How to Best Light a Wedding

Written By Alla Levin
July 25, 2019
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How to Best Light a Wedding

It cannot be denied that lighting is the single most important element when it comes to wedding decor. Yes, flowers and chiffon are pretty, but without the proper light, they just wouldn’t look right.

Here are nine lighting fixtures that you can choose from to dress up your wedding and reception venue.

Twinkling Lights

String lights when draped across the ceiling can create the illusion of a starry sky, even in daylight. This works even better when done outdoors. Twinkling lights can also make the ceiling appear higher when one end of the strings is positioned at a lower height.

Uplighting

When lights are strategically placed on the floor and are pointed up to the ceiling or installation, that’s called uplighting. It’s an easy but effective way to set the mood of the space. For a winter-wonderland theme, for example, you can fill the room with purple or blue uplighting.

Suspended Lights

One way to really draw your guests’ attention once they enter the venue is with suspended lighting installation, like a dozen hanging light bulbs arranged in different heights or candles that mimic Harry Potter. If you’re looking for a cool alternative to the classic lanterns and chandeliers, this is it.

Light Backdropthe amazing stage lights

When you think about light in photo backdrops, it’s usually the amazing stage lights that come to your mind. But lighting fixtures themselves can be the actual backdrops. The most common one in Pinterest has got to be a wall of string lights that line a sheer curtain and those huge light-up letters that remind you of Broadway shows.

Lanterns

The thing with lanterns is that they come in different shapes and designs, so you have a lot of options to choose from depending on the aesthetic that you’re trying to achieve. Asian inspired? Go with Chinese paper lanterns. How about vintage or rustic? Then go with gas lanterns.

Chandeliers

To instantly add drama to your wedding venue, strategically place chandeliers of varying sizes on your ceiling. This works really well on high ceilings. You can also bring them closer to the dance floor if you want an accent piece that would draw attention from your guests.

Candles

Candles are the perfect centerpieces to your table setup. They will go well with the flowers and place settings that you have been meticulously curating for months. Experiment with varying heights and different-colored candles to achieve Instagram-worthy status. Your guests will thank you for the effort that you’ve made.

Projections

Projections, whether on the floor, walls, or ceiling, add texture or character to an otherwise blank slate. With the help of computer graphics and carefully placed lighting equipment, you can instantly create a beautiful backdrop, an illuminated center aisle, or a mesmerizing ceiling that would wow everyone. Projections are also cost-effective because they don’t require additional time and materials to set up.

Lit-Up Dance Floor

While not exactly a lighting fixture, an LED dance floor is a sure way to entice your guests to get up on their feet and strut their stuff. Think of it as the chandelier for your floor because it serves as a centerpiece.

The LED lights instantly boost the ambiance of the room while creating an inviting atmosphere for the guests to socialize.

Tips

Now that you know the different kinds of lighting fixtures you can take advantage of in planning for your wedding and reception, here are four tips to help you along the way.

Hire a Pro

Lighting is a complicated thing because it requires a lot of equipment. The first person you should ask about this is your wedding coordinator or florist because many of them already provide lighting services. If they don’t, they can recommend companies that they have worked within the past. Check out their portfolio and see if it’s a right fit for you.

Know Your Lights

You should familiarize yourself with some basic lighting lingo so that when you talk to your event organizer or lighting provider, the person in charge knows exactly what you want for your wedding. You can always describe the kind of lighting you want, but knowing simple terms like pin spot, color wash, or gobos will save you that long conversation.

Indoor or Outdoor

Where you decide to hold your wedding and reception will determine the kind of lighting fixtures you need. When you do a site visit, make sure your lighting provider is with you so that the hired professional can also assess the space and give recommendations to you. If you’re hosting outdoors, take note of the possibility of bad weather, and plan a contingency plan on how to secure all the equipment.

Light by Style

Every wedding has a different aesthetic, and lighting is partly responsible for that. For a classic wedding, chandeliers and soft glow lights always do the trick. Market lights and makeshift lanterns from mason jars for a rustic vibe. For something that’s modern or edgy, fill your space with neon lights and LED screens.

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