Lighting creates mood. Indeed, your wedding reception site can be dramatically transformed with the right illumination. So, to have a stunning and memorable wedding, making sure your site has the right lighting is of utmost importance.
The first and foremost thing you should do is find a professional to set up the lights on your venue. There are many ways to find a lighting specialist, but the simplest is to just ask your event designer or decorator. Most of these professionals can set up the lighting by themselves. But if that falls through, request to have the lighting professional that they regularly work with.
Your wedding or venue coordinator may also recommend a particular company that they have worked with before. During your search, remember to ask for photographs of your wedding venue before and after it has been transformed by different lighting arrangements. Don’t be surprised if the lighting designer you find has a background on theatre as many lighting specialists use the same techniques and technology in creating both spectacular wedding venues and stages for acting.
Secondly, evaluate the location. If you plan to hold your reception in the evening, ensure that you visit your site at least once during that time. Remember to look around the area and observe where the permanent lightings are focused. Any lights that illuminate walls, windows or the ceiling have the potential to draw attention away from the room’s centre. Keep in mind that the eyes of your guests should be on each other or directed on wherever the main event is occurring – not on the walls or otherwise.
Note that any request for dimmers for the site’s overhead lights are often available as well. If there are any florescent lamps around the room, keep them switched off. Keep service doors closed to avoid flooding your venue with light from outside, which can ruin the atmosphere you’ve built.
If your wedding will be held at a small church or other places of worship, talk to your lighting professional and find out how much electricity you’ll need. Note that if you hired a band or DJ, they will most likely tap into the main power supply for their speakers. If you don’t want risking a blown fuse, bring a generator to ensure sufficient power for all parties. Remember to keep the generator out of ear shot though.
While we are on the topic of lighting, the following are some commonly-used lighting terms.
Pin spot: A ray of light that is focused on an object – mostly centrepieces or the wedding cake.
Reception lighting photos: Photos of the wedding venue after previous couples have utilised lighting to enhance the venue’s base look.
Colour Wash: Coloured light that covers an entire area. Usually, a set of different light fixtures is used to create a colour wash.
Gobos: Stencils, usually circular, that are placed over light fixtures to have the light projected in a certain pattern or design. For weddings, the gobos’ designs are usually monograms, numbers, or other wedding motif. The more complex the design, the more expensive the gobo.
LED: Light Emitting Diodes are often used for weddings as they use a lot less electricity. LEDs can also be wireless, making them more discrete and easy to set up. Good for colour adjusts and effervescent colours, they are frequently sold in strands and excellent if you want to implement accent lighting.
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