Lighting seems like a no-brainer, but there is actually a lot of thought that should be put into how you use lights on your big day. The way your event is lit can have a great impact on the ambiance, as well as how your photos turn out! Here are a few things to consider when choosing how to decorate your reception with lighting.
Depending on where your reception is held, there are certain things you may or may not be capable of. Do you have enough outlets for tons of string twinkle lights? Does your venue have a “No Open Flame” policy? Before you set your heart on a certain light style, consider what is accessible and practical for your event. Check with your venue guidelines to determine what is allowed.
Are you planning a rustic barn party? Or maybe you’re aiming for a more classic vibe? Whatever style you’ve chosen for your event, lighting can help play a big part in creating your perfect ambiance. Here is a small list of specific lighting details for your perfect event style:
- Rustic: market lights, luminaries, mason jars with candles, and Edison bulbs.
- Romantic: draped twinkle lights, chandeliers, white metal lanterns, paper lanterns..
- Classic: spotlights, crystal chandeliers, metallic candelabras, pillar candles, simple twinkle lights.
- Modern: LED lights in geometric centerpieces, color-wash lighting, copper industrial light fixtures, video projections.
- Whimsical: unique items, like umbrellas or oversized flowers, lit up with soft twinkle lights, trees wrapped in lights, candles floating in the water.
- Edgy: iron lanterns, Edison bulbs, marquee signs, candles in modern glass cases.
Consider Hiring a Pro
If you’re having a lot of trouble planning how to do your own lighting, you might consider hiring a professional. A light designer is someone who can plan out exactly how to execute your lighting in the perfect way, and even set it up for you. Hiring someone like this can be especially helpful if you want to do something extravagant with lights, like the photo below. Something that people tend to forget is how time-consuming it is to put up lights. Hiring someone to take this off your plate will save you some sanity when it comes to crunch time. You can usually get a suggestion for a lighting designer from your florist, your event planner, or even your venue contact.
Location, Location, Location
Where you have your event is going to change how you light it. Plan to visit your venue during the time of day that your event will be. This will help you get an idea of how much extra lighting you will need. Even if your venue has enough lighting, does it convey the vibe you’re going for? You can add small lighting touches for extra styles, such as little lanterns or candles.
If your event is outdoors, you’ll likely need more lighting. Check out the venue after dark so you can pinpoint exactly how much extra light you’ll need. Take note of how many outdoor outlets you have to work with and keep them in mind when planning your lighting. Your location will also dictate what is and is not allowed- see “Accessibility” above.
Feeling inspired to start planning your decorations? Check out our Top Flower and Decorating Tips!
Want to find someone in your area to help you? Check out our Vendor Network!