Archive | Wedding Lighting

Unique Weekend DIY Wedding Lighting Ideas and Projects

DIY Wedding Lighting Ideas Creativity can go a long way, especially when you are looking to create DIY wedding lighting. For a small and intimate wedding, a DIY approach could be enough lighting to set the ideal backdrop. A larger wedding, say in a banquet hall, can still make great use of DIY lighting – but simple event light fixtures will be needed to fill up the space with enough light. Most wedding venues, such as hotels, will already have these fixtures for you to use, inclusive of the venue package. They can also be easily hired separately from event and lighting companies. Below we have set out a number of simple ideas that will turn a wedding space into an elegant setting.

Using String Lights To Create DIY Wedding Lights

Simple outdoor string lights, also known as fairy lights, can be used to provide a wide range of different wedding lighting effects. They are inexpensive, easy to work with, and create an enchanting lighting effect. They are well known for being red and green for Christmas decorations, but there are a wide range of different colors. Even the wiring that connects the lights together comes in other colors than green, so they can blend into different decorations. They come in an LED version which produces less heat, which is ideal for incorporating string lights for a wedding with decorations such as fabric or origami shades. The easiest thing to do is string them along tables and walls. You can arrange them on a wall to spell out the names of the bride and groom or create a simple heart. You can cover them up with a light fabric which will hide the lights and create a softer glow.

A romantic wedding backdrop

A Curtain Of Light: One straightforward idea using string lights is to create wedding curtain lights. This is where you hang a number of string lights side by side. This can be done on a white or on a black backdrop to create a starry effect. Fabric can be hung behind the lights. Going Green: For a professional look, use string lights with greenery. Pine branches wrapped with lights to make garlands for bowers or tables. Hang lighted wreaths sporting your wedding flowers or colorful ribbons. You can also find white string lights (white lights and white wiring) and have tree branches painted in white to create minimalistic decorations. This can also be applied if you are looking for outdoor wedding lighting ideas. String lights can be used to decorate and light up trees, flower beds, bushes, pathways, and create romantic backyard wedding lighting. Creating a Canopy: String lights can be hung from the ceiling to mimic a starry night. You can hang them in simple rows from one wall to another or you can create a canopy of light. This is usually done for wedding tent lighting, but can also be done in banquet halls to create a tent like effect. To do this you’ll need to find one spot in the ceiling from where all the string lights will hang from, and fan out.

Origami Shades: With the help of little paper origami shades, normal string lights can be turned into decorative light fixtures. A simple and creative idea that can take on many shapes and sizes. Take a look here for our post highlighting a tutorial on creating origami string lights.

Origami Lights

Decorating ordinary outdoor string lights with origami shades

Bottled Lights:  If you are a bit more adventurous with arts and crafts, you can construct unique wedding lights from string lights and glass containers. Vases, old-style milk bottles, wine bottles, and Mason jars can be turned into elegant lighting for tables or to line the floors. Wit and Whistle has a tutorial on turning string lights and normal wine bottles into a unique lamp. The best thing about these DIY glass lamps is that you can create them to go with the theme of your wedding. Simply use a container or colored glass that matches your theme, or have them painted and decorated to tie them in with your wedding decorations. For more ideas on using string lights have a look at our post: L&L LOOK BOOK: Beautiful Uses of String Lights [Photo Gallery]

Stencil Lighting

Monogram Lights

Starry wedding lighting effect

You can easily personalize a wedding venue with the use of wedding monogram lighting. This is where the names of the bride and groom are project with the use of a stencil and a normal event lighting fixture. These are normally done professionally with the use of a laser cutter, but with a sheet of tin, a sharp knife and a steady hand, these stencils can be done at home. Middle school and high school students have to create these stencils for their theater classes. They will be ideal as DIY wedding reception lighting that you can shine on entrances, walls or on the dance floor. You can also create other designs with the stencils. Stars can be cut out which can be projected onto the ceilings. Hearts or floral designs are some other ideas. Check out our post for full details: What Is and How To Make Elegant Monogram Lighting For Weddings

