6 Simple Tips for Wedding Reception Lighting
#1 – Assess your space
The conditions for lighting are bound to be different with every event space. When holding a wedding reception, the first step one should take is to assess whether the space suits the volume of attendees and plans of the reception. Before beginning to even consider lighting, the matter of tables, bars, and dance floors is chief among pre-reception responsibilities. Once these matters have been dealt with, effective and strategic lighting can be implemented to accent the room.
#2 – Choose the right lights
There are many ways to light a wedding reception. From brilliant, blinding white to accent the bride, to a strategic color wash to highlight a dance floor, choosing the right lights for your lighting needs is an important part of designing a gorgeous wedding reception. Pin spots are useful for drawing attendees’ focus to certain wedding fixtures, like the centerpiece of a wedding cake, the bar, or the DJ. If there is an important theme or message being communicated by the reception, gobos, which are essentially stencil shades for lights, can be used to draw attention to the motif of a wedding.
#3 – Coloring a white wedding
Weddings and wedding receptions aren’t known for their lively colors. The classic black and white is still the preferred color schemes of most weddings, but that doesn’t mean the lights have to be plain as well. Colored lights distract spice up the wedding reception and allow for more effective mood lighting during dances, toasts, and kisses. Using colors that complement skin tone is especially flattering for everyone in attendance. Magenta, peach, and rose are all fantastic colors to incorporate in a wedding reception because they’re not overbearing and balance the reception with a subtle air of romanticism.
#4 – Lighting up the exterior
Providing ample lighting for the outside of a wedding reception accomplishes a variety of goals. It makes the outside of the event space safer for attendees who want to stretch their legs or take a smoke break. It also insures Grandmother Phyllis doesn’t dislocate her hip when her heel slips on a decorative stepping-stone concealed in a dimly lit courtyard. Most importantly, it creates a feeling of continuity between the inside and the outside. Ambitious wedding receptions that manage to juggle a theme on the inside of the reception as well as the exterior area are impressive and garner a sensation of supreme elegance and beauty.
#5 – Remote control lighting
Syncing lights and managing them with a remote or computer adds a surprising element to the wedding reception. For instance, when the bride and groom go to dance for the first time as husband and wife, simultaneously blacking all of the lights and focusing a single spotlight on the married couple adds a sense of drama and spectacle to a wedding reception that will be hard to forget. The same idea can be applied to different parts of the reception. As opposed to having a DJ or Emcee call the receptions attention to a certain aspect of the wedding, using a fade to black and then back to warm lighting can be a more elegant solution to grabbing the reception’s attention.
#6 – Get creative with lighting
A quick search on Pinterest will turn up dozens of awe-inspiring ideas for wedding lighting, such as a bed of strings of twinkling lights draped across the ceiling, or a cascade of lights descending from the point of the ceiling into a funnel-like arrangement. Lighting the wedding cake table from beneath is another creative idea to differentiate your wedding reception from others. Sometimes the simplest of ideas are the most effective, like a column of mason jars with candles inside lining center of the bride and groom’s table. For those hosting their wedding reception outdoors, the amount of options when lighting up trees is a project unto itself. The most important part of lighting is to have fun and experiment, who knows what you might discover?
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