When it comes to wedding design, wedding lighting is undoubtedly one of the most underrated elements. So, we’re here to remind you just how important lighting really is! It sets the overall mood for your wedding and allows you to show off all the pretty details you’ve spent months thinking about. Plus, you’ll want your guests to be able to properly enjoy their food and the dance floor, and you’ll want your photos to be exquisite. You can’t do any of those things with poor or insufficient lighting! If you’re not sure where to start, don’t know what to ask a lighting designer, or just need some inspiration to fit your wedding style, this handy guide will help you every step of the way.
GET TO KNOW THE LIGHTING LINGO
Before you start looking for lighting ideas or reaching out to vendors for quotes, you’ll want to know these key wedding lighting terms so you’ll know what you (and the pros) are talking about:
Uplighting – lights that are placed on the floor and shine up the walls in various colours
Gobo light – a template that light shines through to create a pattern, monogram, or motif on the floor, ceiling, or wall
Texture lighting – the same as a Gobo light but with a preset pattern, such as leaves or a starry night sky
Spotlight – a lamp that projects a narrow beam of light on one particular area or object
Pinspot – a tiny light used to illuminate a small area, such as a centrepiece on a table
String lights – also referred to as twinkle, fairy, bistro, or cafe lights, these strands of lights are the most versatile and cost-effective way to light up any space
Pendants – also known as drop or suspender lights, these are single fixtures that hang from the ceiling
LED light – a type of bulb that is cost-effective, long-lasting, and provides more vibrant colour than a traditional bulb
Colour wash – a general fill of colour used throughout an entire room that doesn’t highlight any particular area
TIPS FOR INDOOR AND OUTDOOR WEDDING LIGHTING
For an indoor wedding, you’ll need to know what lighting is already in the venue so that you can simply add to it or work around it. Uplighting is great for accentuating architectural features or changing wall colours to match your palette, and colour washing can help create different moods in different rooms throughout the venue. This is where a lighting design pro will be your best friend! They can help figure out what existing fixture will work and what to add to get the look you want.
For an outdoor wedding, power sources will likely be your biggest roadblock. If you’re getting married at night, you’ll also want to make sure all pathways to the venue, to the parking lot, and to the bathrooms are lit. For a small backyard wedding, you will likely be good with simple string lights in and between trees and votive candles on every table. But, if you’re having a big outdoor celebration in a courtyard or tent, you’ll want to call in the professionals! They might need to bring in generators for more power and will save you the hassle of trying to hang lights in high places.
Check out our venue uplighting page