LED Battery Operated Wedding Lights

These small lights, along with a battery can be useful for a number of simple wedding lighting ideas. They can be used to effortlessly create unique centerpieces – arranged with flowers, and accessories. There are even submersible LED lights than can be placed inside water. LED light up ice cubes can be used inside of drinks to make them more dynamic, and tie them into your theme. With the use of normal balloons, LEDs can be easily turned into wedding lighting decorations. All you need are balloons and store bought LED lights that come with a battery (when you pull on a tab, the light is activated and turns on). The LED lights are simply placed inside the balloon before you blow them up. These balloons can be used to line the walls, placed on the dance floor, or if you are looking for DIY outdoor wedding lighting ideas, they will even float on water in fountains and ponds. You can even fill the balloons up with helium, and they will float in the air or can be tied down with string. White balloons are a popular choice for this DIY project but if you are looking for purple wedding lighting then purple balloons will do the trick.

Candle Lit Scenes

Wedding Candles

Candles always add a romantic touch to a wedding. These are ideal for creating table centerpieces. Wedding candle centerpieces can be arranged with flowers and other decorations such as polished pebbles or feathers. They can even be placed within a jar or bowl of water as they will float. Our post on beach wedding centerpieces has a nice section on creating unique DIY candle centerpieces.

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For other do it yourself wedding lighting ideas have a look at these DIY lighting resources: Lighting DIY projects at Instructables LEDs + Music: Want to try something a bit more techie and dynamic for a DIY wedding lighting project – then try out this tutorial on creating a LED Light Box that syncs and pulses to the beat of the music.

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Image Credits Wit and Whistle

Ideas for Romantic LED and Candle Beach Wedding Centerpieces

Beach Wedding Centerpiece Ideas

With the blue sky, waves and the sandy beach as the backdrop, what could be more romantic than having a wedding on a beach? Table centerpieces play an important role in the overall decor and setting the right ambiance for the guests. When it comes to beach wedding centerpieces, there are a lot of ideas to choose from. They range from ready made, to creating your own simple and personalized centerpieces with items found on the beach itself, or using LED lights to create a centerpiece.

Ready Made Centerpieces

For a beach wedding, flame based centerpieces are highly popular. These 3 ideas are ready made centerpieces that you can easily find from such places like Amazon. Wrought iron table lanterns are a great choice because of their black texture. The black highly contrasts the pastel colors at a beach wedding – making them focal points on a table. Candles you place inside will provide an elegant centerpiece and will also be shielded from winds.

A small tabletop fire bowl or urn will create a dynamic centerpiece. These can be fueled with a small tabletop propane tank or oils. Citronella oil will produce little smoke and will act as an organic insect repellent. Tabletop tiki torches can also be fueled by citronella oil.

Natural and Organic Beach Wedding Centerpieces Ideas

A beach wedding is all about being out in nature – with the sea, palm trees, winds, sunsets and starry skies. The best beach wedding centerpieces and decoration pieces in general, will be based on items found on a beach. Items on the beach itself can be crafted into elegant decorations. This makes DIY beach wedding centerpieces a good route to go down. One idea is to craft a unique candle holder out of wood and logs that have washed onto shore. These can even have messages engraved onto them. Or you can wrap the log in fairy lights.

Other beach decoration accessories can be arranged with candles to create creative beach wedding centerpieces on a budget:

  • Small shells scattered around
  • A large shell centerpiece
  • Sand
  • Unique beach rocks
  • Exotic fruits

Arrangement: The beach candles and decorations can be arranged informally – have pebbles and shells scattered around the table, or you can create a more tidy and formal centerpiece with the use of trays. A wooden tray (black or dark brown trays will contrast well with light colored table cloths) can hold together the decor accessories and wedding candle centerpieces in one place. Also avoid tall centerpieces as they can easily blow over in the wind.

Candles and Water

The great thing about candles is that you can get ones that float. So there are a lot of diy wedding lighting ideas that can be based around using a glass vase filled with water, candles ,and mixing them with flowers, or decorative rocks and pebbles. More creative additions include coloring the water with food dye, or having a message engraved on wood or metal placed inside the vase. If you want to go for a more tropical and earthy centerpiece then try a wooden bowl filled with water – used with the floating beach candles and flowers.

