Event Design 101: Candles and Lanterns and Votives, OH MY!!

Romance and elegance begin with candles. Think about the way having just a few candles lit in your home creates a warm glow and romantic environment. Come time to create that same feeling on your wedding day, how are you going to transform your entire wedding into a warm, inviting, and romantic atmosphere? Candles. (And floral, of course). But today, we are strictly talking candles and why you need them, LOTS of them.

There are so many approaches and ways to use candles but first, lets talk styles. We are talking about pillar candles, floating candles, taper candles, and votives. Each of these styles have the ability to create a big impact, while remaining budget friendly. The following images are all great examples of how to best use candle light as a part of your centerpiece.

1. Pillar Candles

Pillar candles are among the most popular of candles. They are often used in glass cylinders (like shown below).  They can be placed directly in the center of a table or interspersed on both sides of a table garland. You can also place them in lanterns or on top of candle holders to help elevate the glow.


Photo by: Clary Pfeiffer Photography 

1a. Pillar Candles on silver Candle Holders

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Photo by: Christy Tyler Photography

1b. Pillar Candle in a Lantern


Photo by: Clary Pfeiffer Photography

2. Floating Candles in Stemmed Candle Holders

Floating candles are another popular option…all you need is the perfect vase, some water, and the floating candles themselves.  When choosing between this option and the pillar candle, these lend themselves to a more modern and playful aethetic.


Photo by: Gerber & Scarpelli Photo

2a. Floating Candles in Cylinders


Photo: Lauren Louise Photography Floral: Blooms Reston Floral

3. Taper Candles in Candle Holders

Taper candles are absolutely stunning and one of our favorite ways to add candle light to your space. The majority of indoor venues in Chicago do not allow these beauties because flames must be enclosed, but if your venue allows, or you are getting married outside, they are a MUST!


Photo by: Clary Pfeiffer Photography

4. Votive Candles

Votives are the perfect finish to every centerpiece and we offer many different styles. They are great for filling up, dressing up, and adding a little light to your reception tables.


Photo by: Clary Pfeiffer Photography

While candles are a great addition to your tables, it is important to remember there are many other parts of your event that can benefit from a little glow. Below are a few other ways that we love to incorporate candle light.

1. Lining an Aisle or Staircase


Photo by: Caroline Tran Floral: Amy Burke Designs


Armour House Life in Bloom

Photo by: Amanda Megan Miller Photo

2. Highlighting a Focal Piece


Chicago Athletic Association Wedding Life in Bloom Candles

Chicago Athletic Association Wedding Life in Bloom Ceremony 3

Photos by: Kina Wicks Photography

Hope you enjoyed a little glow of inspiration and remember when meeting with your florist (which should be us, of course) at least half of your event will probably take place when it is dark out, so be sure to incorporate plenty of candle light to help keep that romantic ambience going throughout your entire evening.



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