Okay, i admit it – I’m a candle snob. In the world of events, candles play a vital role and they are too often overlooked.
First of all – you will get what you pay for when it comes to candles. Don’t go crazy and buy the most expensive candles – but don’t put too much faith into the 12 pack of candles for 5.00 from the big craft store. Yes, they will burn and you will get light from them, but it isn’t great. For your wedding – don’t you want great?
This is where candle snobbery comes in to play. At our sister company, table4decor, we have specific criteria for candles: flame height, burn time, translucency, smoking qualities. Often less expensive candles advise you not to burn them for longer than 2 hours – 2 hours? Is it just me or does that sound like one snoozer of a party? I can’t even get an effective drunk on in two hours and let me tell you, I’ve practiced!
The bottom line is – no matter what candle you choose, make sure to purchase a candle in advance and test it. Throw it out a window, put it underwater overnight, yell obscenities at it… Okay, not really but burn it for at least 6 hours and make sure it has the qualities you want.
A few candle qualities we look for when selecting in house candle products:
- once lit, a quality 3×3 pillar candle should glow from top to bottom
- candle flame should be at least 1/2″ tall consistently
- if wicks are trimmed properly (1/4″) candles should never smoke
- a taper candle should burn 1 hour/1″ in candle height
- a 3″ pillar candle should burn 10 hours/1″ candle height.
And don’t even mention tea lights – we don’t like them. They don’t burn very long – the flame reduces to almost nothing and the tin cup looks tacky inside glass containers. (As with everything, there are applications where tea lights are required, but if at all possible – don’t use them.)
On to Candle snobbery edict #2 – Don’t stink the place up! The mocha coffee candle you love at home has it’s place – at your home. In an event space, 25 mocha coffee candles will be overpowering if not offensive. Especially when you have other event elements working for you like food and flowers. Back when I was a waitress, the cardinal rule no matter where I worked, was never wear overpowering perfume.
Picture it – you’ve starved yourself all day in anticipation for that one culinary indulgence you could (but don’t) eat every day – you’ve ordered, you’re sipping a lovely glass of wine, the napkin is practically quivering on your lap. Ahh, there – you finally see your server coming your way with that steaming tray of… holy crap – what is that smell? At that moment the perfume physically assaults your nasal passages – masking the delicious food smell and confusing your hunger driven brain.
I know there is a trend in weddings to encompass all five senses – but don’t worry, a well planned party already does that without artificial scents. Disney pumps vanilla and cinnamon scent throughout Main Street USA as a tactic to sell candies and treats to visitors, but your guests aren’t market driving consumers. At the very least, they shouldn’t be treated as such when they attend your wedding. Filling a room with fake pumpkin pie scent while serving prime rib and crab legs makes your senses go wonky. Not to mention, it does a disservice to prime ribs everywhere.