Blog | Let There Be Light | Southern Hospitality

One of the most overlooked elements when planning a wedding is the lighting. But wedding lighting can completely transform your venue from an ordinary room to a spectacular event.

Proper wedding lighting doesn’t just enhance your venue; it also highlights the important elements of your décor, such as centerpieces, and creates focal points for certain areas of the room, such as the dance floor or head table.

How to create the perfect lighting for your wedding

As you plan your wedding, you and your lighting designer (if you hire one) should visit your venue in the evening to know how your actual wedding will look when the sun goes down and the lighting elements come more into play.

Here are a few things you should consider:

  • What features of the room do you want to highlight?

  • What features of the room do you want to de-emphasize?

  • What areas of the room would you like to become focal points (such as the head table or dance floor)?

  • Are there any décor elements you want to highlight (centerpiece, backdrop)?

  • What impact does the venue’s existing lighting have? Do they have incandescent or fluorescent lighting?

  • Can the venue’s lighting be dimmed or turned off as needed?

Commonly used lighting elements to consider for your wedding

Gobo: This is a specially designed metal or glass insert that goes into a special lighting fixture to project an image. Couples often use a custom gobo to project their monogram onto the dance floor or wall behind the head table. This is an impressive effect that always leaves the guests commenting in admiration.

Pin Spot: This is a miniature spotlight that highlights important focal points, such as a centerpiece, the wedding cake, the sweet table and more. By using pin spotting, you can also dim the overall lighting in the room to hide unsightly features and to bring your guests’ attention to where you want it.

Uplighting: This is when you place special lighting fixtures next to architectural features, or against the wall around the perimeter of the room, to project columns of light upwards. We recommend that the color of your uplighting coordinate with your wedding color scheme. This is an extremely dramatic lighting element.

Pro tip: Consider finding wireless LED uplights. The benefit of these types of lights is that they produce the same effect of traditional uplights, but remove the unsightliness (and hazard) of wires.

Italian Bistro: Decorative bistro lights add a twinkling atmosphere to wherever you put them. And while many people use them for outdoor receptions, they are extremely versatile and can be used in a number of ways, including under the ceremony arch, on the ceiling of your venue, over your caption tables, and over or around your dance floor.

A little light can go a long way

Lighting can be a cost-friendly way to magically transform the look and feel of your reception, and create an atmosphere that will absolutely impress your guests.

But it takes a special type of skill and expertise to know how to light your venue. Be sure to do your research when looking for a wedding lighting specialist who can give you the wedding of your dreams while still working within your budget.

Samuel Benson