How To Make Your Wedding Literally Shine

By Maria Yeonhee Ji

One of the most underestimated components of wedding planning is the lighting. Many couples often leave this to the last minute or skip consulting a specialist entirely. But lighting can transform the plainest of wedding venues into a fairytale landscape, and any photographer will tell you that fantastic lighting is integral to an exquisite shot. True magic requires much more than flipping a few switches, but opting for professionally designed illumination is one of the easiest ways to take the atmosphere from standard to sublime. "Lighting creates a mood," says Lux Productions owner James Jefford, "and when done well, lighting can make everything, including your wedding flowers, the cake, your guests and the venue, look even better.” So we’ve brought you an industry expert’s tips on the best way to plan the lighting for your big night.

1/ PICK A LIGHTING SPECIALIST

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Image by Levien & Lens Photography

There are several ways you can find the perfect wedding lighting specialist. First, ask your wedding planner or florist if they do their own lighting. If not, they may have preferred professionals with whom they regularly collaborate. The coordinator of your reception venue is also another good contact to ask for recommendations, as they’re likely to suggest companies that have worked the venue before. Don’t be surprised if your lighting designer has a background in theatre as there is a lot of overlap between weddings and the stage with regards to the technology and techniques needed to masterfully craft an atmosphere. In fact, lighting designers such as Lux Productions that can draw from experience working different types of events are more likely to have the range of expertise that yields the kind of innovative design that will truly light up your night. 


2/ DON’T SKIP THE PREPARATION

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Image by Grace and Jaden Photography

As with most of your other vendors, companies that specialise in lighting will be able to accommodate for whatever approach to the lighting design you want. However, as with most aspects of event planning, if you do a bit of preparation you’re likely to get more out of your vendor consultations. Do a bit of exploring beforehand to figure out what kind of colours, colour transitions, lighting fixtures, and set-ups you prefer. Make sure you have some idea about what permanent lighting fixtures are built into your venue (and you should always ask your venue for pictures of the space(s) you’re hiring transformed by various lighting arrangements if they’re available).  

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Image by Sweet Ice Cream Photography 

The professionals will happily sit down with you and your partner to show you examples of their past work and lighting effects and will discuss proposals for your venue. For example, with some set-ups, it’s possible to get the colour to change in time with the beat (tempo) of the music, which makes for a fantastic party atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to inquire about the range of options they have, and how much flexibility there is to make last-minute alterations on the day should you change your mind. 


3/ COORDINATE YOUR COLOURS


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Image by Skye Studios

If you’re using coloured lighting, give the shades you intend to use as much consideration as you did the rest of your wedding palette. Ideal lighting colours are ones that complement all skin tones such as magenta or soft rose; shy away from colours like green that aren’t always flattering, especially if green hues are prominent in your wedding colours (the cumulative effect may be too much). Artful orchestration of colour can transform the entire mood of a room, so take advantage of the effects of colours by changing the shades throughout the course of your reception. For example, if your cocktail hour begins around sunset, set your room aglow with golden tones.

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Image by Diana V Photography

For dinnertime, consider soft lighting that mimics flickering candlelight and brings a warm ambience to the occasion. As the party progresses, Lux Productions suggest altering the lighting to include more vibrant hues that will sustain excitement. Colours like strong oranges or purples can be especially striking and establish a mood to match and amplify that of your celebrating crowd. 


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