Tips For Stunning Wedding Lighting

Planning a wedding is hard work. It takes a lot of coordination to get everything just right. There are many aspects that wedding planner must consider. One of the most important aspects of the wedding is the lighting. Wedding planners may be tempted to leave lighting as one of the last things to worry about. However, your lighting options have a huge effect on the overall feel of the wedding space. The right lighting can take your wedding from ordinary to stunning. Listed below are a few wedding lighting tips.

If done right, lighting can make everything look better. You may want to consider hiring a lighting specialist for the occasion. But if that’s not in the budget, there are a few things a planner can do to make the lighting fabulous. First, make sure to look at your wedding space beforehand to get an idea of what you have to work with. You want your lighting to focus on the tables, dance floor, and the bride and groom. If you’re lighting for an outdoor wedding, there are many options you can use. You can try unconventional methods to light up your pathway and event tents. Tent lighting can be especially effective. Ornate chandeliers, glowing orbs, or paper lanterns can create a very dramatic statement depending on the look you’re going for. Also, don’t be afraid to use colored lights. Use colors that compliments skin tones. Lights in centerpieces can also add a dramatic splash of vibrancy. Use your lighting to highlight and complement.

Wedding Lighting Solutions

LIGHT UP YOUR WEDDING

You planned the big day with your wedding planner. Together you have tasted the food, hired the wedding entertainment, and visited the location. Perfect, what’s next? Did you know that lighting design is one of the most cost effect ways to accent your important elements? Picture a room that matches with your favorite color, or even the color of your bridesmaid’s dresses. Lighting can match with over 1,000,000 colors. You can dance inside a personalized name monogram, have dramatic color washes on your ceiling, or pin spot your center pieces. Most couples do not know about the benefits of lightning design when structuring their reception budget. This service can only be provided at a reasonable price by a handful of reputable vendors.

You might not prefer a light show at your wedding, which is perfectly normal. It wouldn’t be appropriate for your room to change color every two seconds. That is why most professionals recommend a choice of static colors and patterns. For example, you can even choose break up patterns. These are images like tree branches or wispy designs that make for an elegant backdrop in your photos. You have the choice of a primary and secondary color to highlight. Your guests will remember your wedding day. Most importantly, you will say “wow” when you see your room for the first time.

ARCHITECTURALLY FEATURE ANY COLORS

Lighting companies need a sample color swatch to match. When deciding on which color scheme to choose, your options will depend on which company you select. A capable lighting designer will be able to accommodate any colors at any moment during your reception. Reputable event groups use light emitting diode (LED) technology which allows for computerized control. These fixtures are more expensive than traditional gel pars, but they are worth it. Your lighting can change colors as the mood of your evening progresses. Since LED fixtures utilize low power consumption, they are also great for the environment.

KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS

You should be able to openly discuss how your want to light up your event. It is important to take the vendor’s recommendations seriously. When you communicate your expectations, they can deliver based on their limitations. Not every venue has the same architectural layout. Some halls have vaulted ceilings, while other have dark wood paneling. These and many other factors will greatly impact the approach your lighting designer takes. There are several kinds of fixtures that accomplish different things. PARs are used for longer concentrated throws, pallets have a wider beam angel, and strips fit somewhere in the middle. If your walls are a darker wood, then pipe and drape with strips might be your only option. Pallets and soft edge intelligent lights help with evenly distributing color saturation across vaulted ceilings. If you are lighting up trees and buildings outside, then IP65 rated PARs will be used to handle the elements. Depending on your budget, you should be provided with a personalized quote. Since lighting quotes are flexible, it is really easy to go up or down from there.

THE SPOTLIGHT

Personalize your grand entrance with a high intensity follow spot. This light has a computerized focused iris that can follow your bridal party all the way back to the head table. Spot lighting during your grand entrance really kicks up the wow factor. How will you put emphasis on your first dance? This formal dance has deep significance and it deserves special attention. Do you want that beautiful cake to shine in bright white? Light it up with a spotlight. If you have reflective crystals or flower petals on the cake, then guests will really take notice.

CUSTOM NAME LIGHT

These lights are made specifically for the guests of honor. You choose several designs and pick the one that you like the best. A custom gobo will then be made to display your name during the reception. You have the choice of having your name monogram projected on the wall or dance floor. How cool would it be to dance inside your name? Name lights give a very personalized feel to your event and they are also very affordable. Since the gobo is custom fabricated out of steel, you can even take it home at the end of the night as a personal memento.

