Lighting a wedding ceremony, reception or party really adds that extra touch of ambiance and beauty to your chosen venue and can add to the lasting memories of the day.
Wedding lighting employs the fundamentals of any event lighting design process, i.e. designing using the the elements of shape, movement, colour, intensity and direction, subtlety – at least for the ceremony and quiet parts of any reception – is key in design.
Your focus needs to be ensuring that the lighting complements the bride and groom and the venue, and aligns with any wider event theme.
Used properly, lighting can really add a certain wow factor which can enhance every aspect of the day, from the ceremony, through to the reception, and then on to light your band and DJ.
The simple principal of ‘less is more’ is a good starting point in your design. The ‘less’ may not necessarily apply simply to the number of lighting units or effects, but rather to less movement, less intensity, or less colour (and here we mean less ‘strong’ colour, as opposed to more colour subtlety, i.e. pastel shades).
There may also be some specific effects or designs which are individual to the wedding couple, or the wedding design theme itself; perhaps a specific colour, a specific effect or a specific lighting option, such as lighting festoons, lighting projection etc.
Element ICT can meet of your wedding lighting hire and PA requirements.
Whether at a hotel, hall, private home, marquee, on a boat or elsewhere, we can work directly with the venue, event organisers, or the wedding couple themselves to discuss and design to your exact requirements.
In this article, we outline some initial thinking points which will allow you, your planners, or the venue to explore available design options.
The significance of the venue
A wedding is first and foremost about the bride and groom. The venue however has almost always also been carefully selected and will be special to the couple in some unique way.
The venue’s architecture, design, location, or some other unique feature can be further enhanced with careful wash or accent lighting.
Lighting can be a way to accentuate other specific features of the event. This could be a floral arrangement, the wedding cake, a gift table or the guest tables themselves.
Lighting can also be employed to accentuate specific features of the venue. A ceiling, columns or alcoves, or walls can be subtly accentuated through localised accent lighting. Surfaces, columns or other points of interest which can be ‘washed’ with colour to coordinate with your wider colour scheme.
The possibilities are literally almost endless.
Placement of lighting
Unless you are looking to create focal points, such as strings of ‘festoon’ lights, then much of your lighting should be placed such that it is out of sight lines, or otherwise in an unobtrusive location.
If the venue has limited options for placement or mounting of lighting, then light stands or truss can be utilised as mounting points, and stand or truss ‘scrims’ (covers) can also be added to ensure that these mountings better blend in to their surrounds.
When truss or stands are covered in scrims, this also brings a new option of lighting inside the cover which can produce a subtle but effective lighting option – think a general lighting glow in a pyramid or columnar shape.
Static or moving light
For the ceremony or initial reception, static / non-moving lighting or effects are the way to go to ensure that the lighting enhances, not detracts, from these important moments.
We suggest moving effects only for the post reception dance or DJ, however this is of course entirely your choice! One of the more subtle moving effects is the water or oil projector, which can provide a gently moving colour wash in a ‘wave’ effect over a wider area. These lighting units provide gentle but not distracting movement. Consider reserving the more dynamic effects – such as moving heads or scanners – for your band or DJ.
A further option to consider may be a slowly rotating ‘gobo’ (a gobo is a metal or glass shape ‘template’ which allows light to be shaped in a specific fashion, i.e. stars, circles, triangles, or other more intricate shapes.
These gobos can then be further split by prisms and become an effective tool which, for example, could be used to light a roof in gently moving colours and shapes.
All of our moving head hire units feature a range of rotating gobos and prisms to create these effects.
Modern LED lighting can enable an almost exact colour match with your wider wedding colour theme, including subtle ‘pastel’ shades which can be achieved through LED fixtures which include white or amber LEDs which are mixed with the standard red, green, and blue diodes to create an alost infinite range of colours and at a wide range of intensities.
Consider hiring the following lighting types to achieve your objectives:
- Festoon lights for general ambiance
- LED wash lights for subtle lighting of walls and ceilings
- LED accent lights for lighting of key items such as the wedding cake, floral arrangements etc
- Effects and wash lights for your band or DJ
Light your wedding venue and add an extra ambiance and wow factor to your event.
If your band or DJ doesn't provide their own lighting, or needs additional for a larger venue, we can provide everything from wash lights, to lasers, haze machines and also assist with all of your PA requirements too.
We can also provide wash lights to colour wash an entire venue or structure, in this case a wash light package for a marquee in addition to a DJ lighting pack (visible at back of image).