A Quick Lesson About Candles

We are pros over here at C and D. Let me tell you! We do everything so perfect and rarely make mistakes - well mistakes people know about anyways. There are a few things that make me cringe while working a job:

1. The idea of calling a bride on her wedding day to ask her a mundane question, i.e. - how do you want your napkins folded? We have never had to make that call - ever. We always do our homework and if it was not specified, we know the bride well enough to make an executive decision.

2. Looking harried to anyone other than the catering staff - they understand the pressures we are under!

and 3. Looking dumb/stupid/inexperienced in front of a vendor.

This is about number 3. We had a wedding last weekend where the bride contracted us for a day of service and also to do some decor help. We gave her the suggestion of lining the entry to her venue (Stockroom in downtown Raleigh) with candles. We did a mixture of floating, pillar, and then tea lights lining the bottom of big round vases. We had done it before with Donna at Flowers on Broad and have used the same idea on a head table. Everything went perfect on these previous weddings. And everything did go perfect..according to the bride. But backstage is a different story. Here is the entry way with all the candles lit up..

Gorgeous right?!?
It was gorgeous and guests were oohing and aahing as they walked in. I was so excited. Fast forward about 45 minutes into cocktail hour. All the guests are enjoying their drinks and appetizers and the bridal party has not made its way up and I hear a "Crack!" I looked over expecting to see one of the kids had kicked a vase but no - it had just cracked on its own. The catering manager came over and said that it got too hot. Weird. I told him we have done this many times before. He nodded his head and helped me clean it up. 2 minutes later, another one! What is going on? This was the culprit..
Confused? I was too. Even though I have a degree in Chemistry (soooo helpful to wedding planning!!) I was stumped. You see, in the past we have used these tea lights..

The difference? One is metal, one is plastic. The metal ones made the glass too hot which in turn made them break. The plastic ones do not conduct heat (thanks chem degree for that super sciency word) so they do not make the glass too hot. The catering manager looked at us like we were crazy. Like how did we not know this?!? Doesn't everyone know the science behind tea lights? Total fail on our part. Why did we switch? Well, the vases were on the ground, so no one was really going to see the candles up close and we needed about 150 tea lights. The plastic ones are pretty price (roughly .25 a candle!) and the metal ones are $7 for 100! We were trying to save some dollars. In the end we lost 2 rather big vases that cost us roughly $20 and a smaller tapered one that was close to $5. We didn't end up saving any money and it caused us a good amount of stress getting it situated before the bridal party got there (btw - it still looked amazing). Not to mention that the quick blowing out of the vases with the tea lights and then transporting them to the back made the wax go everywhere! So now we have about 20 vases to scrape and clean before the next wedding in March. Ughh!

Anyone want to be our intern??? We can promise lots of skill in the wax scraping department..