As any bride knows, wedding candles are an integral part of any ceremony and reception. They have so many uses that it's important you choose your candles as carefully as you would choose your dress!

Candles are used for basic decorating purposes for both the ceremony and reception, but they also have more specific uses. Some couples use them in a unity wedding ceremony, where the bride and the groom hold a tapered candle each, representing their separate lives before they met, as together they light a pillar candle to show their union into a merged life. The three candles can then be placed in a beautiful Unity and taper holder showing that the bride and groom are individuals but that together they are more.

If either the bride or groom or both have children, then they can be involved in the wedding at this point by all having their own candles.

You can have stunning themes for the Unity candles and ceremony such as Asian Fusion or Celtic Charm candles and accessories. The Asian Fusion candles are a fabulous red with black trimmings while the Celtic Charm theme is in beautiful muted greens.

Wedding candles offer a romantic element to the affair, and create a calm and peaceful environment so that you don't have to have bright lights glaring down on you and your guests. A great idea is a personalized wedding candle. For instance, a family circle monogram personalized luxury candle which features a monogram crest with space to enter dates and names around it in a circle.

It doesn't matter if you're having a day or evening wedding, wedding candles add an ambiance no other piece of décor can. Some couples even use floating wedding candles if they're getting married beside a pool.

Even if you're having an indoor wedding, you can still incorporate the floating wedding candle idea into your ceremony or reception by placing the floating candles in a clear glass vase or container decorated to match your wedding theme.

Tea-light candles can be strategically placed around the event to add a subtle charm and even scent, if you opt to invest in aromatic wedding candles. If you are worried about the tea light candles going out or causing a fire then there are battery operated "flickering" tea lights that can be used. The flickering of the wicks give the appearance of real candles.

The holders for your wedding candles are every bit as important as the candles themselves. You can choose plain candle holders that will blend in to the background, or wedding candle holders that match your theme. There are even gorgeous "suspended heart" unity and taper holders which hold the three candles in the one, three branched silver plated, holder.

A candle wedding favor can also be a wonderful gift to give to your guests or bridal party. You can have the candle holder engraved with their name or a special message showing your appreciation to them for their participation in your special day.

Wedding candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can have large candles to decorate your event, and include miniature versions on each table for the guests to enjoy. One bride even had candles set up in martini glasses - a fun display that set the mood for the party after the ceremony.

Perhaps the most beautiful effect you can see using candles in a wedding is when brides choose to use luminaries. In case you aren't familiar with them, luminaries are decorated bags that you place along a pathway with a candle inside that makes the decoration shine through.

As people walk along the path to the wedding, the effect of dozens of doves and hearts set a beautiful mood and it makes a lasting impression on the guests. You can even have the luminaries sprinkled throughout the area if you have a garden reception.

When using luminaries, the bag itself is the décor, and you can use tea light candles to bring the effect to life. They are safe to use and come with instructions so you won't feel unsure investing in this unique form of wedding décor.