Candle Ceremonies and Traditions

How to Incorporate Candles in Non-religious Wedding Ceremonies

As a wedding planner, I’ve discovered that candles can be more than just a source of light; they can symbolize unity, love, and romance.

In this article, I’ll guide you on how to incorporate candles into your non-religious wedding ceremony in a way that is meaningful and beautiful.

From the classic unity candle ceremony to candlelit aisle and reception venues, I’ll show you how candles can add a touch of magic to your special day.

Let’s ignite the flame of creativity and create a wedding that truly shines.

Unity Candle Ceremony

I’ll explain how to perform the Unity Candle Ceremony during your non-religious wedding ceremony. The Unity Candle Ceremony is a beautiful and symbolic way to represent the merging of two individuals into one united couple. While traditionally associated with religious weddings, there are alternatives for incorporating candles in unique and meaningful ways.

To begin, you’ll need three candles: two taper candles and one larger pillar candle. The two taper candles represent the individuals, while the larger pillar candle symbolizes their union. Place the three candles on a table near the altar or ceremony space.

During the ceremony, the couple will each take a taper candle and simultaneously light the pillar candle together. This act represents the joining of their lives and the creation of a new shared path. As the flames merge, the couple can take a moment to reflect on their commitment to one another.

Some couples choose to personalize the ceremony by using candle unity alternatives. For example, instead of taper candles, they may use different colored candles to represent their individuality. Others may incorporate additional candles to include family members or children in the ceremony, symbolizing the blending of their lives.

No matter the variation, the Unity Candle Ceremony is a beautiful and meaningful way to symbolize the unity of marriage. It adds a touch of elegance and sentimentality to your non-religious wedding ceremony, creating a moment that you and your guests will cherish forever.

Candle Lighting Ritual

When it comes to incorporating candles in non-religious wedding ceremonies, the candle lighting ritual holds a special place.

This ritual symbolizes the unity of the couple and creates a romantic ambiance filled with warmth.

One of the highlights of this ritual is the personalized candle selection, allowing the couple to choose candles that reflect their unique personalities and style.

Symbolic Flame Unity

I’m going to explain how to perform the symbolic flame unity ritual using candles in a non-religious wedding ceremony.

The flame symbolism in this ritual represents the merging of two lives, two families, and two individuals into one united entity. It’s a beautiful way to symbolize the joining of the couple and their commitment to each other.

To begin, you’ll need two separate candles, each representing the bride and the groom. Place these candles on a small table or altar, along with a larger central candle, symbolizing their unity.

The couple can choose to light their individual candles simultaneously or have a loved one light them on their behalf. Once the individual candles are lit, the couple will then use their candles to light the central unity candle together.

As the flames merge into one, it signifies their commitment to one another and the creation of a new life together.

This symbolic flame unity ritual is a meaningful addition to non-religious wedding ceremonies, allowing the couple to incorporate a beautiful and personal touch without any religious connotations.

Read: Incorporating Candles in Renewal of Vow Ceremonies

Romantic Ambiance and Warmth

To create a romantic ambiance and add warmth to the ceremony, couples can incorporate a candle lighting ritual into their non-religious wedding. Here are four ways this ritual can enhance the romantic decor and ambiance of the event:

  1. Soft Lighting: Candlelight provides a soft, warm glow that instantly creates a romantic atmosphere. It casts gentle shadows and adds a touch of intimacy to the space.
  2. Flickering Flames: The flickering flames of the candles create a mesmerizing effect, captivating the attention of the guests and adding a sense of magic to the ceremony.
  3. Scented Candles: Choose candles with romantic scents, such as lavender or vanilla, to further enhance the ambiance. The subtle fragrance will create a sensory experience and evoke feelings of love and romance.
  4. Symbolic Meaning: The act of lighting the candles together symbolizes the joining of two lives and the unity of the couple. It adds a meaningful and personal touch to the ceremony, making it even more special.

Personalized Candle Selection

I love the idea of incorporating personalized candle selection into the candle lighting ritual for a non-religious wedding ceremony. It adds a special touch and allows the couple to express their unique style and personality.

One way to personalize the candles is by giving them as gifts to the wedding party or close family members. These personalized candle gifts can be customized with names, initials, or special messages, creating a lasting memento of the special day.

Another idea is to create homemade candle recipes that reflect the couple’s favorite scents or colors. This not only adds a personal touch, but also creates a wonderful aroma throughout the ceremony.

Whether it’s through personalized gifts or homemade candles, incorporating personalized candle selection into the candle lighting ritual is a beautiful way to make the ceremony truly unique and memorable.

Candle Centerpieces

When it comes to candle centerpieces, the possibilities are endless. From creative candle arrangements to affordable centerpiece ideas, there are so many ways to incorporate candles into your wedding decor.

