Lighting up your wedding!

Unity CandlesLighting the unity candle is a truly bright moment and signifies the coming together of two people.

 

The Unity Candle Ceremony is a popular choice for both religious and non-religious ceremonies because it is non-denominational and has no religious significance.

The two outer candles represent your individual lives before today. They represent all that you are from your vast experiences, and they represent your individual families. As you each take a single candle and light the center candle, you will extinguish your individual candles.

Often the Bride will blow out the Groom’s taper candle and the Groom will blow out the Brides taper candle. This represents the closing of the chapters in your individual Books of Life and the beginning of new chapters as you begin to write a new book of Life as wife and husband!

Another way to do this is to allow the two taper candles to continue to burn. By allowing the flame of the two taper candles to remain lit, it represents that the Bride and Groom accept the individuality of each other as a means to fulfilling their commitment to one another.

Alternatively you could have your friends and family participate, give everyone a candle as they enter. When lighting the Unity Candle, each of you turn and share your light with the first row of seated guests on your side. Let the guests share the flame from their own small candle with the person sitting next to them until all the candles are aglow and you are pronounced wife and husband. The minister can suggest that everyone make a good wish for the Bride and Groom and blow out the candles.

If you are creating a new family you may want to include the children in the lighting of the Unity Candle. Often this is done by having the bride and groom light the candle for the children and then everyone lighting the center candle together. This is an excellent way to involve children from a previous marriage.

Having your unity candles personalized will add a special dimension to the ceremony and may reflect the themes and colours of your wedding –  Hand crafted wedding candles will be as original and unique as yourselves –

 

Wedding candles with Calla Lily, Remembrance Candle & hand painted Name Card

You might consider including children’s names, gift candles for your parents and bridesmaids (and groomsmen too!) ,memorial candles remembering deceased loved ones, favours for your guests and even décor at your wedding reception – consider having personalized globe candles that won’t burn away and can be used again in your home, reminding you of that very special day.

 

Tip:  Make sure that there aren’t any decorative beads, ribbon or lace around the candles – they can easily catch fire. Consider pre-lighting the taper candles and the Unity candle to make them easier to light in outdoor ceremonies. If your ceremony is outdoors, always have several extra lighters nearby in case the wind decides to blow the candles out. Putting the Unity Candle inside a glass hurricane lamp  or using Globe candles can be very helpful in protecting the flame from the breeze.

Globe Candles

There are other “unity ceremony” traditions that might appeal to others including

Rose Ceremony: A simple unity ceremony where the bride and groom exchange roses. Other variations: the families exchange roses, the bride and groom exchange roses with their families, the bride and groom exchange roses, then present their mothers with the roses.

 

Wine Ceremony: The bride and groom each take a carafe of wine and pour it into a single glass, which they both drink from.

 

Water Ceremony: The couple each pour a different colored water into a single glass, creating a third color.

 

Sand Ceremony: similar to the water ceremony, the bride and groom both pour different colored sand into a glass.

 

Salt Ceremony: Indian weddings often include a salt ceremony, where the bride passes a handful of salt to her groom without spilling any. He then passes it back to her and the exchange is repeated three times. She then performs the salt exchange with all the members of the groom’s family, symbolizing her blending in with her new family.

 

Breaking Bread Ceremony: The bride and groom tear off pieces of bread, and then each eat a piece. Sometimes the bread is also shared with family and friends. It symbolizes their future as a family together.

 

Garland Ceremony or Lei Ceremony: The bride and groom exchange garlands of flowers. This is a common part of Indian weddings, where the ceremony is called varmala or jaimala, and represents a proposal by the bride and acceptance by the groom. It also represents their new unity, blessed by nature. In Hawaian weddings, the bride and groom typically exchange leis. The families may also exchange leis with the couple. Leis represent the love and respect you have for the person you are giving it to, and the unity of the new family.

 

Circling: In Eastern European ceremonies, the bride and groom circle the altar three times, which are their first steps together as husband and wife. In Hindu ceremonies, couples circle the fire seven times, sealing their bond. The unbroken circle represents the unbroken committment to each other.

 

Broom Jumping: An African-American tradition that has its roots in slavery times when slaves couldn’t marry. Typically the family places the broom on the ground, and the bride and groom jump over it together. The broom can then decorate a place of honor in their home.

 

Lasso Ceremony: Lasso or rope is placed around the bride and groom’s shoulders, usually by the officiant. Sometimes rosary beads, or orange flowers are used instead of rope. It can also be placed around the couple’s necks, or wrists.

 

 

Celtic Oathing Stone The couple holds or puts their hands on a stone during their vows to “set them in stone (this may be where this phrase comes from!)

 

My favourite alternative is

Truce Bell. A bell is rung on the wedding day, the happiest day of the couple’s lives and then is placed in a central location in the home. If the couple starts to argue, one of them can ring the truce bell, reminding them both of that happiness and hopefully ending the disagreement quickly!

