not be the real thing, but sometimes they're the only option.

By Alyssa Brown
April 13, 2020
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Windy weather is a big cause for candles to blow out, and sometimes it simply isn't worth the battle of constantly relighting them. Plus, some wedding venues don't allow real candles due to their insurance policies—when that's the case, your alternative is using LED candles. While not having real, soft, flickering candlelight during the reception might come as a disappointment to some, there are plenty of ways you can make these glowing alternative candles feel special, beautiful, and almost like the real thing. Here are some tips.

Choose the right vessel.

Event designer and wedding planner Stefanie Miles suggests choosing a vessel that's opaque. This way, it's hard to see that there's a false candle inside. If you're lighting a pathway or area that'll be seen from above, you want a vessel that's covered completely, like a lantern.

Select quality LED candles.

If your vessel is transparent, you'll want to use an LED candle that has the faux flame that's set inside the faux wax rather than set on top (common with the tealight LEDs). This is a much more realistic look. Miles also recommends the LED candles that have a flicker setting.

Design LED installations smartly.

Miles says, "Design candle installations to be viewed from a distance rather than up close, where guests may be able to see the candles are not real." For example, a mantelpiece installation of LED candles or an LED candle chandelier is going to look much more realistic than those lining a table.

Mix LEDs with real candles.

If you're using LEDs because you're worried about wind, you can also mix some real candles into the scene. You might choose to use LEDs in your opaque votive holders and use real candles in tall glass vessels in a different space.

Skip the taper candle look.

There's really no good substitute for taper candles and trying to use LEDs in this capacity will never look realistic. Skip the look altogether and instead focus on creating a glow from above with a nice chandelier or warm, ambient lighting throughout the space.

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