Floating candles are a simple, yet elegant centrepiece. The combination of fire and water adds a sense of magic to the table, but simply tossing a few floating candles in a bowl of water gives an unfinished impression. Finishing a floating candle centrepiece does not have to be fussy or complicated, but it should reflect the overall formality and theme of the event.
Traditional Flower Petals
A clear crystal or glass bowl of water with rose petals floating between the candles is a classic centrepiece. You can obtain rose petals in a wide variety of shades from any florist.
You can make this centrepiece less formal by choosing whole daisies, carnations, or other flowers to float with the candles. Carefully remove the stem without disturbing the structure of the flower.
Set the bowl on a mirror to enhance the flickering glow of the candles.
Cluster of Candles
A cluster of 3 or 5 simple glass containers, each with a single floating candle, makes a sophisticated centrepiece. Experiment with different sizes and heights to add drama to this arrangement.
Arrange the candles in odd numbers. An even number of objects in an arrangement is static, while an odd number draws the eye around the arrangement. Three candles is perfect for a small table, while a larger table can support an arrangement of five. If you have a long table, consider making two identical arrangements, one at each end.
Be creative when choosing the containers for your floating candle centrepiece. Brandy snifters, mason jars, and fish bowls all make interesting containers for floating candles. Match the container to the event--you probably would not want to use a brandy snifter for a baby's Christening party!
Tall, narrow containers add height and interest to a floating candle centrepiece. Try submerging a whole flower inside the vase, then floating the candle on top. Layers of coloured marbles or stones add colour and interest to a tall arrangement.
Use food colouring to tint the water in a floating candle centrepiece to match the theme of the event. If you use coloured water, consider using white or off-white candles to add contrast.
Coloured gel is available at craft and floral centres and adds an interesting texture to a floating candle centrepiece. Because the gel is thicker than water, candles will not float around the container, so this is best used in a narrow vase or glass.
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