Silent Flames - Beauty and Danger

I have officiated at many weddings, baby celebrations, and other sacraments. And when candles are lit to illuminate the space, all the other decorations come alive. The water glisten, the flowers brighten, and facial expressions soften.

The silent flickering flames quickly removes the danger of fire from the minds of a select few. I recently did a wedding where the florist created a beautiful walkway of staggering glass columns. Each vase was filled with water to the brim while the candles floated gently above a sea of exotic plants. Seeing the aisle decorated this way was not my first time. But it was the first time I had seen the candle flames above the rim of the glass.

I took my concern to the florist immediately. After telling her that some of the water needed to be removed from the cylinders so that the candle flames would be lower; she replied "that's what the couple wanted, so let me check with the wedding planner."

Minutes later, nothing had been done. So I sought out the planner myself and place the perils of the situation at her feet. And of course, she needed to speak with the florist. When she returned, she said, “in order to lower the candles the florist would have to break down the arrangement, and she’s not going to do that.” Meanwhile, the danger persisted. So one of the guest, fearing for her safety, put out a set of candles next to her seat.

Noticing this, the planner saw that was probably the best option. Minutes later, the florist arrived and extinguished the rest of the candles.

How could the florist not be mindful of the danger she had created.
How could she walk away from a warning saying “that's what the couple wanted?”

When a couple sees something they like, they expect a professional to educate them about the best way to use their idea in creating a dream wedding.

They also expect a professional to use good judgement (common sense), and not just deliver a product while jeopardizing the safety of others.

So know who you are hiring. Don’t always go for the cheapest, because the cheapest may lack the expertise of a sage professional.

Hire someone who has your best interest in mind as well as the integrity of their business.

So here is my question to those reading this Blog.

If someone was harmed as a result of the florist negligence, who would have been liable?

Select one or more:
the venue, the couple, the florist, the planner, or all

Kindly post your answers.


Rev. Starlene Joyner Burns
Authorized Wedding Officiant

DC Wedding Minister / Maryland Wedding Officiant / VA Marriage Celebrant

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Serving MD, DC, & Northern VA, Washington DC, United States