A candlelit outdoor table can set the mood for a romantic dinner, a festive party, or just about any occasion. Candles can be used as soft, subtle lighting for any gathering of friends, large or small.
Outdoor Candles for Special Occasions
When the weather turns warm and folks are spending more time outside, hosting a dinner, barbecue, or party outdoors is a terrific way to entertain. Candles can be added to the main dining table, side tables, a buffet table, or hung above the tables for overhead lighting. Here are some occasions where a candlelit outdoor table would be appropriate.
- Outdoor wedding receptions
- Fourth of July parties
- Birthday or anniversary celebrations
- Graduation parties or dinners
- Family reunions
- Summer barbecues
- Romantic candlelit dinners
Of course you could also host an outdoor gathering for no reason at all, just to get your friends and family together for a fun evening.
Candles for a Candlelit Outdoor Table
Outdoor candles should protect the candle and flame from elements such as wind. There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing your outdoor candles, including:
- The temperature outside. Thin or fragile candles, even with appropriate holders, will melt in the heat. When the mercury is soaring, thick, strong candles are best.
- Container candles. These candles have a protective holder that encompasses both the candle and the flame, keeping it safe from the wind. They're also safer to have on the table if there will be a lot of people milling about.
- Candle scents. If there will be an abundance of food being served, you'll want to keep the scented candles to a minimum, as they can be overwhelming even outside.
- Citronella candles. Citronella candles can be handy to keep the bugs away, but they shouldn't be situated on the same table where people will be eating or gathering. Keep them along the perimeter of the party.
Some Candle Ideas for Outdoors
If you're looking for unusual or unique candles for outdoors, try some of these:
- Candle lanterns and lamps
- Flameless candles
- Candles in glass vases, wine or cocktail glasses, or jelly jars
- Hurricane lamps
- Hanging candle lanterns
- Battery operated candles
- Floating candles
Candle Projects for Outside
If you're crafty and enjoy making decor items, you can easily fashion some beautiful candle holders and centerpieces to use outdoors on your tables. Here are some fun ideas for you to try.
- Make a floating candle - A floating candle centerpiece is a lovely addition to any table, and the glass container protects the candles from the elements outside. For a smaller floating candle, fill a small glass vase or large cocktail glass with water. Add colored sand, glass pebbles, or a few drops of food coloring, and place a single candle inside.
- Rubber stamping - You can use rubber stamps and white or colored ink to stamp designs on plain glass candle holders. Frosted glass holds the ink best, and creates a nice glow.
- Mason jar candles - Use ordinary mason jars to hold you candles. These jars can be decorated with simple ribbons tied around the rim, or even painted with pretty and colorful patterns.
Outdoor Candle Products
Looking for some new ideas for your outdoor candle table lighting? Here are some fun and functional products that will create a welcoming glow.
- Umbrella votive holder - This wire votive holder is designed to fit around your outdoor table umbrella. The set also includes six clear glass votive candle holders that fit inside the wire base.
- Red glass hurricane holders - Red glass gives off a warm glow, and makes your table look very pretty. This set of hurricane votive holders would be perfect for an elegant outdoor dinner party.
- Moroccan lantern with stand - This pretty candle lantern holds a tea light candle, and comes with a stand to keep it secure on your table. A couple of these would look lovely as accents on an outside buffet table.