Are you looking for outdoor lighting ideas for your wedding? It’s the beginning of your new life together. You exchange vows underneath a canopy in front of your friends and family. You may have a large gathering or small, on a beach or in a reception hall, and may party into the wee hours of the night. You may imagine your wedding as a perfect occasion on a beautiful, sunny day, but you’re forgetting something: lights! For those who tie the knot later in the day or who are looking to celebrate during the evening, lighting can play a critical role in making your wedding day a magical moment. There are a variety of designs and considerations that can influence how you use lighting during your wedding and what type of lighting you may use.
Outdoor Event Lighting Ideas For Your Wedding
Outdoor weddings incorporate one of two structural features: open spaces that may incorporate verandas, gazebos, canopies, or other free-standing or semi-open structures; tents or other temporary structures. Regardless of which location you choose, string lights offer an incredible array of versatility in and of themselves. One popular method for illuminating an outdoor wedding is to create a starry effect by stringing lights densely over an open courtyard to create a light canopy that offers an intriguing visual effect for nighttime dining; a similar cascade effect is achieved when the lighting is draped over one side of the outdoor dining area or is used only on the side of a space. You can also string lights in unique patterns, such as radiating spokes from the center of a room or space as well as draping them over or around pillars, trees or any other structure incorporated into the wedding scene (hopefully not people though!). Depending on the type of string lights you choose, you can use them solely as an overhead light source, but most often they are incorporated with other lighting styles to maximize illumination and the visual effect.
Chandeliers, Lanterns, and Globes
Chandeliers are a great lighting style for an elegant affair. Chandeliers come in varying degrees of intricacy and size, with larger pieces being more suitable for smaller affairs over a large table. That being said, chandeliers are suitable for any occasion as long as they are properly supported (since no one wants the lights crashing down on them during their wedding day!). For those looking for a less elaborate style, a different design or just more overhead lighting, lanterns and globes provide a unique blend of aesthetics and illumination. Because they are smaller, they can be featured more frequently throughout the wedding space, generating their own design scheme that can blend into the overall wedding them or create a contrasting concept. Lanterns and globes can create soft overhead lighting, perfect for the wedding reception, as well as more intense lighting to shine on the wedding dance. Paper lanterns and globes are popular for their unique design as well as soft lighting, but there are a variety of styles to choose from to suit your needs.
Similar to chandeliers, lamp posts create a more formal effect. One of the advantages of lamp posts is that they don’t have the same structural requirements which allow them to be positioned in many different locations, such as on the periphery of a dining area or along a walkway leading to the wedding ceremony. Lamp posts also create light more in the horizontal plane which is advantageous for large group gathering areas such as the wedding reception where direct light may not be needed overhead. Lamp posts go well in a variety of settings, whether you’re getting married on a beach or in a field (but maybe not in a canyon!). Lamp posts, like every other lighting style, come in a variety of designs and configurations. Whether you’re looking for the classic black, wrought-iron look or the gleaming gold of a giant candelabrum, lamp posts can add a unique flair to your wedding.
Spotlights and other outdoor lights, such as posts or even recessed, well lights, offer a range of possibilities. Spotlights can be used to cast light over a crowd, though given their brightness they should be positioned somewhat at a distance and at an angle, or to illuminate a wall or feature, such as vegetation, to provide a stunning, regal effect (think Hollywood premier). Likewise, spotlights and posts can be used around the periphery of a wedding reception or party area to create an illuminated periphery, great for late afternoon or early evening weddings where there’s still some light but a more romantic effect is desired.
Walkways and Tables
Many overlook the importance of providing direct lighting on walkways and tables, both of which provide a functional importance as well as an aesthetic improvement. Given the long trails and elaborate dress of a wedding day, it’s nice to have all paths illuminated so that the attendees can clearly navigate. Providing lighting adjacent to or even embedded in the horizontal or vertical features of steps can ease the navigation of the well-dressed. Of equal importance, illuminating pathways, whether with string lights, tube lights or even spotlights, creates a dreamy effect as one approaches the wedding area as the light shines from above, making the wedding even more magical. Lighting directly on tables, with electric candles, lanterns or even string lights can also play an important role. Guests can more easily see what’s on the table as well as each other, making the affair more intimate. Lighting can also incorporate vegetation or other pieces such as sculpture to create a unique design effect. As with all lighting styles, there are a range of possibilities to suit your needs and tastes.
Whether you’re looking for overhead lighting to keep the party going all night long or dimmer lighting for a more intimate affair, outdoor lighting at a wedding is key to making a special day that much more special. Whether you’re looking for design ideas or are ready to plan your outdoor wedding, our designers are ready to meet with you to help you create the perfect lighting to celebrate your union. Call us at (262) 358-9100 to schedule your design consultation.