Having “In Memory” candles is a personal choice and not a tradition at weddings, although there are marketed premade candles out there. I couldn’t justify spending $20 or more on a candle, so I made ours. I went to Walmart and bought two ivory, unscented pillar candles (I think they were $1 each) and two small square mirror plates to set them on (these were about $3 a piece). I already had silver glittery alphabet scrapbook stickers at home, but I went to Michael’s and got some pearl and corner embellishments to add to them. Using tweezers, I carefully placed each letter and number on the candles. The use of tweezers prevents getting your skin oils on the stickers, and also helps you keep them straight. Since they are going on wax you can easily peal and replace them if they begin to go askew (but don’t worry, they hold on great once you press them on hard! Ours made it 2 months in a tote and then all the way from Anchorage to Kodiak – 250 miles).
You could also tie or hot glue ribbon onto candles, use rhinestones, or whatever else your little heart desires. (Paint, pen, and markers do not work so don’t waste your money on those attempts). You can find small photo clips at Invitations by Dawn that you can use on your bouquet ribbons or could clip onto ribbon attached to your candles.
Here is how our candles looked when I was finished. They looked great up on stage, and cost about $5 a piece with all the materials.
You can choose to incorporate these into the ceremony, or just have them already lit when guests are arriving. I had my parents walk to the front together and light them at the beginning of the ceremony before my mother took her seat (the church we were married at has doors and stairs both at the front and back of the sanctuary, so my father went downstairs and circled back up and around to get me!)
Remembering loved ones lost in this way on your wedding day can help bring you a sort of peace, especially when it was someone you were close to and loved very much, who would have been there in life if they could. I prayed that morning that maybe God would let them look down on us and watch, and because of the peace I felt before I walked down the aisle I have faith that He did.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:18-19 ESV)