Wedding Lighting 101: Everything You Need to Know

There’s something about lighting that can have a magical impact on your wedding venue. It can instantly take a simple space and turn it into the most gorgeous site ever. You’ve heard the term “mood lighting” before—well, this is the case for wedding lighting as it can take everything from your wedding flowers, décor and cake to the next level. Here a list of everything you need to know when planning for your wedding lighting.

1. Find Your Lighting Vendor

Use your trusted resources to find your lighting professional. Many times your event designer or your on-site wedding coordinator will be able to recommend someone that they regularly work with. Or you’ll also find that many events designers and florists offer their own lighting services as well. Make sure you ask to see before and after photos of the transformed space to see their lighting work and the different options they offer.

2. Visit And Assess Your Venue Space

Make sure you visit your reception site at least once to figure out what kind of lighting you will need for the big day. If your reception is in the evening, see how the site looks at night and take note of where the fixed lighting is focused. Will you need dimmers for the overhead lights? Are there fluorescent lights that need to be turned off? Keep in mind that lighting that illuminates the walls, windows and ceiling can steal the attention away from the center of the room — and you want to make sure the tables, the cake, the dance floor and guests are highlighted, not the walls. Also, make sure the doors stay closed during the reception so that there is no outside light coming in which can ruin the mood lighting.

If the wedding is in the comfort of your own home, talk to your lighting pro about how much electricity you will need and ask if they will be bringing a generator. This is important to ask if you don’t want to risk blowing a fuse. If you have a DJ or band coming, they will also use your home’s power so let your lighting designer know so they can plan to make sure there is enough power to go around.

3. Choose The Right Lights

Depending on the design and space of your reception venue, the style of lighting you choose can vary. You can have your initials projected onto a wall, floor, or ceiling by using gobo lighting which is a great way to personalize your wedding.

Pin spot lighting can be used to highlight the tables or specific décor and a color wash to blanket the room with a specific color. A color wash is a great way to tie in your wedding color or even to set the dance floor apart from the rest of the room. The options of lighting are endless!

4. Fabulous Ways To Light Up Your Wedding
  • Illuminate the dance floor with a monogram or wedding motif. Adding a pattern or monogram is easiest way to personalize your wedding reception; it will also look beautiful as your guests dance the night away.
  • Color-washed walls. You can easily incorporate your wedding color in the reception room by lighting up the walls with a splash of color. You can keep the lights stationary or add an element of surprise by switching up the colors during the important events such as the first dance or cake cutting.
  • Outdoor chandeliers for a touch of glamour in a rustic wedding. What’s more elegant than chandeliers? Adding glamorous décor to a rustic wedding is just as chic as adding an indoor element to an outdoor wedding.
  • A canopy of twinkling lights. Create the effect of being “under the stars” by setting up a canopy of lights in your outdoor wedding reception. The way this design lights up the reception space is just magical.
  • Use lights to decorate trees or columns. By wrapping up just the trees or columns with twinkling lights, you will create a warm, inviting effect for your guests.
  • The beauty of candles. By using candles to light up your reception space, you will create a romantic and intimate setting for your guests. An upside to using candles is that they work beautifully in both indoor and outdoor settings.
  • Edison light bulb décor. Especially chic in outdoor receptions, Edison light bulbs have a distinct way of creating a whimsical vibe in weddings.
  • Lanterns. Lanterns come in many different shapes, sizes and forms which allows for creativity in illuminating your wedding. Whether you line the ceremony aisle with lanterns or you hang them from trees, the options are endless for brightening up your wedding with these.
  • String lights. String lights can instantly set the mood with its cute little bulbs. Wrap them around trees or string them above your dance floor for an instant chic vibe.

Featured Photographer: Julie Wilhite Photography

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