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The 5 Best Wedding Lighting Tips Ever!

Cleveland Tented Wedding

I’m thrilled Z Media came to me for an article about wedding lighting!  This is a subject we’ve been passionate about for years, and as of 2009 we have a whole division of Shi Shi dedicated to your wedding lighting, fabric, & sound needs.  Lighting is without question the single most transforming element you can include in your wedding design.  Today, I’m going to give you 5 awesome tips for making your lighting design tops!

Cleveland Tented Wedding

#1.  Hire a pro

Why do you need a professional lighting designer?  You need a lighting designer for the same reason you need a professional florist, photographer, wedding planner and entertainment.  A professional will make sure to conduct a site survey of the venue with you to go through the best treatments for the space, talk with you about the decor you have already planned, and to make sure you have enough electrical capacity to do what you want to do.  Your lighting design should be in line with the space and the rest of your wedding design and a pro will ensure that everything is cohesive.  Your lighting designer will ensure you have a plan and that it includes all the dimmers, controllers, and programs you need to transition moods over the course of the evening flawlessly.  They’ll work with your other vendors, like your photographer, florist, and planner to be sure you have the best lighting for all of the evening’s activities.  Follow spot for your first dance?  Check.  Super over the top escort card display that needs highlighting?  Check.  Want a rosy glow for cocktails, candlelight for dinner, and the magenta flush of a club for dancing?  Check, check, & check!

Cleveland Country Club Wedding

#2.  Use a combination of treatments

Just like you look for multi-dimension when planning your tabletop arrangements, bouquets and so on, your lighting could fall flat if you choose just one treatment.  Start with the basics.  Candles are a must; candlelight is always welcome and always adds a gorgeous glow.  Always include it at any party you plan.  A color wash of the room is almost always necessary; house lighting never truly does a room or the decor you’ve chosen for it justice.  If you start with a wash of light you can build on that many different ways.  You may choose up-lighting to highlight architectural features or the perimeter of the space, a pattern to project on the ceiling walls or dance floor, a monogram or phrase on a wall or dance floor, or pin spots to accentuate specific design elements, guest tabletops, or your cake.  Or you may prefer globe lights, string lights, or lanterns as part of your plan.  That’s why a professional is so important; they can build your design and layer it with ease, helping you get the most value for your lighting budget.  By using multiple treatments, you’re adding further dimension to the room and creating deep visual interest for your guests.

Cleveland Arcade Wedding

#3.  Accent, don’t overwhelm

Combining lighting treatments isn’t the same thing as overwhelming a space with light.  The absolute worst is when lighting takes over a space and all you see is the lighting design.  A true lighting designer would never allow this to be the case.  Your wedding reception space should not resemble the interior of a UFO.  Light is a powerful design element and it needs to be in the hands of someone who knows how to use it for good, not for “how many up-lights can I get in this room”.  You may be offered free add ons for up-lights or 30 up-lights for the price of 15 and while these are powerful sales tactics, they aren’t the best means to an end in terms of good lighting design.  You want a professional lighting designer who will work with you on a plan to accentuate all of the hard work you’ve put into developing your decor, not drown it in light.  Your lighting design should serve 3 purposes; it should wow your guests, highlight and accentuate your space and decor, and guide the eye around the space exactly the way you want the eye to go.

Renaissance Cleveland Hotel Wedding

#4.  Color is key

Everyone’s skin looks smashing in soft rose light without fail.  Other shades flattering to all skin tones are amber and magenta.  Almost every color is safe to use somewhere in your lighting design with the exception of green.  Never never never use green on skin; it does just what you think it would.  Yuck.  Every other color on the spectrum is fair game.

Cleveland Outdoor Wedding

#5.  Don’t forget outside

Does your space have a courtyard where guests will be mingling throughout the night?  Stairs that need lit for after dark?  Trees with low-hanging branches that could be adorned?  Globe lights, lanterns, and glass orbs filled with candles are some of our favorite treatments for those types of spaces.  Again, we’re not trying to light everything, but rather guide the guests’ eyes and keep visual interest as the day progresses from afternoon sunlight, to dusk, to dark.  Lighting is a way to allow your guests to continue to explore your venue and find cozy places of their own after dark.

 

So that’s it!  Just keep those 5 tips in mind, and you’ll be off to a running start when it’s time to develop your wedding lighting plan.

 

Love & light,

Gina Shi Shi

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Black and White Wedding -- A Dramatic and Chic Wedding Theme - […] lighting is really the icing on the cake when it comes to decorating your venue. Review this 5 Best Wedding Lighting Tips Ever article to get a feel for what great venue lighting consists of and how you can go about achieving […]

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