I think when most engaged couples hear “wedding lighting” they think “uplighting.” They think of spending a lot of extra money to add uplighting, and (based simply on my own observations) quite a few couples reject the idea.
But lighting doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, it can be one of the most cost-effective ways to decorate for your reception.
The pictures above all have something in common. They all used lighting to transform a reception and the reception venue.
Other than that, they don’t have much in common. Two were indoor weddings (the photos on the left). Two are from the same outdoor wedding.
The first was professional uplighting done by a local company that offers this as part of their wedding services. The second is the lighting the venue uses, which is very simple: Christmas lights strung on decorative screen panels. The third is do-it-yourself lighting that produced a gorgeous effect.
I have seen couples transform a church gymnasium with the simple addition of a few strings of lights. Even a plain wedding venue can get an entirely different look if you dim the lights and then light it your own way. Darkness hides a lot of flaws, and lighting can transform a venue into the colors and look you desire.
A few tips:
-More is more. If you want to create a visual effect with lighting, you need more than a candle on each table. Lights have a cumulative effect, so the more you use, the more light you will have.
– Direction is important. Light coming from the side (as opposed to overhead) is more flattering, and therefore more romantic. (Think office lighting vs. fancy restaurant lighting.)
– Every light has a color. Florescent lights are greenish. Tungsten lights are yellow. Candlelight is orange. Even when we don’t consciously see the color of light, it is still there, and some people argue that it affects us subconsciously.
And of course if you put time and effort into creating great lighting for your wedding, you likely want that captured in photos. Be certain your photographer can capture the magic you created without overwhelming it with a blast from their flash.