Lighting 101: What does lighting bring to the party?

 PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

Chances are when you start planning an event, lighting isn’t going to be the first thing you think of. You know you need it, but its importance tends to take a back seat in a lot of peoples planning process. The question we posed this week to Terri Watson of Get Lit was How do we make the most of the lighting options available to us? Lighting is a major player in creating the atmosphere and mood you want at your event, and Terri kindly took the time to explain a little of how she finds and draws out the lighting potential at the events she lights up…

Functional lighting

The prevalence of LED bulbs is increasing, but they have a long way to go to achieve the desirably warm amber glow of the incandescent bulb. Strategically placed specialty wash lighting adds a candlelit glow to the air and can highlight the architectural elements that attracted you to your wedding venue in the first place.  For example; when placed in front of an exposed brick wall, amber wash lights show off the texture and variety of warm tones.  A white and modern space takes any color for any mood. The entire ambiance of an event is influenced by its lighting whether you opt for elegant low level lighting, or colorful, pulsing light shows.  

 PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHERINE MILES JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF KATHERINE MILES JONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Spotlights focused on a specific detail, such as your wedding cake or flower arrangements bring attention to the fantastic work of your vendors.  Without this visual cue to your guests to look, these elements could fade into the background.  Much attention and care has gone into selecting these details, they should be celebrated!  Spotlights are a fantastic lighting-design touch that help your guests experience your event the way you intended it to be experienced. 

 PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTIN MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF KRISTIN MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY

 PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

A note about candles: a flame provides a lovely, flickering point of light that draws the eye but does little to illuminate the surrounding area. The guests around the table may reflect a bit of glow, but table floral arrangements surrounded by candles fade into shadow.  Your flowers will appreciate a light from above to really become the visual centerpiece of the table. 

Decorative elements

Creativity is the key to any unique event that reflects your personal style and lighting is no exception. Lighting fixtures themselves set the tone for an event with their individuality: traditional crystal chandeliers, modern metal orbs or cubes, Victorian brass and velvet, round paper lanterns, art deco detailed pillars glowing with light or exposed Edison Bulbs all tell a different design story. 

 PHOTO COURTESY OF WHITEBOX PHOTO

PHOTO COURTESY OF WHITEBOX PHOTO

 PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

 PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN MULLINS PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN MULLINS PHOTOGRAPHY

We are also seeing a resurgence in strand lighting such as market bulb lights strung across an open sky, or simple twinkle lights against tent draping to become an elegant ceiling.

 PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

 PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

PHOTO COURTESY OF RILEY MACLEAN

Neatness counts

As you experience an event, and look at your reception photos for years to come, we want you to notice the effects of the lights, not the equipment itself!  Fixtures installed to provide functional light should blend into the background, as should the cords. Expect white fixtures and cords in a white tent and expect them to be neat and hidden from view whenever possible. And don’t be afraid to speak up if they aren’t!

Power play

Nothing kills the mood faster than a power outage during the Cupid Shuffle/Macarena/intense-groomsman-danceoff.  To prevent this it is crucial that someone plans ahead and considers the power needs of all of the vendors providing services at your event.  Power is a limited commodity, but can be supplemented by bringing in generators, if needed.  Knowing your needs ahead of time is key, and your event planner, in partnership with your venue manager and lighting professional, will be able to help you with this.

 PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF SARAH DER PHOTOGRAPHY

Thank you so much, Terri! To see more of Get Lit's fantastic work, please visit their website

'Til we Gather Together again...

-Fay