While the unity candle has been a staple of many religious weddings for a long time, it's becoming common practice to decorate this sacred item using an arrangement of flowers rather than the traditional metal holders. Though this somewhat more complex form of flower sculpting may require some practice to get just right, you can create your own unity candle arrangement with the right materials.
Decide what shape you want your arrangement to be in. Unity flower arrangements are usually done as wreaths surrounding the candle (as an alternative to the traditional brass and silver holders), but you may also consider other popular shapes such as a fan (to be placed behind the candle) or a drapery (to be hung on the altar in front of the candle). Be sure that whatever you decide to do, your design won't interfere with the lighting or burning of the candle.
Choose your flowers. Traditionally, unity candle arrangements are white with accents in yellow or light pink, and these will likely be the easiest to find, though you may want to choose different colours if they match your chosen wedding shades or the decor at your location. Whatever colours you choose, get a variety of shapes and sizes for the best aesthetic balance. Get fewer of the larger and more open buds (like daisies, Easter lilies or large, fully bloomed roses) and more of the smaller, closed buds (like small, young roses, carnations and baby's breath).
Figure out how many flowers you need to buy. To get the most certain estimate of this, create a paper or cardboard mock-up cutout of your desired arrangement and measure the number of square inches you need to cover with buds. Take this with you when you shop for flowers to use as a rough guideline. Buy about twice as many as you think you will need (or more) so that you can choose the best-looking flowers and have enough to overlap.
Condition the flowers for longest-lasting freshness. Trim the stems to the desired length by cutting them with floral scissors under water, then letting them sit in room temperature water before use. When arranging, move the stems directly from the water into the soaked floral foam, or wrap their ends with floral tape.
Assemble your arrangement. Attach flowers to a floral foam frame of your choosing (you can get these where floral supplies are sold, ready to carve or already in wreath shapes), or weave the flowers together with floral wire (best for draping arrangements). Start by positioning your large flowers, spacing them evenly but in odd numbers (for best aesthetic value), then fill in the gaps with smaller flowers.
Add a few non-flower accessories to your arrangement, such as greens (ferns, leafy stems and grasses), ribbon or strings of beads.
Things you need
- Non-flower greens (such as ferns or grasses)
- Floral wire
- Soakable floral foam
- Scrap cardboard or paper
- Other decorations such as lace or beads