While you're putting together your wedding decor, you may think lighting is only a small part of the ambiance — but it often isn't. Lighting plays a substantial role in creating the perfect atmosphere for your celebration and directing the attention of your guests to your wedding's various elements.
As you consider what kind of lighting to outfit your venue with, determine what effects you'd like to achieve for the celebration. You can reinforce the tone and theme of the day with those accents.
To get you started, here are six things lighting can do for your wedding.
1. Set the Atmosphere
Depending on your intention for the overall look, you can establish a unique ambiance that can wow your entourage and guests. If you're trying to construct a rustic, chic feel, for instance, harsh overhead lighting can disrupt the experience. Instead, use lighting sources that provide a soft glow and place them in various spots around the space.
As you say “I do” or have your first dance with your new spouse, you may want the ambiance to be a bit dreamy, which, again, likely won't work if the lighting in your venue is harsh by itself. Think candles, lanterns, twinkle lights and more to help you create the ideal atmosphere for your special day. No matter the vibe you're going for, the right lighting can help you set it.
2. Create a Backdrop
Luminous backdrops make exceptional settings for photos. Guests can use the area as a makeshift photo booth, and your photographer can capture pictures of the bridal party around the lit backdrop. Opt for warm, comfortable lighting to flatter everyone's appearance.
The other benefit of a backdrop is that you can alter or hide features you find unappealing or that detract from your overall theme — boring walls, giant windows with too much glare, wrong colors, etc. An alluring backdrop covered in string lights or projected lighting can create a beautiful attention-grabbing glow instead.
3. Complement the Color Scheme
Who says you must go with plain white for your lighting? Going for a romantic feel? Try adding a soft red or pink hue. Maybe you have a beach wedding theme. A little blue lighting can make your venue sparkle like ocean waves. If you're aiming for inviting and carefree, mid-colored light tones like yellow can beautify the venue and lead to a cheerful celebration.
Specific elements in your reception area can gain the spotlight when accent lighting augments them. If you want your centerpieces to be the focal point, try incorporating candles or even LED lights to make them glow.
Is the food the highlight, or maybe your gorgeous wedding cake? Show it off with the right lighting.
You could even create a romantic and magical atmosphere by adding a display of glittering lights to the ceiling for a gorgeous starry night effect.
5. Project a Personalized Image
For a statement piece, you can use stenciled lighting, like a gobo form, to put up a personalized symbol to represent you and your spouse-to-be's relationship. From a monogram of your last name to images of your interests, you can project a sensational icon.
Add more personality to your space and make a hub to grab everyone's attention by using lighting this way. The image can embellish your dance floor or cover the wall behind you and your spouse as you cut into your wedding cake.
6. Direct Attention to a Certain Location
Lighting can guide the attention of your guests to certain locations as your wedding unfolds. For instance, you might add lights as you walk down the aisle and enter your reception area.
If your wedding is an outdoor venue, adding lights to a pathway make it easier for your guests to find their way. Spotlights also draw the eye. For a fun and theatrical effect, you might spotlight yourself and your spouse as you leave the ceremony as newlyweds.
Enhance Your Wedding with Lighting
Lighting can be an integral part of your wedding decor. From setting the mood to enhancing the color scheme, the right lights can help you create the ceremony and reception of your dreams.