Your Guide to Wedding Lighting – Part 1

May 10, 2022

The special union of marriage makes for a magical day! The wedding reception is the highlight after the ceremony and serves as a festive appreciation for family and guests celebrating your newlywed status. When planning this unforgettable day, choose a lighting design to bring out the beauty and elegance of your venue. Plus, a spectacular lighting scheme will give great visual elements for your wedding photos!

Enjoy part 1 of our wedding event lighting tips to get you started.

Celebrating Indoors

If you are planning your wedding reception inside, take notice of the lighting already present at the venue so that you know how to prepare. There are many techniques and variations that will create different moods to personalize your space. Before the big day, take a walk through of your venue with your lighting designer. Discuss your design vision as well as the venue’s present lighting. Most spaces have sufficient built-in lighting, but for special events, you will want to integrate additional options. Scan the room and see where the fixed lighting is focused and take note of the power sources.

Celebrating Outdoors

For outdoor events, power will be the main concern. Be sure you have access to outlets. It’s a good idea to visit your outdoor venue the same time of day that you will host your reception. The time of day, amount of natural lighting, and surroundings will all impact your lighting choices. Small backyard wedding events require less lighting and preparations, like string lights, votive candles, and lanterns. For bigger outdoor celebrations, it’s best to call the professionals. Experts can bring in generators, ensure there is enough security lighting, inquire about permits, and most importantly – set the mood for your guests!

Lighting Lingo – Get familiar with these commonly used terms in lighting design

Color wash is just as it sounds. This technique “washes” the whole room in your choice of color. Bathing an entire area in color produces a dramatic effect. Especially if you are using an outdoor tent, the entire tent becomes your canvas. Dance floors and other special areas look fantastic using a color wash.

Gobos are incredible for personalizing your event. Gobo lighting involves using circular stencils over light to project a pattern or design onto walls, floors, or ceilings. Many couples create custom gobos to project their monograms, dates, wedding motifs, and photos. Gobos are memorable and an instant conversation piece for guests. 

Pendant lights are sometimes called drop or suspender lights. These are single fixtures that hang from the ceiling.

Pinspots are miniature spotlights used to illuminate focal points such as the wedding cake, centerpieces, dessert table, etc. Pin spots are multipurpose. For instance, they are great for directing guests’ attention to décor and focal points, while shadowing and hiding unsightly features of the room. Pinspots are perfect for large or tall table centerpieces that you want to beautifully highlight.

Spotlights use fixtures to project a narrow beam of light on one specific area or object.

String lights are also referred to as twinkle lights, bistro lights, café lights, and fairy lights. These strands of lights are versatile, cost-effective, and durable for their size.  A favorite at many commercial and residential spaces.

Up lighting are lights that point up! This technique involves placing lighting fixtures next to architectural features or against walls to project columns of light upwards. Up lighting is one of the most cost-effective lighting elements and it’s great for accentuating special features. Choose soft hues to coordinate with your wedding color theme and to enhance the vibe.

Intelligent lighting is also referred to as smart lighting and can be connected to a console, app, or computer software and controlled remotely. This allows you to change the look and feel of the lighting during your reception. Create romance on the dance floor in one moment and a high-energy dance party in the next moment, all within one control.

LED lights are efficient and a smart investment. Short for “light-emitting diode,” LED lights consume less power, are long-lasting, and provide a more vibrant color than traditional bulbs. They can be wireless, and do not get hot to the touch.

Let’s Talk Color

As you plan your wedding lighting design, color will play a big part. You may want to feature colors that match your wedding color scheme, or you might want to implement neutral colors like rose, candlelight orange, or amber. These shades compliment almost any color scheme.

Communicate with Your Lighting Designer

Part of planning your wedding event involves sharing your vision with your lighting designer. Here’s some helpful questions to discuss.

How will the venue’s lighting play into the design?

What venue features do you want to highlight?

Are there special architectural details?

What features do you want to de-emphasize?

What specific focal points do you want to highlight? (wedding party table, dance floor, sweets table)?

What décor elements do you want to illuminate (backdrop, centerpieces, monograms)?

Does the venue have fluorescent or incandescent lighting?

Can you control or dim the lights as needed?

What type of power is available in the room? 

Where are the outlets located?

Call us!

Designing your perfect wedding event lighting requires expertise and research. The designers at Mobile Illumination have experience utilizing the latest in special event lighting technology. We strive to make every occasion beautiful, bright, and unforgettable. Click here and call us today!

Want to see more landscape lighting tips? Check out our photo gallery!

Have Any More Questions?

We’re here to help! Give us a call and we’ll answer any questions you have about your string lighting.