Friday, August 29, 2008

Light up your wedding decorations

Lighting is actually a huge component to any decor, as any interior decorator or theater stage manager might tell you. And even though brides usually prefer afternoon ceremonies and evening receptions, its often overlooked to the detriment of the decorations so painstakingly wrought (and paid for).

Candles are usually the choice of lighting, and candles are a good, albeit small choice. They also can't really be lit in flower arrangements for fear of sparking a fire. The alternative? Electric and batter-powered lights. Above, a sweetheart table at the Our Lady Of Angels Cathedral gets some major background lighting from DJ lights.

Most lighting is relatively subtle, but with DJ lights you can get really colorful. I don't recall where this reception was, but subtle it was not. Not only was every arrangement topped with silver-sprayed greens, the tables were decorated with silver and pink fabric on the riser and silver and teal blue fabric on the floor-level tables. Oh, and did you not see the pink spotlights and under-the-table light? Wow. This wouldn't have been my choice, frankly, but they loved it.

Incidentally, I do love doing under the table lights, but it can be difficult. Most long lamps, you know, the flat kind you put a long bulb into? Those are usually plug-ins and not battery-operated so you have to also do some finagling with extension cords and tape (to tape it all down; having a bride trip over the lights would not be good). But the effect is so nice.

Lighting is a must for points in the room you want to be a focus -- at a wedding, this is the head/sweetheart table and the cake table. Above, the cake is old fashioned (to me) but the backdrop is very pretty. And when the cake is eaten and taken away later, it's a nice place to take pictures.

But lighting is also a must for ambiance. I found some good examples on Flickr, of course.

Photo by Flickr's JHunt94

This was a simple but very effective use of Christmas lights. Those eaves are nice, but look so much more dressed up with those casually strung Christmas lights entwined with some tulle. It also helps brighten the room, which was unfortunately a little dark.

Photo by Flickr's eventswithdesign

Here's another good example of using the vertical space. I love these round paper lanterns and wish I could use them at home -- but my husband is not a fan. But they give you extra lighting, they distract from those rusty fluorescent lights further up and give some softly lit ambiance. I wish there had been a photo of this room at night.

Photo by Flickr's nathancolquhoun

Here's a good combo -- lighting softened with fabric decorations. Look at all those details -- overhead lights softened by the sheets of fabric (not sure what kind, it doesn't look like tulle), trees strung with lights and attached to the posts, the paper lanterns, the hanging lights. Talk about ambiance.

I would expect nothing less from someone who calls themselves the Christmas Light Pros of Indianapolis. This is an amazing space made even more gorgeous by well placed lights. They made good use of all those posts (often a hindrance to most room layouts, since they might inhibit the placement of tables or chairs), good use of all those eaves, good use of those windows and they even light up the decorations. I would daresay they even stole the show from the flowers. Very, very nice.

At any rate, if you are on a budget and you want to light things up -- make a trip to your local Big Lots and stock up on Christmas lights. It'll really make things beautiful.

No comments: