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:


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.


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!