Lighting makes all the difference in the design, look, and atmosphere created at your wedding. Lighting done correctly will take your vision from standard to OMG!
Work with your wedding planner (an experienced planner with lighting background), and their lighting designer to illuminate your centerpieces, cake, and the planner/designer will suggest other ways to set the mood of the room, then change it periodically throughout the evening as you finish dinner, and move into dancing, and your after hours party.
Organize a site inspection with your wedding planner, lighting designer, and catering/sales manager to determine viable options with the space you have to work with. If there is no electric in the ceiling, (just ran into this at a newly built upscale ballroom at a hotel…really!!!), you won’t be able to drop chandeliers from the ceiling without having cords running up the sides of the wall to run power to them. Once I knew there was no power in the ceiling, the design of the wedding changed completely! Thank God I asked the rigger, who quickly let me know, since the catering sales manager at the hotel did not know this, and had been at this property for years, there was no power in the ceiling. Yikes!
Find out if the site has dimmers for their overhead lights, and if there are any florescent lighting, make sure they are turned off! Find out if there are any service doors which must be kept open, which would flood the space with light and ruin the effect.
If you’re planning a wedding at home or in a tent, discuss how much electricity your lighting designer is going to need. Your band or DJ will probably have to tap into your home’s power for their equipment (unless they have their own generator), and you don’t want to risk blowing a fuse. If your lighting expert is concerned that there won’t be enough power to go around, they may consider bringing a generator, which should be positioned strategically out of range of hearing the buzz/hum.
Each venue will have different rules and regulations, so make sure you check with the venue on what you may or may not do for lighting. Get a quote before moving forward to see your “wish list” with pricing breakdowns, then adjust as your budget mandates, to get the look you want.
Uplighting – lighting concentrated in an upward direction which changes the look of your room(s)
LED –LED lights are popular for weddings since they use less electricity (and don’t get as hot) than regular, incandescent light bulbs. This may be wireless, so they’re even that much more discreet. LEDs are great for color changes and vibrant colors. They’re also common in strands and good for accent lighting.
Pinspot – A focused beam of light which shines directly onto an object, like your centerpiece or wedding cake, as a highlight effect.
Colorwash – Different types of light fixtures create a “wash,” which is basically a blanket of colored light covering an entire area.
Gobos –Round cut outs or “stencils” are put over a light to project a design or pattern on a dance floor, wall, or other focal point. Popular gobo designs are monograms, dates, or another motif from your gown, cake or wedding invitation.The complexity of the design will affect the gobo’s cost. Metal gobos (less expensive) and glass gobos (withstanding higher heat) are two different styles and qualities.
Kim M. Horn, MWP
Master Wedding Planner |1 of 75 in theWorld
2016 Couples’ Choice Wedding Planner |Wedding Wire
January 11-12, 2020 | June 7, 2020
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