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Ramp up the romance with scented candles

Scent your big day to perfection with this masterclass in creating a magical atmosphere by expert candle-maker Timothy Dunn

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Tiger-Eye Candle by Timothy Dunn, £42

Combining his love of flowers and fragrance, Timothy Dunn’s bespoke candles perfectly complement the lavish floral arrangements he’s been placing in A-list homes and wedding venues for the past 20 years. So who better to ask about choosing candles for your wedding celebration?

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What scents should a stressed out bride-to-be pick to help her relax and remain calm?

‘Whilst lavender and rose are traditionally both relaxing scents, I would suggest choosing a fragrance that evokes a happy memory and transports you to a special place. Perhaps where you met your husband-to-be or the holiday where he proposed.’

How would you use candles during the wedding?

‘Candles can enhance the romance of the day and create a magical atmosphere. Depending on the wedding flowers, choose a scented candle that complements your bouquet. For example, what could be more beautiful than the scents of jasmine, tuberose, gardenia and freesia, through both flowers and candles? I love the simplicity of a row of storm lanterns, dressed with a few rose petals, to create a stunning and magical walkway down the aisle, or along the top table at the reception. Always remember when using scented candles at the reception that subtlety is the key, especially in the dining areas. Candelabra wrapped with trailing ivy and a few beautiful flower heads with twinkling tealights would be perfect for a dining room.’

How do you choose your scent?

‘Think about the location of your wedding and the time of year you’re tying the knot. As a florist, the seasons are the key, as flower varieties and colours change throughout the year. Your chosen candle scent, just like your flowers, will be remembered by your guests so choose carefully. For a winter wedding go for spice and wood accords, like sandalwood and frankincense. A summer wedding suits lighter top notes of tuberose, frangipani and jasmine.’

And what about placement during the reception?

‘If you’re mixing different scented candles, make sure each one is in a different location. For example, the scent in the reception could differ from the candle flickering away in the dining area. Little touches like having scented candles in the restrooms can also make a difference.’

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Neom White Neroli, Mimosa & Lemon Home Candle, £39.50

How long before guests arrive should it be burning to really fragrance a room?

‘When choosing a candle it’s important that the fragrance exudes waves of scent as opposed to a constant and overpowering smell. The finest fragrances in the world are subtle and not too synthetic and instant. When using scented candles at your wedding, you should leave them burning for at least three hours for the scent to fragrance at its best and the flame to burn the wax evenly.’

Can you use candles to enhance a summer wedding?

‘Yes, just choose a floral or zesty scented candle. Many brides pick beautiful peony and rose bouquets at this time of year, due to the gorgeous fragrance they exude, so why not take this scent and an English country garden theme throughout the wedding.’

We’re thinking that a scented candle would make a great wedding favour…?

‘Flowers have always been a traditional wedding gift but a scented candle is a fantastic alternative and will last longer. If you’ve used scented candles on your wedding day, giving the same fragrance as a gift to your guests would serve as a particularly special memento. You could also personalise them with an engraved message, your names or the date of your wedding, to add something extra special.’

Which scents would appeal to grooms-to-be?

‘Every man has his favourite cologne and finding a candle with a similar fragrance would make a perfect gift. For the final finishing touch a personalised lid would certainly have the wow factor.’

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Urban Apothecary Sweet William Candle, £25

Y&YW’s top five scented candles!

1.     For stressed-out B2Bs: Blend Collective Unwinding Candle, £25, blendcollective.co.uk

2.     For romance: Jo Malone Red Roses Candle, £38, jomalone.co.uk

3.     For a winter wedding: Tiger-Eye Candle by Timothy Dunn, £42, timothydunnlondon.co.uk

4.     For a summer wedding: Neom White Neroli, Mimosa & Lemon Home Candle, £39.50, neomorganics.com

5.     For a wannabe princess: Urban Apothecary Sweet William Candle, £25, urbanapothecarylondon.com (K Middy carried Sweet William in her bouquet)

Beauty ed’s word of warning!

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At my friend Holly’s hotel wedding, the ceremony took place in front of a table lined with tea lights. During the best man’s reading of The Owl and the Pussycat, he lent back on the table and his Richard James suit jacket caught fire!