The lighting of candles is a lovely symbolic gesture to include in your ceremony. I usually suggest that you each light a candle near the start of the ceremony to symbolise your separate lives before your marriage. Here's a short youtube clip of Alison and David lighting their individual candles at Airth Castle (video by Sharp Focus). It's just before they then go on to exchange their vows and wedding rings, so you can watch that too. Although the video clip stops when I pronounce them husband and wife, they went on to light a third candle after that, to symbolise the joining together of their lives in marriage. The 'marriage' or 'unity' candle is lit by each of you taking a flame from each of the first two candles and lighting the third one together. This makes a nice photograph as you can see in this picture of Margaret and Jay during their wedding at the historic Alloa Tower
Or this one of Fiona and Paul at their wedding at the The Millennium Hotel in Glasgow:
I suggest that you buy your own candles (it's nice to have them to light on your anniversary for years to come!) and when you go shopping, the things to bear in mind are:
- It's nice if you have two candles that are the same and one that is different - in colour, size, shape or design
- You need holders or stands for your candles
- You can even have the candles personalised for your wedding:
- You need to arrange or ask the venue to arrange a table for them to be placed on during the ceremony and it's nice to provide some decoration - a nice cloth, some flowers etc..
- You don't need to worry about where to get a flame from and we won't be asking anyone for a cigarette lighter during the ceremony! I'll supply the tapers (as shown in the Alloa Tower picture above) and I'll have a tea light burning throughout the ceremony
Florists can sometimes incorporate candles into flower arrangements for weddings, as shown in these lovely examples:
One thing to bear in mind with candles is the hazard of having naked flame:
- If you have a veil, keep well away from the candles!
- Keep any children amongst your guests well away from them too!
- Some candle wicks smoke badly when they're blown out, so watch out for smoke alarms being set off!
Some hotels ban the lighting of candles anyway, so double check with your venue beforehand. Historic Scotland have now banned the use of candles in their properties in order to prevent damage to precious stone work and antique furnishings. If candles aren't allowed at your venue, but you still want to decorate the room, you could consider the use of fairy lights or flameless candles. There is now a huge range of these battery operated candles on the market and although these are obviously not suitable to use as a symbolic gesture in your ceremony (flicking a switch just doesn't have the same feeling does it?!), they look lovely as a way of decorating your venue. A quick Google search will reveal lots of choice! Look at Smart Candle for example. I think they can look quite good and some people won't even notice that they aren't real candles. Here are some at Doune Castle:
If you're outdoors, candles can of course blow out easily, so think about having garden candles, oil burning candles, storm lanterns or something similar to protect the flame. The ones in this vase for example stayed lit during the whole ceremony and it was quite breezy!
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