Wish Upon a Wedding Lantern

My colleague Shaun Gray posted blog about a lovely wedding tradition that one of her couples included in their celebration. I just LOVED it!  Thank you for sharing with my NJ wedding couples!

Wish Lanterns are very popular in Chinese culture for all types of celebrations, especially for weddings. In weddings, guests are encouraged to write their wish for life, or for the couple, on the rice paper wish lantern. Then, normally during the couple’s “send-off” the guests release their lantern into the sky and let their wish fly up to the heavens. A picture of a wish lantern can be seen below, courtesy of wishlantern.com

There is no questions about it, this is a beautiful way to celebrate love and eternal happiness, but how do you get around the legalities of releasing fireballs into the sky? If you’re having your wedding in an area that is even moderately populated, the answer is probably, you don’t. Never fear though, because we’ve been through this very predicament, and after being transferred to numerous departments within our city government, we were ultimately told that our couple would not be able to honor the tradition of a wish lantern. We knew we had to come up with an alternative that was beautiful and still captured the essence of making a wish, but how?

We suggested to the Bride that she purchase 100 metal lanterns. We then added 100 white, non-scented votive candles to her floral invoice. As the guests arrived to the reception site they saw a table set up with different colored sharpies, candles, and a sign instructing them to make a wish on one candle and place it in the basket next to the table so that their wish could be “Sent off with the couple”.

Thirty minutes before the couple exited the reception space, we teamed up with members of the banquet staff from the reception location to line the exit pathway with the 100 lanterns, lit the votive candles and placed them inside each lantern. Here is a glimpse of what that process looked like below.

The end result is pictured below, both with an amateur picture and with a close up of the gorgeous lanterns courtesy of G Pictorial Photography

It was a gorgeous way to send-off the special couple, and also a thoughtful way to honor a time-honored tradition.