The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Lighting
An often overlooked aspect of any wedding – the lighting.
Your wedding is a special day; perhaps you’ve dreamed of it your entire life, with it now forming itself into existence.
While many choose to focus on the choice of flowers, whether or not to pick a band or DJ, or their song to first dance to as a married couple, they often pay less attention to the wedding lighting.
You see, the lighting is often overlooked.
However, hiring a professional lighting designer/vendor is the perfect opportunity to add that extra WOW factor to your special day, adding further character and opportunities to look your best.
It’s important to know the key wedding lighting terms
Before you begin the search for a variety of lighting vendors and asking for quotes, it’s essential to know the different lighting terms. This allows you to understand the lingo, enabling you to comprehend the technical terms discussed with each vendor.
Knowing this lingo allows you to tailor the lighting to your liking more so, discussing to the tee what you’d like and whether or not they can do it.
Below you will find the key wedding lighting terms that you should know:
- Gobo light
- Pin spot
- Colour wash
- LED light
- String lights
- Texture lighting
We will now break these down even further, explaining each lighting term individually.
Uplighting are lights that are placed on the floor, shining upwards onto the walls. These come in a variety of colors to help set the overall mood for your big day.
This type of lighting is a light that shines through a template to create a pattern, motif, or monogram on the floor or around the room. For example, a gobo light at a wedding may be a template of a bride and groom – shone in the middle of the dance floor before or during your first dance.
Pendant lights are also commonly referred to as suspender or drop lights. These lights are single fixtures that hang from the ceiling, adding character to any room.
The spotlight is a light which directs a narrow beam into one area of the room. This is occasionally used within speeches but used mainly during the first dance to draw attention to the bride and groom.
Pin spots are used to light up a small area e.g., the center of a table. This adds character and function while setting the mood of the day.
Color wash lighting is where the room is displayed in one given color. For example, the room may be changed to a light red – enforcing romance and further setting the mood for both guests and the wedding party alike.
LED lights are fundamental – this is the bog-standard lighting used in both our homes and in venues such as reception rooms.
String lights are the most cost-effective and versatile lights used to illuminate large areas. Coming in a variety of designs, these lights are beautiful – adding character to even the darkest of ballrooms.
Finally, we have texture lighting. This is the same as gobo lighting but instead uses a preset pattern.
So, what should we ask the lighting designer/vendor?
Okay, now we’ve got the key lighting terms out of the way, it’s time to discuss what you should be asking the lighting designer/vendor.
Remember, communication is key here – using your newly found key terms alongside plenty of research will produce the best results.
Nonetheless, here’s a list of things to ask:
- How much time is required to set up the lighting?
- Will the vendor be at the wedding to attend to any required maintenance?
- What type of lighting is already provided at the venue?
- Does the venue allow custom lighting e.g., string lights
Once again, we will now break these down one by one.
How much time is required to set up the lighting?
Firstly, you want to ask how much time is required to set the lighting up. This allows you to ensure plenty of time is given to deal with any maintenance issues, lighting problems, and the general set up of the lights in each room at the venue.
Will the vendor be at the wedding to attend to any required maintenance?
Likewise, it’s essential to know whether or not the lighting vendor will be attending the wedding as support. This is essential, as without some kind of troubleshooting/support, if anything is to go wrong, there is no way to fix it.
We recommend going with a vendor who will personally be there, or a member of their team will be there to help.
What type of lighting is already provided at the venue?
Another important question is what type of lighting is provided at the venue. In some cases, many venues offer additional wedding lighting alongside their bog-standard setup. This is worth knowing beforehand, preventing further expenses and hauling of lighting equipment that was already available at the venue.
Does the venue allow custom lighting?
Finally, it is paramount to ask whether or not the venue allows custom lighting. If not, then you must ask what type of lighting they already provide.
It’s all good finding the perfect venue, but if they are not willing to accustom to your lighting needs, the mood and atmosphere of your day could be all off – it’s important for everything to be perfect.
Is Wedding Lighting a “must have”?
Wedding lighting is often overlooked, but this shouldn’t be the case. Setting up additional lighting with a vendor/lighting designer provides that WOW factor to your big day, ensuring it to be one to remember.
One key takeaway should be to communicate with these vendors well – if they don’t know what you’re after, then expect mediocre results. Likewise, it’s worth knowing whether or not they intend on being at the wedding, on hand to deal with any technical issues that may come up.
Find out more information about the Ultimate Guide to Wedding Lighting.