Lighted Wedding BackdropWeddings are greater than the sum of their parts, and that’s especially true with even the smallest of details. You probably already know that lighting contributes quite a bit to your celebration’s look and feel, as well as your guests’ comfort. So how do you design a wedding lighting scheme that’s both feasible and beautiful? Understanding basic principles and knowing your options can help you make good choices for illuminating your special day.

Get To Know Your Venue

Understanding your venue is an essential starting point in creating your wedding lighting setup. Your approach will differ for indoor and outdoor locations, but the time of day at which your event takes place will also impact your plans. The Knot’s Lauren Kay recommends visiting your venue during the same time slot you’ve scheduled your wedding. As you perform a walkthrough of the space, take note of any existing lighting fixtures. You should also pay attention to incoming sunlight and electrical outlets, especially at outdoor venues.

During your venue walkthrough, you’ll also want to keep three things in mind. First, don’t rule out bringing in extra lighting at an indoor venue. Even with standard fixtures in place, you can still create magnificent effects with strategically chosen additions. Moreover, bringing a generator may be a wise idea at outdoor locations. You’ll need the extra power for illumination, food prep and storage, and lighting and sound for your entertainers. Finally, you may be required to obtain additional permits for outdoor lighting and electrical setups. Check with your venue’s management for details.

Wedding Lighting Options To Consider

You’ve likely seen wedding receptions gloriously lit up with candles or string lights, but those are just a couple of options at your disposal. A complete illumination strategy will usually consist of several different components. Both The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings list some important terms you should know when you’re planning how to brighten your venue:

  • Underlighting and uplighting, which shine from below
  • Color wash, using colored gels over beams to shine colored light over a large region
  • Spotlights, projecting intense beams onto a specific object or region
  • Pin spots, or narrow light rays directed onto targeted focal points
  • Gobo lighting, using stencils to broadcast illuminated patterns, shapes, or letters

Each method creates a unique visual effect, producing stunning results when expertly executed. Uplighting typically shines upward onto walls, while underlighting illuminates items from below. Color washes can drench ceilings, walls, dining areas, and even your dance floor in vivid hues. You could cast pin spot lighting down onto your table centerpieces, or project your names onto walls or ceilings with gobo lights. Meanwhile, you can add specific fixtures such as lanterns, candles, portable chandeliers, or string lights.

Don’t overlook practical lighting applications, either. You must ensure that guests can safely access restrooms, parking areas, your dance floor, bar, and food tables. For outdoor weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings’ Nicole Harris recommends landscape lights installed along pathways on the ground.

Consider Help From a Professional

Professional assistance could prove to be helpful when you’re designing a wedding lighting setup. Your pro may come from the venue itself or might be an outside vendor such as a dedicated lighting and sound company, an event furniture rental provider, or a décor and lighting specialist. If you’re working with a limited budget, The Spruce’s Jessica Bishop suggests carefully targeted effects to get the most for your money. Uplighting instantly adds a “wow” factor to any space and can be augmented with inexpensive additions like LED lights and candles.

Whether simple or complex, effective illumination for your venue is a fundamentally important detail at your wedding. Surveying your location, carefully choosing your desired effects, and working with professionals can help you design a memorable, breathtaking lighting strategy that works best for your event.

Category: Wedding Materials

wedding day wedding venue wedding theme wedding vendors

Add Your Comment

To post a comment you must log in first.
You may alternatively login with your credentials, below.