Although weddings by candlelight are not as commonplace today, before the discovery of electricity, they were the norm.
The soft glow of a candle's flame provides natural light that is subtle and enchanting. A candlelit wedding in a chapel enhances both the atmosphere and the sacred marriage vows the couple will exchange. However, using candles to illuminate a wedding ceremony must be done with care: one of the best ways to accomplish this is by using large, metal candelabras on floor stands.
The use of candles in many religious marriage ceremonies hold a significance all their own. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, during the wedding service, candles represent the couple’s desire for the blessing of their marriage by The Christ and are symbolic of the oil lamps of the faithful who will receive Him in the darkness of night.
In medieval times, the couple would hold candles during the procession into the church after the blessing of the wedding ring by the priest at the church door. Young girls also held candles to light the way for those who attended the wedding.
Today with so many options in wedding ceremonies, the use of candles is still one of the most beloved traditions. Beyond using candles to illuminate the place where the ceremony is held, individuals hold votive candles during the ceremony to represent their spirit as witness to the marriage.
Another variation of this is to arrange votive candles on a table at the entrance of the church. By attaching a note card, each guest to sign their name after lighting the candle.
Candlelight weddings are particularly charming, especially for marriage ceremonies during the winter months when the daylight hours are short. When a couple chooses to light a unity candle in their marriage ceremony, usually the mothers of the bride and groom (or special members of the bridal party) will light taper candles to be used by the couple after they exchange wedding rings to light a large pillar candle representing their two hearts have become one.
In addition to these candles, each member of the bridal party can carry a lit candle down the aisle to be placed in candelabra to represent their participation in the wedding. If you choose this tradition, be sure that the candles are formulated as “no drip” for safety.