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Make candles an illuminating part of the ceremony

The warm, undulating light cast off by a candle adds an unmatched ambiance to a space. Multiply that candle by many and it can create a truly awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Candlelight is a must at any evening wedding and can be a key to a successful party as guests tend to loosen their inhibitions in a dimly lit room. While candlelight can add a warming glow to post-wedding festivities, it can play a significant role during the ceremony itself.

Flickering flames within a dimly lit chapel or alternative ceremony site can establish an intimate setting in which a couple exchanges vows. Candles can even become a focal point of the ceremony. For example, some couples may opt to light a unity candle during their ceremonies. The unity candle symbolizes the joining of the families and merging of two individuals into one blended family. Representatives from both families, typically the parents of the couple, come up and light a candle for each side of the family. Then the bride and groom will light a center candle from these two candles. The center candle then represents the unity of the new family and their commitment to each other.

Apart from the unity candle, there may be other ways candles play a role in the ceremony. They can be religious and secular. Candles can symbolize different things, including:

• casting away darkness and showing how love can brighten life,

• candles can provide direction and draw couples together,

• a candle can represent the love that lights up the couple's world, and

• the warmth of a relationship mirrored in the warmth of the candle.

Apart from symbolism and ambiance, there is an added benefit to including candles in a wedding ceremony. Brides magazine says that the amber light given off can make for beautiful photos as well. Speak with a photographer about the best ways to arrange candles to fully take advantage of their photographic potential.

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