Floating Candle Centerpiece

Using LED Lights

There might be some instances where you would rather use LED wedding lights to create beach centerpieces. They can provide more lighting at tables, and if you are on a windy beach, they won’t blow out. Here are some unique beach wedding centerpieces that use LED lights.

You can find LED lights that are battery powered and waterproof, allowing them to be submerged in water. These waterproof LEDs can be used with a glass vase or wooden bowl filled with water and flowers to create a unique centerpiece. There are decorative alternatives such as using LED light up ice cubes.

An alternative to using real candles could be to use battery powered flameless candles. These use a small LED light to mimic the lighting of a candle. Some will even come in a wax base to recreate the candle look as closely as possible. Though not as enchanting as real candles, they can be easily set up, and are reusable.

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So there you have it, a range of LED and candle beach wedding centerpiece ideas that adds a decorative touch and lighting to a table. Beach weddings are generally small, intimate affairs and lighting can help with setting the right backdrop. Have a look here for other outdoor wedding lighting ideas.

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Creating Whimsical Purple Wedding Lighting

Purple Wedding Lighting Ideas

A purple themed wedding, a color that represents royalty, is a popular choice. A reception decorated in purple and white creates an elegant backdrop. When it comes to decorating purple wedding receptions, lighting can play a major role. Here you will have two options in creating purple wedding lighting, both of which are simple and inexpensive. You can either use purple gels with ordinary lighting or use purple décor with clear, non-colored lights.

Purple Lighting Gels

A purple gel fitted over a light

Lighting gels are thin sheets of plastic that can be fitted over light fixtures. Ordinary wedding lights that are usually provided at a hotel banquet hall or other venues can easily be transformed into purple lights. If this is the option you go with, then you will want to plan the decorations accordingly. White will be a good base color for tablecloths, drapes, backdrops, etc. This way the purple lights can easily transform the decorations. You can simply create purple centerpieces for weddings by having gel lighting shining onto a white table and centerpiece. If you choose green, yellow or other colored decorations, the purple lights will clash.

Some purple wedding lighting ideas using gels:

Have purple uplights shine onto a white wall, or even used on the outside of the building:

Purple Lighting

Purple uplights shining onto a buildings facade

Other ideas include using purple light bulbs inside white paper lanterns, or hanging drapes on the ceiling washed with purple lights (use a purple gel to cover the event lights):

White drapes hanging from the ceiling washed with purple lighting

White drapes hanging from the ceiling washed with purple lighting

A purple gel can also be applied to wedding monogram lighting. This is where the names of the bride and groom are cut into a stencil and put over a light fixture. Their names are projected onto walls, the dance floor or a ceiling. A purple gel, or any other color, can be applied over the stencil – turning the names into purple monogram lighting.

In addition to monogram lighting, you can also use general gobo lighting. Alongside having the names cut into the stencil, you can have designs made of anything: hearts, stars projected onto the ceiling, or floral stencils can be created to make wedding lighting decorations. All of which when used with a purple gel, will add to the overall theme.

Going Outdoors

If there is a fountain at your wedding venue, you can have purple gels fitted to the lights to turn it into a purple water show.

Trees can be lit to create a grand outdoor ambiance or visit here for more outdoor wedding lighting ideas.

Purple Décor and Neutral Lighting

Another way of adding lighting is to use plain neutral lights, without gels, and have them shine onto purple wedding decorations. For example, have non-colored uplights pointed onto purple drapes:

Purple drapes with normal colored lights

Purple drapes with normal colored lights

You can create a soft and intimate purple glow by using purple candles. Or how about normal light bulbs used within purple paper lanterns – much easier than finding purple light bulbs for white lanterns.

Purple Lanterns

Purple paper lanterns

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Design Guide: Indian Wedding Lighting

Indian Wedding Lighting

Traditional Hindu weddings are festive events that can take place over a number of days. They are colorful ceremonies – in which the choices of colors have meaning. If you are planning an Indian wedding, or an Indian styled wedding here are a few tips on Indian wedding lighting.

