The dress. The food. The venue. The lighting? It’s a detail that might not be on your checklist. With the natural glow that’s sure to surround you and your soulmate on your special day, is additional lighting even something you need to think about?
As seasoned lighting expert Brian Ranft of Ozarks Creative Productions says, “Of course there aren’t many guests who will attend a wedding and think, ‘Ooooh look at the lighting,’ but what lighting can do is highlight the details the couple has worked so hard to execute.” Like a lot of lighting professionals, Ranft has a theatrical background and takes the same approach to weddings to ensure a memorable, visually appealing event that truly stands out.
Here are just a few ways lighting can play an impactful role on your special day!
From calm and laid back to festive and fast-paced, lighting can help create just the right atmosphere and even establish different moods throughout the course of the day/evening. For example, warm tones encourage guests to mingle upon arrival. Change to a cool blue for that first dance (with all eyes on you), and then after that, set the scene for a party on the dance floor. Many lighting schemes are set up wirelessly. Then the cocktail hour, dinner and dance lighting seamlessly change with the click of the button, lending cues to your guests and creating the desired mood for every moment.
Do you lean toward a modern look with cool bright whites? Or maybe you desire a classic warm, romantic glow. Whatever your style may be, it can come to life with the endless possibilities available through event lighting. Lighting can even help combat venue challenges or that one thing you wish you could change about the space. Transform a huge space into a cozy one, make a small space seem bigger, change the color of the room to match your wedding theme, or even bring the outside in – think string lights or flickering lanterns and the essence of candlelight without the open flame. Alternatively, you can add glamour to your outdoor venue with chic chandeliers and other ornate options!
As you well know, a lot of time and money goes into planning every wedding detail. Pin spotting exquisite centerpieces on every table, spotlighting your artful cake or sweetheart table, and adding more drama to the dance floor are all examples of the ways lighting helps ensure your guests notice the most meaningful details. Lighting can also be one of the memorable details at your venue. Your unique monogram can be projected onto the wall or floor. You might create additional whimsy with lighting that truly sets the scene. For example, if your goal is to bring the outdoors in, lighting can create the effect of the moon shining through autumn trees or a calming summer sunset.
Indeed, lighting has the power to create beautiful effects, but at its core purpose, it helps people see. Naturally it’s important for guests to be able to simply read menus, see what they’re eating, or make it from point A to point B without taking a tumble. A lighting professional can help you think through areas of the room that may need additional lighting as well as lighting that may be needed for safety. This may be critical for a path in an outdoor space that becomes charming at nightfall instead of treacherous.
Wondering if lighting will affect your photography? It absolutely will. Lighting complements the work of your photographer and videographer with a flattering backdrop and mood that aids in capturing the memories of the day.
One of the truly beautiful things about lighting design for your wedding is the flexibility. Every package is completely customized to your wants and needs, so budget-wise you could expect to spend a couple hundred dollars and up to several thousand if you’re looking for something more extravagant!
If you’re ready to add lighting to your list of to-dos, talking to a lighting designer or someone who specializes in event or theatrical lighting is highly recommended. While your wedding isn’t exactly a performance, the fundamentals are the same when it comes to lighting: considering everything from mood to composition to setting. Enlisting an expert allows you to safely and flawlessly achieve your perfect look and, of course, complements your natural glow.
Written by Sharon Kuntz
Cover photo: Adam and Dawn Photography