10 ways to light your wedding venue
Most people don’t realise how important mood lighting is at your wedding until the event is over – and the main lights come on. Then you see the difference...
Lighting at your wedding helps set the scene for your wedding reception and it’s a crucial, often forgotten aspect of readying your wedding venue for your big party, one that can make or break the ambiance of the event.
If, for example, you are having an afternoon wedding and are relying on glorious sunshine to come streaming through the windows, you may be in for a bit of a shock when the sky goes cloudy and you have to switch on those highly unflattering fluorescent tubes.
Your wedding venue lighting should help to create the mood you are aiming for, whether that is romantic and cosy or cool and just a little bit funky.
Check what lighting options your wedding venue has to offer and, if you aren’t happy with it, consider hiring one of these alternatives:
1. Fairy lights are a very simple, yet effective way to light your wedding venue and they are quite cheap to buy or hire. They are ideal for wrapping around pillars, beams or banisters and can be placed in trees at an outdoor wedding. They give off a romantic and flattering glow that will make your wedding venue a cosy – and utterly romantic - place to celebrate your very special occasion.
2. Backdrops with embedded light can be used to adorn an entire wall at your wedding venue or simply to turn your head table into a stand-out feature in the room. These work best in a modern venue and can provide a great place to have your indoor photos taken. Starlit backdrops are also great for hiding a wall or section of your venue that you don’t like the look of.
3. Coloured mood lighting can be the perfect way to change the atmosphere of your wedding venue and provide decoration at the same time. You can co-ordinate your lighting with your wedding colour scheme and can alter the colours during the day to highlight the different parts of your reception.
Have soothing green lights for the meal, vibrant pink for the cake cutting and a multitude of colours for the dancing. Some venues even offer light systems that can be
hooked up to your DJ’s equipment so that everything synchs with the music.
4. Tables that are lit from within are a very fashionable way of decorating your wedding venue. You can hire light up cocktail tables just for your drinks reception or you can go the whole hog and light up your dinner tables too. Just make sure the lights aren’t too bright and that your colours of choice are fairly easy on the eyes, especially if the rest of the room is quite dark. You don’t want to blind your wedding guests!
5. Candles are the perfect way to create a romantic atmosphere; everybody looks good by candlelight. Using candles as your table centre pieces is a popular lighting choice, but do check with your wedding venue to make sure they allow the use of real candles as many will not allow them.
If you are having an outdoor wedding, use candles in metal lanterns hung from trees or poles, or for a dramatic effect hire flaming torches to mark the entrance to your venue. Of course, most of these options are available with fake flames and, often, the result is very convincing!
6. Paper lanterns are a simple and chic way to add light and texture to your wedding venue’s overall feel. Whether you choose Chinese lanterns in bright reds and pinks or more subtle round paper lanterns in various sizes, they can detract from a boring ceiling and really soften the harsh edges of some venues.
7. A projector can serve many purposes in a modern, minimalist wedding venue. It is very fashionable to project coloured patterns onto the walls of a marquee to create ‘wallpaper’ which changes as the reception progresses. You can also project photos of the ceremony, snaps from the hen’s and buck’s nights or happy snaps of you and your new spouse during your courtship.
8. Fireworks can certainly add drama to your wedding reception and, if your venue allows them, they can be a great way to mark the arrival or departure of the bride and groom. Look for a company that specialise in firework displays for events and see if they can put the display to music. Some firework companies can even arrange mini fireworks that can be let off indoors.
9. Chandeliers are the perfect way to light an old-fashioned wedding venue although they work just as well in a minimalist venue such as a marquee. If your venue doesn’t already have chandeliers, these can be hired for the day but just check with your venue that you are allowed to install them. It’s a lot more work but the result can be truly breathtaking, especially at night.
10. A light-up dancefloor may sound a little tacky, but it can be a fun way to get your guests up and grooving, and will bring a novelty touch to your wedding venue. Depending on your theme, you could hire a multi-coloured dancefloor or stick to classic black and white checks for a calmer, more conventional effect.