Whether it’s a roaring flame or the gentle glow of a Unity Candle, nothing provides romantic ambiance like using fire at your reception. There’s really no matching the quality of light from an open flame. With some safety measures in place, there are ample opportunities for using fire at your reception; even if you don’t have friends who spin fire poi and blow gouts of flame. Here are five ways to have a fiery wedding reception.


The first suggestion on the list is the most common and simplest: use votives or tea lights in your centerpieces. With the electric lights turned down low, the flickering candlelight will be perfect for that romantic first dance. Candlelight is also a subtle way to modify behavior at your reception: it encourages quieter, more intimate conversation among your guests. With a lower noise level and the perfect romantic atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with candles.

Using Fire at Your Reception imageTiki Torches

For an outdoor reception, tiki torches are the boisterous big brother to those table votives. The name might conjure up images of wicker-wrapped kitsch, but modern tiki torches come in as many different finishes as you can imagine. There are sleek aluminum models, cast-iron, oil-rubbed bronze, even glass. Pick a torch that goes with your theme and line the dance floor with them to give your reception a wild and festive air. They even help to repel pesky insects like mosquitoes which makes tiki torches the most valuable way of using fire at your reception. After all, you don’t want your wedding guests to get eaten up, right?

Wedding Sparklers

For a little handheld magic at your reception, you can’t beat the showers of sparks from wedding sparklers. Modern sparklers have wire cores instead of wood, so they put out less smoke and could be used indoors (provided your venue will allow them). You can also do great time-lapse photos with your wedding party making letters or shapes with the sparks. Why should the 4th of July have all the fun? Just remember to use safety clips as an extra precaution!

Sky Lanterns

For the end of a dusk ceremony, or to cap off the reception, paper lanterns make for a gorgeous spectacle. The paper lantern is held up by a wire frame which holds a flaming cotton ball under the lantern. The heat from the fire warms up the air and makes the lantern inflate and take flight; which makes using fire at your reception very safe since it all happens high in the air. The lanterns themselves are fireproof and biodegradable, so you won’t have to worry about causing a catastrophe when they land. It’s a wonderful way to light up the sky with glowing lights. For an extra layer of meaning, you can have guests write a wish for the bride and groom on the lantern before they let it fly.

Having a Fire at your Reception

For the end of an outdoor reception, a fire pit is the perfect call-back to campfires and bonfires of your youth. It’s also the easiest way of using fire at your reception. After your guests have danced and drank their fill, it’s the perfect time to relax on benches around a fire, reflect on the day, and even roast a few marshmallows. Beautiful flickering light, warmth, and snacks–what’s not to like about using fire at your reception?

Whether it’s a few votives as centerpieces or a hundred sky lanterns bearing well-wishes, using fire at your reception brings warmth and romance to your wedding. Of course, if you do happen to know a few fire-jugglers, blowers, or eaters, you should enlist their help as well.