Sand and Seashell Candles for an Ocean-Themed Event

Candles add instant romance to any event.  But most venues don't allow open flame, so tapers are out of the question.  Votives, however, are an easy solution, and are an incredibly easy DIY element for any wedding or party.

Simply choosing hurricane lantern shaped candle holders was an easy way to fit the nautical theme of this beach wedding shoot.  But why not take a few extra seconds to make the candles even more special and perfect, by nestling the actual wax candles in a bed of sand and a sprinkling of shells?

It seriously takes almost NO time at all, and looks fabulous.  

As an added bonus, the sand protects the glass from melted wax dripping down, and makes cleanup a breeze.  

I can't tell you how many votive candle holders I've thrown out over the years because of yucky wax buildup.  I do believe I'm going to have to figure out something sand-like to put in the bottom of every candle holder I own for every party theme.  (Remember the sprinkles candles?)