Votive candle holders hold small candles called votive candles. They allow the wax to pool so that the candle actually burns longer when it is in a holder than when it is not. The holders are often clear glass that allows the glowing candle to be seen as it burns down, but frosted ones are also available that provide a gentle glow. Many votive candle holders are round, but they are also many made in square shapes that are usually a little over two inches in height and two inches in width. Square ones are slightly shorter. Both round and square holders require the same size round candle.
There are other shapes of glass holders available, such as hurricane glass holders of clear glass that are hand blown. Although this unique shape is very attractive, it does not always have a flat bottom and may need adhesive or tape to level the bottom. A triangle-shaped holder is also made that provides a very unique look with a candle burning inside. Some companies also sell larger than average size votive candle holders in classic round shapes except that they are about one-half of an inch taller than standard size ones. Colored holders and petal-shaped holders are also sold. It is possible to buy sets of assorted colors of purple, amber, blue, pink, green, and red or all of one color at some websites.
Votive candles were first used for religious ceremonies in churches. They are still used in large cathedrals and churches where a person lights a candle in memory of a deceased person as they pray for and remember the person. The most common use for these candles today is for decorative purposes. They are used in groupings in homes on a dining room table or buffet table, and they are often used in restaurants and for weddings. In restaurants, they are set on the table where they provide a soft glow for dining. At weddings, they are typically used to decorate guest tables at the wedding reception in groupings of one or more candles arranged with taller pillar candles or flowers. Special sets of a color that coordinates with the restaurant theme or wedding theme may be specially ordered.
It is possible to find specialty holders for parties or for various times of the year, such as Halloween when holders are sold with witches, pumpkins, and other symbols of the fall season. During Christmas, red and green holders are popular, as well as clear or frosted holders that hold red, green, or white candles. Many table arrangements can be designed around votive candles year round. In the spring and summer, floral arrangements may surround the candles for a fresh, beautiful look.
There are many websites who specialize in selling votive candle holders and candles, both bulk and wholesale that are economical for those planning a wedding or for restaurants. Buying in quantities of 72 or 144 holders is cheaper than buying individual holders, so anyone planning a big dinner, banquet, or gathering can save money buying them in large quantities.
There are also larger decorative candle holders that have numerous votive candle holders on them. They may be vertical, as in a candle stand with seven small holders or horizontal styles that span most of the table length. These holders are often constructed of wrought iron. Individual wrought iron holders are also made in which one votive candle is placed.
Personalized votive candles are also sold for weddings, school dances, and banquets. These may have two hearts entwined with the couple’s names and date of their wedding, the name of the school dance or special event with a special symbol, or other markings on the holders. They are not only functional at providing light, but they are meant to be keepsakes after the event.