Significance of Colors in Indian Weddings

A guiding principle when decorating an Indian styled wedding will come in knowing the role and significance colors. Red is the most used as this is a lucky color that represents prosperity. So a lot of bridal dresses are made in red, as well as wedding decorations such as drapes, carpets, tents, and umbrellas. Gold is another – it represents wealth and fortune, so a lot of decorations and accessories are gold colored.

Though red and gold are the main décor colors, other colors are used – like yellow, green, or white. They can sometimes have different meanings depending on the region of India or the caste of the families (like white can mean mourning in one area or peace in another). Orange and pink are often used too. All these other colors when used are accompanied with gold accents.

indian flowers

Some popular flowers to use are roses and jasmine among an assortment of other flowers. If you are looking to have a modern and minimalistic styled Indian wedding, then a white and jasmine color palette would work.

Lighting and Indian Wedding Decorations

An Indian wedding is full of color – drapes, umbrellas and carpets in dark hues of red, and gold. There are also an abundance of flowers. If you are planning on incorporating such decorations into the wedding, then when it comes to lighting you will want to use clear / off white lights. As you will already have a colorful setting, adding colored lights will clash with the decorations.

East Meets West: If on the other hand you are having your wedding reception in say a hotel banquet hall, a place where it will be hard to decorate with an ambulance of flowers and drapes, you can use more decorative lighting to replicate Indian décor. Here you can use colored gels to create deep reds, yellows and purple wedding lighting.

You can also use gobo lighting – where you create a stencil that goes over a light fixture. This creates elegant wedding lighting decorations. A unique Indian wedding light decoration would be to customize the stencils into henna designs – these then can be projected onto walls, the ceiling or the dance floor to create Asian wedding lights. Or how about having the names of the bride and groom lit on a wall with wedding monogram lighting.

We have a separate article on the different areas of a reception to light:( 7 Areas: Creating a Poetic Backdrop Using Wedding Lights ) Here is a photo gallery of Indian Wedding receptions in a banquet hall.

Traditional Indian Wedding Lighting: If you are using South Asian wedding decorations such as flowers, drapes and carpets then you will want to use non-decorative lighting. You will want to avoid using gobo lighting, colored lights, or tiki torches, as they will look out of place.

indian wedding setting

Simple wedding lighting ideas such as uplights, spotlights, globe string lights will work. You will want lighting that is closer to the ground – as this makes for a more intimate setting. Some example of Indian wedding lights include lanterns and candles arranged with colorful flowers or gold colored ornaments. Indian (Jaipuri) Umbrellas can have lights attached inside to turn them into lighting decorations. Not really a lighting idea but incense sticks burning in a space creates a refreshing ambiance.

The Mandap: An important part of a Hindi wedding is a small canopy placed in the center of the wedding space. This canopy is called a Mandap and is used to bless the couple. This is where a number of ceremonial rituals take place such as the exchanging of the garlands. The wedding Mandap will be heavily decorated with flowers and you will want to have lights directed into the Mandap so guests can see the rituals taking place. Use spotlights or have the canopy decorated in outdoor string lights. Be careful not to have too many lights as the area can become hot.

If you are planning on having an outdoor wedding and hiring a Shamiana tent, have a look at our article on wedding tent lighting for ideas. These types of tents are decorated with lanterns and candles, and have carpets lining the floor.

indian wedding indian wedding decorations

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Create A Dreamy Backdrop With These Outdoor Wedding Lighting Ideas

Outdoor Wedding Lighting Ideas

Whether you are having a tent wedding, outdoor wedding reception, or a wedding on a beach, there are certain outdoor wedding lighting ideas that create the ideal backdrop. We have an article on the specific areas of a reception that need wedding lights (7 Areas: Creating a Poetic Backdrop Using Wedding Lights) such as the dance floor, guest table, etc. Here are additional areas for an outdoor space that would need lighting and what kind of light fixtures to use.

Areas of an Outdoor Wedding to Light Up

Venue Features: If you are lucky enough to have any features around, they can be highlighted with lights. Statues for example, water features, or even a nearby building can be a feature. Uplighting is usually the best way to light up features such as statues or buildings. They bring the features to life at night, showing off the details.

