Beautiful Lighting For Outdoor Weddings

Getting married in the great outdoors? If your wedding will run into dusk or evening hours, you will want to be sure to plan how to light up the space, both for practical reasons and to create a romantic ambiance. These are some ideas for beautiful lighting for outdoor weddings.

First there is tabletop lighting. Candles are the most romantic way to add some soft light to a wedding. For an outdoor wedding, candles in glass will tend to work best, as they will be protected from the wind. A simple hurricane lantern surrounded by a floral wreath is one lovely idea. Votives in beautiful holders are also great. Particularly interesting are pierced candleholders in colorful glass with a Moroccan flair. The flame will flicker and dance through the pierced design, while the colored glass will cast wonderful reflections on the tables.

Candles can also be used to light many other parts of an outdoor wedding. Walkways can be lined with tiki torches or fancier wrought iron candleholders on tall posts. The tiki torches are also helpful in keeping mosquitoes at bay, which your guests will certainly appreciate. Steps should also be well lit, both for decoration and safety. You could use galvanized pails filled with candles for an informal wedding, classic luminaries, or decorative lanterns. Just be cautious about setting out open flames where guests might step in them!

For an autumn wedding, a fun way to add light is through the use of carved pumpkins. They are a terrific seasonal detail, and will also add soft illumination to your reception. Carved pumpkins do not have to be traditional Halloween jack o’ lanterns, if that is not your style. Almost anything can be carved in a pumpkin, including monograms, geometric motifs, and symbols like hearts or doves. Masses of glowing pumpkins look especially dramatic when placed in a row, such as along the top of a stone wall lining a driveway or behind the bar.

Overhead lighting is very important for really illuminating your outdoor space. Without adequate light coming from above, your guests will not be able to see their dinner or for that matter, each other. Besides, all that soft light from above is very flattering, as it will catch every twinkle in your Swarovski crystal earrings, gently illuminate faces, and make hair look glossy. Paper lanterns work very nicely to light up a large open area.

They can be hung directly from trees to create romantic nooks. You may also wish to create a grid of very fine wire from which you can suspend large numbers of lanterns to provide more general lighting for the wedding. If at all possible, do a test run on an evening before your wedding to make sure that the amount of light cast is enough that you can see clearly, but not so bright that it kills the mood.

Twinkling white lights are another beautiful addition to an outdoor wedding lighting scheme. They can be wrapped around tree trunks and tent poles, scattered throughout tree leaves and foliage, and even intertwined directly into tall centerpieces. A gorgeous effect can be created by hanging numerous tiny white lights over the top of the reception area to mimic the effect of a starry night. If this is impractical to do for a very large area, consider doing it just over the dance floor. Your guests’ fancy dresses and Swarovski crystal earrings will sparkle and shine as they dance the night away in the beautiful glow cast by hundreds of little white lights.

Wedding Lighting, a Necessary Nuance

When recalling a notable wedding, we often conjure images of flattering interior design, beaming color palettes, fresh floral arrangements, flavorful catering, and, of course, an elegant bridal party. One overlooked ingredient in designing an exceptional wedding venue is lighting. Whether subtle or bold, it can set an event’s mood and create a singular atmosphere, producing settings that are idyllic, ethereal, eccentric, bohemian chic, or even retro. Whatever sentiment and style you’re trying to achieve, a spectrum of fixtures, from suspended glass orbs, scented candles, and handmade paper creations have the power to make your big day truly memorable.

Here are a few tips when considering proper venue illumination:

Lanterns

As with any event, consider the theme you are projecting. Are you going for rustic? Perhaps art deco? Or maybe boho? For example, if you’re a non-conformist, then think about pairing an eccentric mélange of paper lanterns in myriad shapes: round, tubular, or conical. Want to really think out of the box? Then go for lanterns in even quirkier shapes (hot air balloons or animals) or those that have unique prints (floral or geometric)! In addition, stencils can be placed over fixtures creating a similar feel. If, for instance, your rustic-themed vows take place outside, then consider ground lighting. You can’t go wrong with the southwestern luminaria (candle placed in a paper bag using sand) creation. And for your beach union, tiki torches give off an island vibe while helping to guide attendees toward the central wedding venue.

Complementing the Interior

Considering the location is a must. Is your wedding venue an old barn, an industrial space, or a vaulted museum? If the interior is covered in dark wood paneling, think about creating a warmer luster with tinted glass globes that have lower watt bulbs. Barns, alternately, beg for draping strings of white lights to offer that down-home feel, whereas industrial spaces (think old warehouses) comprised of aged brick, mortar, and wooden lintels call for sculptural fixtures, minimalist chandeliers, and pendant lamps of burnished metal.

Matching the Overall Design

When choosing the right ambiance, it’s important to take stock of the wedding color palette and floral arrangements; all these elements should be complementary. Using too much of one color can be overwhelming, not to mention produce a garish environment. Avoid bright colors unless the rest of the wedding venue elements are understated and vice versa. And keep in mind that the DJ might also have a lighting system for the dance floor.

Logistics

There are also other logistical questions that come up as well, including tapping into a location’s power. Make sure you know the limit your location can withstand so you don’t risk a blown fuse. To that end, wedding lighting designers are excellent go-to sources for wisdom. They will know the jargon and will be able to answer any pressing electrical questions.

Planning the wedding that accurately represents the love of the couple can be stressful, but it is also can provide a platform for families to unify. While choosing illumination, keep in mind the overall design plan, lantern options, and the interior of the venue. These tips will help make your wedding shine!

The ABC’s of Event Lighting

The visual senses are perhaps the strongest in the human experience. As such, it is no surprise that powerful lighting elicits powerful emotional responses. Because you cannot touch or feel it, people often do not understand or comprehend why they should make sure lighting is a key component to their event. Lighting is the single most powerful element in transforming a space from drab to amazing. A good lighting provider examines the complete experience and design lighting for every theme. They usually do this based on the client’s goals for the event. Party lighting is different than wedding lighting, which is different than themed prop lighting. It all depends on what kind of effect you want to create with the lighting.

The largest component of creating great wedding lighting, or any other Event Lighting, is to turn down the ambient lighting of the event space to 20 to 30% of its normal luminosity. A dark room, then allows a pallet for the lighting designer. Particularly, if there are lighter walls for uplights. Each individual element can then be lit up and your event becomes romantic, exciting, and dynamic. Every item you brought to it also gets noticed. The Bar will be aglow in a blue huge for instance. The buffet may be washed in a warm glow. If it is a wedding, the cake will be a shimmering star of the event, and everyone will see the well lit wedding gift table. If it is a corporate event, any item of focus will also be showcased.

By dimming down the main lighting, you will have a greater overall impact on the areas you are highlighting. The colors will be more saturated, and the items you want to highlight will show up while some of the less attractive elements will be hidden.

Dynamic and well placed event lighting will make or break your event. However, remember to set aside a decent budget for the event lighting. Labor is the number one cost in Event Lighting. In terms of other costs to be aware of, you should look carefully at the venue’s power availability before designing your lighting. If your lighting requests are too grand, the venue may not have power to support it, in which case you can either reduce your lighting load on the circuits or bring in a generator. You can rent a whisper quiet generator for around $800 per day for a 25kw, which is a good number to have if lighting a larger ballroom and using a fair amount of power. Other concerns are load in and out times. It is easy to not consider the intense labor involved in lighting. Usually, a request for 6 hours to load in, and a minimum of 2 hours to load out is made. If you are willing to pay a premium, additional staff may always be hired for a faster load in. Additionally, if you limit your lighting fixtures, you can get lighting done in a faster set up time.

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