Last issue I talked about making table decorations simply with candles, mirrors and rose petals. I mentioned that votive or tea light candles would be a great and inexpensive favor idea. But, what about a way to make them more personal? How to make these candles truly a part of your reception decorations and atmosphere?
Here's where the creativity comes in. First, as before, decide what your favors budget is. You will always go over budget if you don't have one, so make sure to write down how much you plan on spending on favors (as well as everything else you plan on spending money on for your wedding). Okay, now that you have that accomplished, once again we are heading to your local craft store.
Here is what I believe is the key to your success - keep an open mind. When you don't know what you are looking for, you never know what you might find. So...what are you looking for? Anything! Well, anything you could decorate a candle with, that is. Things like, ribbons, corrugated or other sorts of paper, stickers, bows, boxes (to put the candles in)....be creative!
Something that always looks wonderful at weddings is tulle (if you aren't sure what this is, just ask the craft store staff, they will know right away). White and off-white are normal wedding colors, but tulle is sold in any variety of colors. You could buy your bridal colors and white. Wrap the candle once in the bridal color (for example, lavender) and then again in white. Tie the top with a lavender ribbon and you have a cute sachet candle.
You can also wrap corrugated paper around the circumference of your votive candle and then tie it closed with a ribbon or two. Or, you could buy some stationary stickers (usually used to seal envelopes) and hold the paper together with these. Before you put the stickers on you can write a saying on them, or use stamps to put designs on them.
If you have a stamp maker in your town, you can even have them create a personalized stamp for you. Then, if you want to get really messy you can actually seal your candles or the paper around it - a fun way to do this is to melt old crayons or candles, pour a small amount on the candle or paper, wait a few seconds for it to set, and then press the stamp into it. (Your stamp will need to be relatively simple for your guests to be able to see the design - for example your monogrammed initials.) The result will be a sort of medieval seal.
Maybe your craft store sells wires with beads at the end - you can wrap these around your candles. Maybe they have some really pretty ribbon for sale - tie these around your candles for a simple and elegant look. Maybe they have strings of beads that are exactly your bridal colors - wrap these around your candle, or cut them up into individual beads and press them into the sides of your candles - there are so many possibilities!
Whatever you do, you are probably going to need some help. Don't worry! It has been my experience that the people close to you are just dying to find some way to help you - so don't be shy. Hopefully, if they don't want to help, they will just say, "No."
Good luck and HAVE FUN! Use this as a stress-reliever, not as a stress creator - don't expect perfection for every candle. The small nuances and imperfections are what will make each candle unique and personal. Finally, when your candles are finished, e-mail or send me a picture of them and tell me how it went. I would love to hear from you and about your experiences!