Water Features: Swimming pools, ponds or fountains are great areas to light. Having light wash over and reflect over a calm surface of water is a beautiful sight. Floating solar lights are an easy option, or you can have lights attached to poles pointing down towards the water.

A DIY wedding lighting idea would be to use battery powered balloon LED lights – instead of filling them up with helium, just fill them with air and they can float on the water. These balloon lights can also be placed around an outdoor space – tied to trees, or filled with helium and tied to a stake in a ground – letting them glow and float around adding to the outdoor wedding decor.

Adding lights to any water features will create tranquil feature

Adding lights to any water features will create tranquil feature

Landscape: Adding lighting to certain areas of the landscape will help in creating an intimate ambiance. Trees, bushes and flower beds could do with some lighting.

Outdoor string lights when used in clear or off white colors can add a fairytale look. They can be hung in trees, draped over fences, or hung from balconies.  These string lights can also come as a net, which can be placed over bushes.  More sophisticated versions of string lights are made with normal sized light bulbs, called festoon lights.

Uplighting pointed towards trees can highlight their features or if placed behind the tree will create a silhouette. You can also use colored gels to change the color of the light – for example a purple gel can be placed over the light if you are looking for purple wedding lighting.

Paths: Path Lighting is important in helping guest see their way to the different locations outdoors. Bamboo tiki torches are one way of guiding guests down paths, or solar stake likes are another option. Hanging globe string lights also helps in lighting a pathway at night.

Entrances: The entrance plays an important role in the setting of a wedding. Whether it is the entrance into the building or to a tent, it can be decorated with lights to create the backdrop you want. Once again uplights are ideal, as well as flood lights– shining them up onto the walls of a building. You can also use wedding monogram lighting where the names of the bride and groom are displayed with light. Tiki torches on both sides of the entrance can also create a dramatic entrance.

We have a separate article, if you are looking specifically for wedding tent lighting ideas.

Other Outdoor Wedding Light Fixtures

A search lightis a high powered light that projects light into the sky or onto a building. Multiple beams of light spread out creating a grand light display – like a major concert or event is underway.

Lanternsare lightweight and inexpensive light fixtures. They come in a wide range of styles and finishes. Popular choices for weddings are white weatherproof paper lanterns – if you are looking to fill a large space have a look for the over sized ones as these will add to the outdoor wedding decorations. There are more decorative hanging outdoor lanterns to choose from if you have a themed wedding planned.

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How To Create Enchanting Wedding Tent Lighting

Wedding Tent Lighting Ideas

A tent wedding is a great choice because it allows for great freedom in design, and decor. Lighting will play an even larger role with a tent wedding compared to standard hall type receptions. A tent is a blank canvas for wedding tent lighting – you have fabric everywhere, left, right, and up top. You can have tent lining that finishes off a tent making it ever so elegant with its sweeping, flowing and curving form tapering up to the ceiling. It is through lighting, where you decorate these bare walls of fabric. It is through lighting, where you bring the setting to life – and create a backdrop for your wedding just how you want it.

There are a number of areas within a reception where you will need wedding lights – such as the dance floor, table lights, and displays (wedding cakes/flowers). We have an article that goes over the 7 basic areas that need to be lit: 7 Areas: Creating a Poetic Backdrop Using Wedding Lights. But there are some areas and light fixtures that are unique to tent wedding receptions, and that is what we will go over below.

Tent Wedding Lighting

The Structure of The Tent

When it comes to planning the lighting for a tent wedding, you will need to know about the structure of the tent you will be hiring. There are a number of types of tents, such as ones that have no interior poles, or ones that have many interior poles. Some tents will be able to suspend lights from the ceiling, while others won’t. What will the layout be, and will you have a lining that finishes the tent’s interior? All these factors play a role in planning wedding tent lighting.

Lights can be hung and suspended from the ceiling, they can be attached to the poles of the tent, or they can be freestanding. This all depends on the tent structure.  Your tent supplier will be able to tell you how lighting can be integrated with their tents. Most tent companies will have their own light fixtures that can be used. It is also best to look at lighting companies as they will have a wider range of lights that can be used to create a custom wedding feel and tone that you want.