Whether you choose to display floating candles in glass bowls, create a romantic ambiance with pillar candles in hurricane vases, or opt for a rustic look with mason jar candle holders, candle centerpieces can add a touch of elegance and warmth to your special day.

Creative Candle Arrangements

One of my favorite ways to create a romantic ambiance at a wedding reception is by using candle centerpieces. They add a warm and intimate glow to the tables, making the whole space feel magical.

To make the candle centerpieces even more special, here are some creative arrangements you can try:

  1. Unique candle holders: Instead of traditional candle holders, opt for unconventional ones like vintage teacups, mason jars, or wine glasses. These unique holders will add a touch of charm and individuality to your centerpieces.
  2. Floating candles: Fill a glass bowl or vase with water and place floating candles on top. You can add flower petals or small decorative elements to the water for an extra pop of color and texture. This arrangement creates a stunning visual effect and is perfect for a romantic, ethereal vibe.
  3. Candle clusters: Group candles of varying heights and sizes together on a tray or mirror. You can play with different candle colors or stick to a monochromatic palette for a cohesive look. This arrangement adds dimension and drama to the table.
  4. Candle lanterns: Place candles inside lanterns and scatter them around the table. Lanterns come in various styles, from rustic to modern, and can be hung or placed on the table. They not only create a beautiful ambiance but also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to the overall decor.

Affordable Candle Centerpiece Ideas

To create stunning candle centerpieces on a budget, consider using simple and inexpensive materials like mason jars, twine, and thrifted glassware. With a little creativity and DIY skills, you can create beautiful candle arrangements that will add a touch of elegance to your wedding reception without breaking the bank. Here are some budget-friendly candle centerpiece ideas that you can easily make yourself:

Materials NeededStepsTips
Mason jars1. Fill the mason jars with water halfway.
2. Place a floating candle on top.
– Use different sizes of mason jars for visual interest.
– Add some fresh flowers or greenery to the water for added color.
Thrifted glassware1. Arrange a variety of thrifted glassware in the center of the table.
2. Place a votive candle in each glass.
– Mix and match different styles and shapes of glassware for a unique look.
– Use colored glassware for a pop of color.
Twine-wrapped candles1. Wrap twine tightly around the base of a pillar candle.
2. Secure the ends with a knot or a dab of glue.
– Use different colors of twine to match your wedding theme.
– Add some beads or charms to the twine for extra decoration.

These DIY candle centerpiece ideas are not only affordable but also customizable to fit your wedding style. Get creative and have fun while saving money on your wedding decorations.

Candle Decorations

While incorporating candles into non-religious wedding ceremonies, I love using various candle decorations to enhance the ambiance and create a romantic atmosphere. Here are some of my favorite candle decorations:

  1. Candle Crafts: One of the best ways to add a personal touch to your wedding ceremony is by creating your own candle crafts. You can make beautiful candle holders using mason jars, lace, ribbons, or even seashells. Get creative and let your imagination run wild!
  2. Candle Holders: There are endless options when it comes to candle holders. You can choose from elegant glass holders, rustic wooden ones, or even unique and modern designs. Consider using different sizes and shapes to create a visually appealing display.
  3. Floral Arrangements: Combine the beauty of candles with the freshness of flowers by incorporating floral arrangements into your candle decorations. You can place small votive candles amidst a bed of flowers or create stunning centerpieces using floating candles and flower petals.
  4. Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces: To add an extra element of sophistication and sparkle to your candle decorations, place candles on mirrors or other reflective surfaces. This won’t only create a romantic glow but also make the space feel larger and more enchanting.

Candlelit Aisle

As a wedding planner, I often recommend creating a candlelit aisle to add an enchanting touch to the ceremony. A candlelit pathway leading to the stage creates a romantic atmosphere and elevates the overall ambiance of the wedding. To achieve this, I suggest placing rows of candles on either side of the aisle, spaced evenly apart. You can use lanterns, hurricane vases, or simply place candles in glass holders directly on the ground. It’s important to consider the safety of your guests, so make sure the candles are secured and won’t be easily knocked over.

To create a stunning visual effect, you can also incorporate different sizes and heights of candles along the aisle. This will add depth and dimension to the pathway, making it even more captivating. Additionally, consider using scented candles to enhance the sensory experience for guests as they make their way to the stage.

When designing the candlelit stage, think about incorporating a focal point. This could be a larger arrangement of candles or a statement piece such as a floral arch with candles interspersed throughout. The stage should be the epitome of romance and elegance, creating a beautiful backdrop for the couple as they exchange their vows.