 

 

Here are some wedding reception candle ideas

Candle light is perfect for an evening or night time wedding, you don’t necessarily have to have flowers, but you do need to have candlelight. It adds a lovely incandescent glow and sets an intimate and romantic tone.  You can put votive candles directly inside flower arrangements for a wonderful sparkling effect. Adding light to a flower gives it a really nice glow.

Candles can stand on their own, or in simple hurricane vase or votives that shield them from the wind. Globe candles can be used again and again – the wax globe remains while the candle burns within – you can have the globe personalized with design, names or appropriate quotation – the design and text will be illuminated adding a uniqueness to the display.

Reception candles can also be used to underline the architecture of a building or the shape of a pool, or by running along steps or pathways to invite you guests into a space.

What ever way you decide to decorate, keep it in scale with the space. Engage all the senses. Think about how things will look, feel and smell. Scented candles, fragrant flowers and greenery, and rich fabric will create a quality that is rich and sensual.

 

Competition

Competition advertisement Carlow nationalistLucky winner of prize will receive unique personalized Wedding Candle Premium Set (worth approx €300) which will include Unity candles (set of 3 candles) in a custom made personalized box for safe keeping, remembrance candle (if required), gift candles for parents.  bridesmaids / groomsmen and Small personalized Globe candle for the Main table at the wedding reception.  Closing date for the competition is 5th February  2012 with the Carlow Nationalist

 

Frantic Friday!

I had the opportunity to keep the display of my candles and decorations in Bank of Ireland until today, Friday which was very helpful.  I thought I it would be difficult to manage it as I was helping my friend Pam Butler organise her first coffee morning in Rathoe Hall for Pestalozzi World .  It was a small but pleasant gathering in a really lovely village hall.  More fundraising activities for this educational charity will take place during the year.  The charity is celebrating 15 years in 2010.  Have a look at their website if you need cheering up to see what can be achieved with relatively small money and great optimism and enthusiasm.

After the lovely coffee and cake I returned to the bank and met several old, new and potential customers.  On this occasion I had not only the possiblity of selling candles, but also my dainty christmas decoration boxes, and mini colourful christmas stockings which were a great hit!  There’s always the hope that some or all of the stockings and dainty decorations may grace the desk of a few Carlow Teachers – they are a suitable festive token for a child to give his or teacher….without breaking the bank!!   Such gifts might garner the approval of RTE’s Joe Duffy show and listeners today.  If you want to listen to parent and teacher opinions on gifts this is the pod cast.

If you’d like to buy any of these decorations Madeleine at the Little Coffee House in Penny Lane market on Tullow Street has a few,  otherwise contact me directly especially if you’d like them personalised.  Next year I’ll be organised for Christmas Markets!  There’s a Christmas market at Ducketts Grove this weekend – I can’t get there, but hope it’ll be good for traders and customers.  Last year it was terrific.

Also at the bank during the week I met Bernie from Malones Fruit Farm in Ballon and Elaine Kelly from “All made in Ireland”, Joe Byrne from Playball, Keith Dowling photographer,  &  Ger Gibbons Photographer

Bank encouraging Local Business

Bank of Ireland are doing their bit for local business this week by inviting businesses to display their work/goods in local branches.  Today is my second time displaying personalised candles and my new Christmas Decorations at their new branch in Carlow, at Shamrock Plaza.  It was a productive and enjoyable day overall with my dainty handpainted Christmas box decorations going down a treat.  Handpainted Christmas Box DecorationsI had the opportunity to meet “real live”customers and came away with several orders!  It makes a pleasant change to leave the bank with a few bob “in the bag”!   The branch is very spacious and there was plenty of room for several displays which included Gibbons photography, Gaelic Web design, Malones fruit Farm and myself.  Other businesses will be showing off their wares during the week.  I’m planning to be there again on Wed and Thurs so if you’d like to have a look at my work please do – I’d be delighted to meet you there.

Candles for Oz

One of my very regular customer’s often sets interesting challenges for me, usually for wedding candles and I hope she’s pleased with my latest effort – Personalised  candles for a wedding in Australia with Irish groom and Australian bride.  Sometimes I use flags to represent nationalities, but when it came down to trying to engrave the Australian flag I faltered! Interestingly I did find out the origin of the design from http://www.anbg.gov.au/oz/flag.html –  Apparently the Australian Flag came into being after the federation of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 Jan 1901.  The flag as it is today was adopted in 1954.  It consists of  – the Union Jack in the first quarter, the Southern Cross in the second quarter – 5 stars in a kite like pattern.  The constellation of the Southern cross is a navigational feature of the southern hemisphere and places Australia geographically and has been associated with the continent since its earliest days.  In the third quarter is the Commonwealth Star – it has 7 points denoting the six states and combined Commonwealth territories.  So there’s always an opportunity to learn something new!australian Flag

Back to the candle!  – After thinking about kangaroos, sydney opera house, I decided upon the very cute Koala bear.  But now how to represent Ireland – our flag is fairly easy to manage, maybe a koala playing a harp, anything green………….and so it came together – a very cute silver grey koala bear holding a green shamrock.  Now hopefully bride and groom will be pleased with the outcomeKoala & Shamrock