Wedding Tent Lighting Ideas

The most unique thing about a tent wedding is the feeling guests get when they walk inside. It is a contained space, isolated, and intimate. The ceiling will play an important role in creating the feel and tone of the setting. You can create a grand ceiling with draped linings. For lights focused on the ceiling there are a number of lighting ideas to use.

Fairy Light Canopy: Use a large number of string lights, attached at the edge of the ceiling that then curves upwards into the center of the ceiling. This enhances the curves and flow of the ceiling – and creates a fanciful starry lighting effect.

Using string lights to decorate the ceiling of a tent wedding

Paper Lanterns: Because these are light weight light fixtures, they can be easily suspended from the ceiling of the tent. They come in a number of colors to suite the style of wedding you are trying to create: (white, orange, purple, etc.) Larger than average paper lanterns work best to fill up a large tent space.

Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are lightweight light fixtures – ideal for hanging inside a tent

Chandeliers are also an option. Some tent companies will have chandeliers on hand or party/lighting companies also rent them out. Chandeliers create focal points, so hang them above the dance floor, an entrance, or over the head table.

Chandelier lights attached to the poles of the tent

Gobos: Gobo lighting is when you put a stencil (aka gobo) over a light fixture. What you get are surfaces lit with shapes and designs. These can also be used on walls and on the dance floor. So stars, hearts or abstract designs can be projected onto the ceiling – adding to the wedding tent decorations.

Up Lights are generally used to light up walls and poles. They also bounce light onto the ceiling.

Don’t forget you can use colored gels, to change the color of the standard light fixtures – making them suit your wedding style.

Other Wedding Lighting Ideas For Tents

Hanging lights from the ceiling or attaching them to the tent poles might not be an option. Instead you can use free standing poles, and hang lights on them. These can be placed anywhere. The tent poles or the free standing poles can be decorated so they integrate with the whole design scheme – decorate them with flowers, fabric, tree branches, or wrap string lights around them.

You can get more decorative and creative by using lighting props. For example Victorian street lanterns can be found at lighting/prop shops. Other types of light props, suiting different tent wedding ideas, include Japanese pagoda lanterns, snow lighting effects, or Moroccan lanterns – it all depends on the style of wedding you are going for.

Monogram Lighting: Monogram lighting for weddings is the same concept as gobo lighting, but instead of shapes or designs you have the names of the bride and groom projected with light. Ideal for lighting the entrance or on the dance floor.

Fairy Light Curtain: For this idea, you hang string lights side by side, creating a curtain of lighting. This makes for good backdrops – ideal for behind head tables or the stage.

Table Lighting:  Since there won’t be much overhead lighting – adding table lights is essential. One way of doing is to use pin lighting. This is done by using mini spot lights (can lighting), hung from the ceiling or on the poles. Have one light pointed to each table. Another way of adding table lighting is to plan for your centerpieces to include a lighting aspect. Whether this is in the form of battery powered LED lighting (DIY wedding lighting),or wedding candle centerpieces.

Bring The Outdoors In: With a tent you have the option of leaving one or all sides open. This is great if you have a lovely landscape that you can show off. You will want to add lighting then to any outdoor features such as statues or any water areas.

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Tips For Tent Lighting

Tent Lighting

Lighting also needs to be used outside of the tent

  • Don’t forget that outside of the tent needs lighting as well: this includes the tent itself and any paths or features you want to highlight. Have a look at our guide on outdoor wedding lighting ideas for such ideas as tiki torches, solar floating lights, etc.
  • Inside the tent, if possible, you will want to have the lights change color every three hours or so. This helps in keeping a lively atmosphere.
  • Keep in mind that green or yellow colored lights are not ideal lighting options. You want to use sunset colors such as orange or go for purple wedding lighting.
  • If possible, have a dimmer installed to allow for maximum control of the lighting during the night
  • Find out in advance if you need a generator to handle power for the band, caterer, and lighting.

For other information in helping you organize you special day, New York event designer Frank Alexander gives overall advice and highlights the challenges on organizing a tent wedding.

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Image Credits: Title Image, 1. Mini Chandeliers, Paper Lanterns, Pole Chandeliers, Outside