So if you remember, a little while ago we were tootin our own horns because Old South Vintage Rentals was nice enough to name some totally gorgeous pieces of their new couture lounge collection after us. No biggie, just counts as minor celebrity status in our world, we’ll let you know when our ego’s deflate.
Anyway it got me thinking about all the fabulous design details that can take a wedding from beautiful to “Angelina-Jolie-all-up-in-this-business-incredible”. I wish they bottled that stuff and sold it at CVS, my hair would always be on point. There are so many elements that come together to create what we call “the look and feel” of a wedding. If you have a designer involved with your wedding planning process, these are of the things they’ll go over with you and talk to you about. If not, the next series of posts are going to break down some of the details into bite-sized chunks, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
And we’re starting with…lighting!! Lighting is one of those things where, unless you’re a designer you probably haven’t thought too much about it. And that’s ok, but it is important! Lighting can literally transform a room, it can make a room feel warm, it can create depth and height, and if you’re dealing with a venue where maybe you aren’t 100% on board with some of the room elements, lighting can be used to distract and hide some of these things. It’s magical.
Most of the time when couples go on site visits to view potential venues they are seeing the space in the light of day. And maybe your reception is going to be during the day (in which case yay for you! Natural light = awesome) but the majority of wedding receptions happen in the evening. So it’s important to talk to your venue about the lighting in the space. You don’t want to get ambushed by cold florescent ceiling lights, unless you’re an “Office Space” fan and then maybe that’s totally your jam. If possible take a look at pictures from past events in the space, what kind of lighting did they use? Most venues know what works best in their space.
Ok! So there are several different kinds of lighting elements that we encounter most often. And each of these elements can be used by themselves, in various combinations, or all together.
Uplighting is exactly what it sounds like. It’s where you take lights that are placed on the ground and aim the light up into the space. Most commonly the light is projected onto walls or columns in order to add color or change the color of a room. It can also add some dimension and visual interest to a room. Spaces that are up-lit feel very elegant. Here are some examples:
It can also be more subdued and neutral, just to warm up the space.
Image credit:: Elizabeth Anne Designs
And if you’re lucky enough to have textured wall to throw the light on, it creates a really lovely effect.
You don’t have to use uplighting just on walls, here’s a great example of using the lights underneath tables to give them a happy glow.
Image credit:: Chris Humphrey
String lighting! Super popular in outdoor venues. Who doesn’t love string lighting? It’s romantic and magical and just lovely. If you can’t tell I’m a huge sucker for some string lighting. My preference is for café string lights.
You have to be careful when using “fairy lights” that the space doesn’t end up looking like a supped up college dorm. But if it’s done right, it’s a home run.
The nice thing about string lights too is that they can be used to enhance the feel of the room OR you can do some really jaw dropping incredible things with them.
Candles, candles, candles. I mean can anything beat a really amazing array of candles?Essential. This is, after all, the original light source we are talking about. And they are so diverse! You can leave them in simple glass and they are beautiful, or put them in lanterns, float them in water. Candles are most often used to light tables. Without a lighting element on your tables something will feel very amiss. Plus your guests won’t be able to appreciate the wonderful food you are feeding them (and you probably paid a lot for that food, so let it have it’s moment).
This is the MOST FUN category. It’s all the extra stuff that doesn’t primarily light the space but kicks it up to that Angelina Jolie category I was talking about, because we all know that Angelina Jolie would be a chandelier if she were a lighting accessory. This is the category for lighting fixtures, and things like gobo’s. A gobo is used to project light in patterns onto a surface.
Hope this was helpful. And if it wasn’t, at least you got to look at tons of really beautiful photography. If you have questions let us know in the comments – we’ll get back to you! And stay tuned for the next edition of “It’s All In The Details”. These are so much fun!!