How to decorate your altar with candles for a church wedding

Written by michaelyn erickson | 13/05/2017
How to decorate your altar with candles for a church wedding
Traditional altar candles come in sets with two tapered candles and a pillar candle. (unity wedding candle flower arrangement red white image by Paul Retherford from

Decorative candles placed on the church altar can beautifully illuminate your church wedding. Candles, a traditional addition to altar decorations in church weddings, not only provide a soothing accent light but also help to illuminate floral arrangements and other features of the altar. Use traditional wedding candles inscribed with the bride and groom's names. They will burn once and then become timeless keepsakes.

How to decorate your altar with candles for a church wedding
Some couples use the candles as a part of their ceremony. (light unity candle wedding ceremony bride groom event image by Paul Retherford from

Coordinate the candles with your wedding theme. The altar is a focal point of a church wedding, and the flickering candles atop it should reflect the event. Match and harmonise the colours of the other wedding decorations, the bridesmaids' dresses and floral arrangements. Purchase candles that will coincide with the planned wedding colour scheme.

How to decorate your altar with candles for a church wedding
Traditional pillar with tapered accents. (unity candle flame glow light image by Paul Retherford from

Ask the church what candles are available for use already. Traditional Christian churches will often feature two altar candles, which are white and often stand a few feet tall in brass or gold holders. Additionally, candelabras are common accents in churches, and many facilities will offer these decorations for use during a wedding ceremony. If the church does provide some candles but you prefer more, then make your selections with the church's candles in mind.

Stagger the height of the candles to create a light bouquet. A straight line of tiny flames does not look as attractive as a staggered fountain of candle flames. Obtain different stands and holders of different heights on which to place each of the candles. Stagger the depth at which they sit on the altar so that you have a three-dimensional effect for the candle flames rather than a two-dimensional effect.

Purchase wedding candles that reflect the special occasion. Wedding candle sets come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Tapered candle sets, pillar candle sets and personalised candle sets are available for purchase. According to Church Candles Online, traditional unity wedding candle set includes two tapered candles and a central pillar candle with a stand for all three pieces. Many wedding candles are carved and coloured with religious symbols like the cross, doves, rings and flowers.

How to decorate your altar with candles for a church wedding
Wedding candles can contain personalised messages. (kirchenkerzen image by Stephanie Bandmann from

Add ribbons or flowers to the candles for additional decoration. You can easily accent white candles with your wedding colours by simply adding coloured ribbon. Be sure to attach the ribbons or flowers far enough below the wick so they will not catch on fire as the candle burns. A floral centrepiece on a church altar is lit up for the event through the use of staggered candles.

Things you need

  • Candle stands
  • Ribbon
  • Flowers

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