You have found the wedding venue of your dreams, created a fabulous floral design and picked the perfect music for your big day! Now what?
It’s time to set the mood!
What’s the best way to create ambiance? Illuminations!
Whether you are enhancing with candles or artificial light sources, the lighting that surrounds the day will set the overall feel for your wedding.
So where to begin?
First you need to decide what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Are you going for vintage and romantic? Modern? Rustic? Once you have decided on your feel you can narrow down the light source.
Candles are a great source to consider. Depending on the holder you choose for your candle you can work with a wide selection of designs. Candlelight gives off an amber hue which in turn brings warmth into the space. It can make for dramatic photos by providing a soft light.
There are so many types of candles to choose from and it is hard to know where to begin!
We recommend learning the lingo before you venture out into the marketplace.
Here is a list of popular candle types that many couples choose to incorporate:
Tealights and votives are small candles that look beautiful when displayed in clusters and generate a petite glow for your tablescapes and beyond. A votive is taller than a tealight and can burn for 8-10 hours on average, while tealights will burn for only 3-5 hours. You can add extra flare to these candles by dressing up their holder. A regular glass holder will sparkle and bounce light while a gold mercury glass holder will give a rustic twist to your tablescape.
Pillar candles are large cylindrical candles that look great inside a glass container or on their own. Pillar candles often look beautiful in clusters with candles at varying heights or down the center of a long farm table. Because they are so large they can be a great choice for a long reception and if you are hosting a rehearsal dinner you could use them for both events!
Taper Candles are slender elongated candles that require a candle holder and are traditionally found in candelabras, think “Beauty and the Beast”, or you can substitute with a hurricane glass holder for a similar effect. Candelabras can add romance to any tablescape.
Floating candles can vary in size and are usually placed inside a glass container. The vase is filled with water and the candle floats on top.
Lanterns are a great way to add that needed glow to outside spaces after the sun has set. They can also work well when incorporated into centerpieces on guest tables or on surrounding accent tables.
Battery operated candles aka Flameless candles can be a safe alternative to an open flame and can replace most options talked about above. A great use for battery operated tea lights would be inside a hanging orb or a paper lantern. They can be hung in a tent or surrounding trees offering a beautiful star filled sky effect.
For artificial lighting try utilizing these:
String lights which range from fine twinkle lights to bolder bistro bulbs give off a star filled sky look when strung across a patio and look fabulous when wrapped around the branches or trunk of a tree.
Pendant lights consist of a single fixture that is suspended by a cord from the ceiling. They are sometimes referred to as drop lights and can be nice way to highlight a particular area within a large space.
An uplight is a light placed on the floor that shines up the walls and can be made in varying colors. They can help highlight the details of a room’s structure.
A spotlight is a singular narrow projection that lights a specific person or object. These are commonly used in stage productions and work great for a first dance or any moment you would like highlighted on your wedding day!
A pinspot is a smaller version of a spotlight that works great at highlighting an individual tablescape or décor object.
A Gobo light has a template that light shines through to project a pattern, wording or design onto the floor, ceiling, or walls the term Gobo comes from the acronym, GOes Before Optics.
And let’s not forget about the most timeless and glamorous lighting fixture of them all – the Chandelier! If you want to really bring in that old world charm and romantic ambiance, you may want to look for a space that offers this kind of aesthetic.
Be sure to touch base with your wedding venue to get specifics on what types of candles and light sources are permitted. Also inquire as to what the power capacity for the building is and where the outlets are located. Some venues do not permit any flames at all, and some require that all candles be inside a container and that the level of the wick be underneath the height of the container. So that means no dripping candelabras!
No matter what style or budget you are working with, you can create a beautiful glow that will enhance all of the elements surrounding your special day!
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