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Even the most beautiful wedding scheme can be ruined by the wrong lighting; especially harsh white or yellow overhead lights. If you are getting married during the day, the lights at your venue might be the last thing you check, but if it’s an overcast day or your reception is carrying on into the evening, you will need to pay attention to the lighting options on offer at your venue.
If you aren’t totally happy with the lights provided, or you just want to add a new dimension to your wedding decorations, here are some popular lighting ideas.
Coloured mood lighting is currently in vogue, and works especially well for those hiring a modern, minimalist venue decorated with a neutral colour scheme. The idea is to light your whole venue in one colour, and then change the colour to reflect the various stages of the wedding. You could choose warm orange for the drinks reception, calming green for dinner, vibrant red for the cake cutting, and velvety purple for the dancing.
Another modern lighting concept for contemporary weddings is to light the tables from within. Simple white lights are placed under the tables, and coloured cloths are used to alter the light, or coloured lamps can be used with white cloths. If you don’t want all your tables to light up, simply use cocktail tables with lights installed for your drinks reception.
For true vintage glamour nothing beats glass chandeliers suspended above the tables. Check with your venue whether you are allowed to temporarily install these and if your venue isn’t that large limit yourself to one chandelier in the centre of the room or above the top table.
Depending on the decade you are aiming for, you can pick up vintage lamps to reflect your theme. Lava lamps or rotaflex lampshades can give a 1960s feel, while those looking for 1970s lighting could pick up orange, yellow, and brown lamp shades in a range of geometric patterns.
Nothing adds romance to the atmosphere like the soft glow of a candle flame, and many brides choose these as a simple and low budget way to light their reception venue.
Candles can be used as stand alone table centres when grouped together in a variety of colours or shapes, or when placed in storm lanterns. They can also be wired into floral arrangements or floated on water. Using scented candles can add fragrance to your reception venue as well as providing light.
Lighting is essential for an outdoor wedding that will go on into the evening, and outdoor lighting can be really effective way of decorating your venue. Citronella candles will have the added benefit of keeping the bugs away, and they can be placed in hanging lanterns so that the wind doesn’t blow them out. Flaming torches on long poles can add a dramatic edge to your wedding theme, and look great at the entrance to your venue.
Your venue may not allow open flames, especially in mid summer if there are a lot of trees in the area. Outdoor fairly lights can be equally as charming, especially if they are artfully placed in trees and bushes. Use fairy lights to highlight any particular features of your venue, such as an archway.