Choosing the right lighting for your wedding is very important. In some situations, such as an outdoor event, it can be the only way your guests can see. Lanterns are a popular choice because they are versatile, but they are also very elegant while doing it. But which lanterns work best for weddings? Is there a type you should specifically consider or one I should avoid?

Unfortunately, many people get too hung up on aesthetics and don’t pay attention to what’s really important: making sure you have ample lighting. However, with the proper research and planning, you can find the perfect combination of lumen output and style to match your wedding theme.

Gas Lanterns Work Best at a Wedding imageGas Lanterns

An obvious first choice when examining which lanterns work best for weddings are gas lanterns. After all, they are what most people envision when they think of lanterns in general. However, there are a lot of factors to consider. Here’s a breakdown to help you determine if they are the right fit for you.


There are many benefits to choosing gas lanterns to illuminate your wedding. First, they have an unmistakably charming look. This will add to the overall all style of your event! Additionally, they are readily available and are typically inexpensive to purchase.


First off, lighting a whole bunch of gas burners can be a lengthy and tedious task. That alone will deter most brides from choosing gas powered lanterns for their wedding. Additionally, gas tanks are relatively expensive and having an open flame can be a fire hazard. When you combine all of these factors, the list of “cons” is quite convincing.

Best Uses at a Wedding

If you are having an outdoors-themed wedding, gas lanterns may have a place. They will create an authentic vibe, and typically the guest list is a bit shorter. That means there are fewer burners to light, so you can enjoy the ambiance without the headache.

Oil Burning Lanterns

Another popular choice for that “authentic” look is oil burning lanterns. There is no substitute for the look and smell of an oil burner. However, there are a lot of factors to consider. Here’s a breakdown to help you determine if they are the right fit for you.


There’s no faking the real deal, and oil burners live up to the hype. Just viewing one in action transports you back to another place and time. If you absolutely need something to complete the look of your theme, there is no substitute.


Again, lighting a whole bunch of oil burners can be a nightmare of a task. That alone will deter most brides from choosing oil burner lanterns for their wedding. On top of that, they are increasingly difficult to find. There simply aren’t many companies making them still. Moreover, oil is quite pricey and messy to fill into the canisters. When you couple those factors with the open flame fire risk, this option doesn’t seem so appealing.

Best Uses at a Wedding

Some wedding themes need very specific props and decorations to pull off. For instance, planning a Victorian-themed wedding can’t be faked very easily. Every detail that isn’t accurate brings down the entire mood. When you need the real deal, you have to use the right lamp.

LED Party Lanterns imageElectric Lanterns

Electric lanterns are another popular option people consider when examining which lanterns work best for weddings. They come in a variety of different versions, and they are available at a wide range of outlets. However, there are a lot of factors to consider. Here’s a breakdown to help you determine if they are the right fit for you.

Types of Electric Lanterns

So, there are a few different types of electric lanterns that you can use at your event. Most commonly, people consider camping lanterns from a reputable company such as Coleman. You can get them at virtually any department store, and they use regular batteries that most people keep in a drawer at home.

However, there are more decorative options available. For instance, party lanterns with an LED light inside can add the right mixture of light and ambiance. They are round globes made of paper, so they diffuse the light nicely. Typically, they come in the color white. However, they are also available in multi-color six packs for more variety.

The type you choose should be determined by your wedding situation. But, we will cover that more in a bit.


The biggest advantage to going electric is that they will use regular batteries. No fumbling with lighters, gas cylinders, or oil refills is necessary. Additionally, you can get them everywhere. There are even small electric lanterns at most dollar stores. If you choose the party lantern option, they also look fantastic for an evening garden reception!


The glaring drawback to going electric is that they typically aren’t very attractive. If having “that look” is important to your theme, they may not work. You could dress them up with paint or ribbons, but that may not work out too well. Lastly, if you choose party lanterns, you’ll need quite a few to produce any measure of ample lighting. They are intended to be used as accent lighting; not your main source of light.

Best Uses at a Wedding

If look is not too important and affordability and versatility are needed, these are perfect for you. You can use small ones to line your aisle. Perhaps you want to use lanterns in your centerpieces. No matter how they’ll be used, they are the most affordable and obtainable option.

IMage of Candlelit Lanterns Creating One of the Centerpieces at a WeddingCandlelit Lanterns

There are few things that can create the look and warmth of real candles. Sure, there are plenty of LED alternatives to candles out there, but they hardly do them justice. So, it’s easy to see why so many couples consider candlelit lanterns for their wedding. However, there are a lot of factors to consider. Here’s a breakdown to help you determine if they are the right fit for you.


As stated, candles put out a great amount of heat and wonderful light. They are the ultimate mix for great ambiance at your event. There’s a certain glow people have when chatting over candlelight, and there’s simply no substitute. If you want the perfect lighting from your lanterns, this option is definitely worth considering.


However, there are plenty of draw backs, too. For instance, they are very labor-intensive to get lit. Additionally, they do pose a small fire risk; though the lantern glass does protect them quite well. Lastly, they are a bit expensive because you need to purchase the lanterns and candles for each. Overall, there are much easier to manage options for lighting.

Best Uses at a Wedding

If you brave the notion of going with candlelit lanterns at your wedding, you will be rewarded. These work best for centerpieces, but they can also be used as accent lighting. It would be very difficult to illuminate your entire reception venue with just candles, but they can certainly make up the portion that creates warm light and ambiance.

Sky Lanterns

Sky lanterns are a very unique option that most couples overlook. They won’t give your reception light like the other options, but instead create a fun and entertaining experience for your guests. They are like tiny hot air balloons that you and your guests release into the sky. For more detailed info on what they are, checkout our product page. They can be a fun addition to any celebration! However, there are a lot of factors to consider. Here’s a breakdown to help you determine if they are the right fit for you.

Sky Lanterns imagePros

If you want something that is incredibly unique and that your guests will always remember, then beautiful white sky lanterns are an excellent option. There is no other type of lantern similar. Unlike ones that simply produce light and warmth, they are actually an interactive item.


Though they are amazing, they aren’t a good fit at some weddings. First off, if you are planning an indoor wedding, sky lanterns simply aren’t feasible. They travel for miles in the air before falling harmlessly to Earth and biodegrading. Second, they aren’t legal in many states. Lastly, they don’t solve the issue of providing light at your celebration. They are an interactive accessory, but they do not play a lengthy role during your event.

Best Uses at a Wedding

Many people use sky lanterns to get their guests involved in the celebration. Inviting your guests to light and release their own alongside the bride and groom is a fun activity! Similarly, the bride and groom can light and release a single one as a show of unity. No matter how you plan to use them, they are an excellent party favor for your big day.

So, Which Lanterns Work Best for Weddings?

We’ve covered five different types of lanterns along with their pros, cons, and best uses at your event. Deciding which lanterns work best for weddings is a matter of what your goals and needs happen to be. If getting the right look and ambiance is important, gas, oil, or candlelit lanterns are the right choice. However, sky lanterns are a great replacement for sparklers at your event. If you want ease and affordability, choosing an electric option such as LED party lanterns is a sensible choice. And, if you want something truly unique, you can’t go wrong with sky lanterns. Whether you’re seeking the proper lighting or an interactive favor, take the time to choose the right lantern for your needs.