Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

If candles are not an option at your wedding venue, consider solar lights, mini string lights, or battery operated ones. This is a page about having a wedding reception without candles.


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August 15, 2008

I am getting married in April and I am not allowed to have candles at the place that I am having the reception at. Please help me, we are having a beach theme for the reception decorations since we are getting married on the beach.



August 18, 20080 found this helpful
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Maybe Solar Lights? They can continue to be used in your yard, on your deck, even for subtle indoor lighting (as long as they're kept in a sunny spot during the day) or given away as gifts to family and friends after the wedding :-)

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December 30, 20080 found this helpful
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Now that Christmas is over, you can get very good string lights at very good prices. Stock up on those, as well as LED tea lights and LED votives (some are a steady 'flame' while others flicker realistically). String the string lights around every post, beam, and outline you can find, then place the LED tea lights anywhere that you'd normally put a candle.


Instead of a unity candle, try these ideas to celebrate the concept of unity:

Unity Glasses: Have the bride hold a glass of red wine (or grape juice) and the groom hole a glass of white wine/juice, then each pour their glass into a larger glass to blend the two together. Each may drink from this cup as part of the vows. In a Jewish ceremony, this would be the wine for blessing; in a Christian one, this could serve as their communion cup.

Unity Circle: The bride walks three times around the husband, then the groom walks three times around the bride, then the two join hands and create a final circle around one another (the 'center' being their joined hands). Walking the circle signifies that the two are enfolding and enclosing one another within their mutual affection; that each one claims ownership of the ceremony, willing participation in the marriage, and propriety over the other; and creates a protective, sacred space, a symbol of the home they will build for one another.


Unity Cake: The two share a petit four or a cupcake, signifying the sweetness of the love they share and the commitment to nourish and sustain one another physically and emotionally.

Unity Food: Similar to Unity Cake. The couple share a small piece of bread (sustenance) drizzled with honey (sweetness) and sprinkled with sea salt (the tears of joy they will cry together, and the tears of sorrow through which they will strengthen one another), and wine/grape juice (joy, consecration).

Unity Room: This one is my personal favorite, and it's the one featured in my own wedding. It's an old Jewish tradition called "yichud," which means "unity, oneness." There wouldn't be an overt symbol of unity during the ceremony itself. However, after the ceremony, the couple would avoid running down the aisle to a long and tiring receiving line. Instead, they would walk off to the side room to spend their first few married moments alone together. They should enjoy a small meal of whatever they like best, while everyone else is jostling to get to the reception hall and eat their meal. Whether it's just five minutes or more like a couple of hours, they should be able to rest, relax, and encounter one another as husband and wife for the first time. Then they can change into their reception outfits to match the mood of the reception, head to the venu, and join their guests in time for formal presentation as Mr. And Mrs. Couple. At this time, fortified with food and relaxation time, they can freely celebrate, receive individual greetings and congratulations, and be there in time for dancing and cake cutting.


Uniqueness Gifts: This can replace the other ideas, but I prefer the idea of using it in conjunction with one or more of the others. Rather than focusing on the blending and melding aspects of marriage, this idea brings forth the realization that these are two individuals, who lived for some twenty or more years before finding one another, and are whole and complete even separate (though much happier when not separated!). Bride and groom present one another with small gifts that relate to their separate identities. A man marrying a doctor might present her with a new stethoscope, engraved with her initials (married initials, if they're going to change) or with something indicative of love. A woman marrying a lover of the arts might gift him with season tickets to the symphony, or a print or lithograph of a painting he admires. A scholarly couple might offer one another a beautifully bound book, or an engraved writing set (matching fountain pen, rollerball, and pencil), or the Encyclopedia Britannica or OED on CD. Animal lovers might present one another with, say, a paid membership for their local no-kill animal shelter, and a promise to adopt a pet within their first year together.

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August 15, 2008

I am LOST! My wedding is in April, and the reception hall does not allow candles, however my wedding is an evening wedding, so candles would not only be fitting, but the soft light is what I envision. Please help, any tips?

Lost in Indiana,



Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

What about twinkle lights, the white/clear kind that you put on your Christmas tree? Or, I read in a magazine about how people used lights (I think they were bigger lights like the kind that you put on your house) and covered them with paper lanterns that they had made, they just took out every second light bulb. Hope this helps!! (11/12/2004)


Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

Maybe you could use those battery operated candles that people put in their windows. (11/12/2004)

By Jean Donahue

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

As this is the Christmas Season, you will find those candles used in windows and look closely, you will find that there are those which operate on batteries. Wallah, and you have candle light. Lots of times, as the closer you get to Christmas, they will put them on sale. (11/13/2004)


By Shirley Little

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

My first thought was using the white/clear string of lights. The cords come in green or white. The white ones could entwine white candle harbors. The green cord would be hidden in ferns, palm, or any greenery you'd have. Battery operated candles I've used for the holidays are usually white or off/white. Instead of igniting the candles, the ushers, or whomever you choose, could just flip each switch on. (They have off and on switches). Just be sure to check each one before the ceremony. Congratulations & may God bless your marriage! (11/13/2004)

By JoAnn

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

I was at the dollar store yesterday and saw battery operated candles for Christmas - 2 for a dollar. You could also use battery operated strings of lights (you can find short strings of 10-24 lights) and check out ideas on wedding websites because I know I have seen ideas using string lights on them before. You can put the string lights into small trees or topiaries, or inside jars or bowls etc. Best wishes! (11/13/2004)

By Trix

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

This is the perfect time to prepare. Find the electric Christmas candles now or on 1/2 price sale right after Christmas. Use the flicker bulbs and you'll get close to the effect of natural candles when it's not convenient or possible to use the real thing. Use flowers around them to disguise the plastic. (11/13/2004)

By Jessie

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

At our Ace hardware, bulbs can be bought that look like a flickering candle flame. If you put it in one of the electric candles it would look like a real candle. Please accept my warmest wishes. (11/13/2004)

By Carol Smith

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

Perhaps your reception hall would allow small oil lamps? They would be beautiful decorated with a fresh or silk flower arrangement wrapped around it or even a silk candle ring placed around the base of the oil lamp! You may also want to consider a small battery operated lamp or lantern, also with flowers around them. (11/13/2004)

By Debbie

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

White Christmas lights mixed with white tulle netting always looks elegant for weddings. Also the silver bell garland that goes on clearance after Christmas is what I use for reception halls I've decorated. The garland twinkles against the lights and is so pretty. (11/13/2004)

By Melanie

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

God bless your wedding! Why not ask family & friends to "not" put their Christmas lights away this year but give them to you. Can imagine how pretty it would be to have all those different color lights as "background" for your White Wedding Gown! (11/14/2004)

By Trish

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

What about icicle lights that people use at Christmas. I have ones that have a white cord and use blue lights - very pretty! (01/10/2005)

By Theresa

Having a Wedding Reception Without Candles

Try asking them if you can use hurricane lamps. This is usually allowed by the fire marshal who si standing in your way. Or try fiber optics. (03/23/2005)


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