Candle Favors

I recommend offering personalized candle favors as a token of appreciation to the guests attending the wedding. Not only are they a thoughtful gift, but they also add a touch of elegance and warmth to the occasion. Here are some ideas for candle favors that your guests will love:

  1. Personalized Candle Tins: Choose scented candles in small tin containers and have them personalized with your names and wedding date. Guests can take these home and enjoy the beautiful fragrance that will remind them of your special day.
  2. Mini Candle Holders: Opt for mini candle holders that can be customized with your initials or a special message. These can be filled with scented tea light candles in various fragrances, allowing guests to choose their favorite scent.
  3. Candle Votives: Consider giving out candle votives with personalized labels. These can be filled with scented candles in different colors and fragrances, creating a stunning visual display when lit.
  4. Candle Jars: Provide guests with small candle jars filled with scented soy candles. These can be personalized with tags or labels that match your wedding theme, making them a beautiful and practical keepsake.

Read: Memorial Candles: Remembering Loved Ones at Weddings

Candlelit Reception Venue

To create a romantic and intimate atmosphere, I suggest illuminating the reception venue with candlelight. This simple and elegant touch will instantly transform the space into a cozy haven for your guests. Candlelit table settings can add a touch of magic to your wedding reception, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. Picture your guests sitting at beautifully decorated tables, with soft candlelight dancing off the centerpiece and reflecting on their faces. It truly is a sight to behold.

To help you visualize the possibilities, here is a table showcasing some candlelit reception ideas:

Table Setting IdeasCandle Themed Wedding Favors
Floating CandlesPersonalized Candle Holders
CandelabrasScented Candle Tins
Mason Jar CandlesMiniature Candle Sets
Tea Light HoldersCustomized Candle Labels
Candle LanternsDecorative Candle Snuffers

Incorporating these ideas into your reception will create an enchanting atmosphere that will leave a lasting impression on your guests. Not only will they enjoy the visual beauty of candlelit table settings, but they can also take home a candle-themed wedding favor as a special memento of your special day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can We Incorporate Scented Candles in Our Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony?

Yes, we can incorporate scented candles in our non-religious wedding ceremony. They add a romantic touch and create a warm ambiance. If you prefer alternatives, consider using LED candles or fairy lights for your wedding reception.

Can We Use LED Candles Instead of Traditional Wax Candles in Our Candlelit Reception Venue?

Using LED candles in a candlelit reception adds a modern twist to the romantic ambiance. Their benefits, like safety and longevity, make them a practical choice. Get creative by using LED candles in centerpieces or lining the aisle for a magical effect.

How Can We Ensure That the Candle Centerpieces Are Safely Displayed Throughout the Wedding Reception?

To ensure the safe display of candle centerpieces throughout the wedding reception, I recommend exploring candle centerpiece alternatives, such as LED candles or flameless options. Additionally, consider creative candle display ideas that incorporate non-flammable materials and secure holders.

Are There Any Specific Guidelines or Recommendations for Using Candles in Outdoor Wedding Ceremonies?

For an outdoor wedding ceremony, it’s important to take safety precautions when using candles. Ensure the location allows open flames, use sturdy candle holders, and consider using flameless candles to eliminate any fire hazards.

Can We Customize the Candle Favors With Our Names and Wedding Date?

Sure, we can definitely customize the candle favors with our names and wedding date. It’s a great way to add a personal touch to our wedding. Plus, it’s an alternative wedding favor that our guests will love.


Incorporating candles into a non-religious wedding ceremony can add a touch of elegance and romance. The warm glow they create can evoke a sense of intimacy and create a magical ambiance for your special day. Whether you choose to use candles in a unity ceremony, as decorations, or as favors, they’re sure to enhance the beauty of your wedding and create lasting memories for you and your guests.

While some may argue that candles are traditional and outdated, the truth is that they have stood the test of time for a reason. The soft flickering light of candles can create a cozy and romantic atmosphere that is perfect for a wedding celebration.

Using candles in a unity ceremony is a popular choice for many couples. This symbolic act involves lighting two individual candles and then using them to light a larger, central candle together. This represents the joining of two lives and the creation of a new family. It’s a beautiful and meaningful way to include candles in your ceremony.

Candles can also be used as decorations throughout your wedding venue. From elegant candelabras on the tables to small votive candles lining the aisle, they can add a touch of sophistication and create a warm and inviting atmosphere for your guests.

Finally, candles can also be given as favors to your guests. Personalized candles with your names and wedding date make for a thoughtful and unique gift that your guests can take home and enjoy long after the wedding is over.

Incorporating candles into your non-religious wedding ceremony is a wonderful way to add a touch of elegance and create a romantic atmosphere. Whether you choose to use them in a unity ceremony, as decorations, or as favors, candles are sure to enhance the beauty of your wedding and create lasting memories for you and your guests.

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