TABLE PIN SPOTTING

Your spent time and money on your center pieces, how will you ensure guests really take notice of your hard work? Make your center pieces seem larger than life with table pin spotting. These fixtures are small and hidden along the edges of walls. A circular beam is aimed at the center of your tables from above, making your centerpieces come alive. Just like a custom name light, table pin spotting can easily be worked into any room lighting package.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Lighting design will have a huge impact on the outcome to your wedding reception. Your guests will give you tons of compliments and you will be happy with your decision. Lighting solutions give you the biggest bang for your buck, so it is money well spent. There are only a few reputable vendors that offer lighting service. So you should view sample work from previous events before signing a contract with a company. When talking to a lighting artist realize that their price is based off of two main factors a technician fee and fixture fee. You need to ask what is included in the final price, since it might not reflect travel expenses or design costs. If you’ve seen lighting at a wedding reception, you will realize it is a no-brainer.

All About Wedding Lighting

Lighting is often overlooked when discussing wedding decor. This is unfortunate because lighting can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your wedding for a relatively small investment. The proper lighting can transform an ordinary room into a stunning work of art. In addition to transforming the room, different types and colors of lighting can create different atmospheres and moods throughout the course of the evening.

The first step in lighting for a wedding is to turn off any fluorescent lighting in the room; you are at a wedding, not in an office building! After the fluorescents are gone it is time to create your elegant lighting design using gobos, uplights, pin spots and intelligent lighting.

Gobos

When using lighting as part of your wedding decor the first element you should consider is having your name in lights. Having your wedding monogram or names projected onto the dance floor or a backdrop has the biggest “wow” effect for the least expense. It is a very chic and glamorous decoration that will amaze your guests as they first walk into the room and it makes for great pictures.

This is done through the use of a specialized lighting fixture and a gobo. A gobo is a special metal or glass disc that goes into the light fixture to produce the desired pattern wherever the light is projected. Gobos come in pre-made patterns or you can have one custom made for you with whatever artwork you would like. In addition to having your names projected gobos can be used to project patterns corresponding to your wedding theme onto the dance floor or the walls. Read more about gobos for your wedding here.

Uplighting

The second element in wedding lighting is usually uplighting. Uplighting consists of placing lighting fixtures around the perimeter of the room pointing up onto the walls or other architectural fixtures. The uplights create columns of light going up the wall and bathe the room in a beautiful glow. The uplights are color coordinated with your wedding color scheme to tie everything together. The amount of uplights required depends on the size of the room and the desired effect.

There are two major categories of uplighting fixtures; Conventional par cans and LED. LED uplights are the newest technology and offer several advantages over traditional conventional fixtures.

LED fixtures consume far less power than the old-fashioned par cans. Many times all of the uplights can be run off of a single electrical outlet which is very important in venues with limited power supply. Traditional uplighting fixtures can become hot and pose a risk to small children who like to touch the lights. LED lights remain cool to the touch throughout the entire event. LED lighting is often “intelligent” which means it can be programmed to produce millions of colors from a single unit and can be controlled to vary color, intensity, speed of color fade, etc throughout the course of the night to create different moods. This can create some truly dramatic effects as the walls of your venue change from one color to another as cocktails end and dinner begins and then again when the dancing starts. The downside to LED lighting is that it is often more expensive to rent as the lighting fixtures cost substantially more than traditional ones. Another drawback is that LED fixtures have trouble producing some colors well.

The two biggest factors in determining which type of uplighting is right for you are; which colors are you using and how much power is available at your venue. Contact a lighting expert and give them an idea of what you are looking for and they will be able to tell you which type of lighting would work best for you.

Color Wash

Another popular effect is to use a pattern gobo on the dance floor and wash the dance floor in coordinating color. A wash is a lighting term that means to fill an area with light. Washing your dance floor will make it really stand out and a focal point of the celebration. You may also wash walls, ceilings, entryways or any areas you want to highlight.

Pin Spots

If you have elaborate floral arrangements or centerpieces on the tables, pin spotting is usually a great idea. Pin spotting is where light fixtures are put up throughout the room to provide “mini spotlights” for the centerpieces. Pin spotting is a very dramatic effect and will really accentuate your centerpieces and show them in their full magnificence. Your florist will love it and it makes for great pictures!

Intelligent Lighting

If you are planning for a wild party later on in the evening and want more of a contemporary edge to your wedding you should consider intelligent dance floor lighting.

Many DJ companies carry intelligent lighting but the quality varies greatly so you should always ask to see at least a video of their lighting system in action. Intelligent lighting is a step above your normal DJ lighting. The light fixtures can be programmed either by a special controller or using computer software. The functionality and abilities of intelligent lighting go far beyond that of ordinary lighting and are only limited by the users imagination. With the use of the controller the lighting designer can control the patterns, speed, color and many other functions of the light fixtures. In addition, they are often brighter and have more vivid color and more color combinations than ordinary lighting. Intelligent lighting is the type of lighting you would see at nightclubs and concerts. These lights can add a lot of energy and a real “wow factor” to your event.

There are a wide variety of other lighting options available to make your wedding truly stunning and unique. For more information contact the Chicago wedding lighting professionals at MDM Special Event Lighting.

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