Wedding Lighting Ideas | How to Light a Wedding Reception

Wedding Lighting Ideas | How to Light a Wedding Reception

Lighting is an important but often underappreciated aspect of your wedding.

Choosing the right lighting at your wedding reception is crucial. With all the time and energy you’ve put into this, you don’t want the lights to be another thing you are worrying about on your big day.

Weddings are expensive. All the hours you spent carefully selecting flowers, clothes, centerpieces, food, and everything else should get captured in their best light. Your wedding photos will be with you forever. The right professional lighting will make everything look and feel better, in real life and in the frozen moments of video and photography.

Wedding Reception Lighting Ideas

Pin Lighting

Pin lighting is a popular type of lighting used at wedding receptions to highlight a specific area, normally a centerpiece, wedding cake, or other featured object.

Tree Lighting

If trees play any part of your wedding, you’ll want to dress them up for the party as well. These warm lights add lightness and magic to the atmosphere.

Light Canopies

For a soft, inviting glow, you can light up a whole indoor room from wooden beams or rafters. If you have an indoor/outdoor space with beams at your wedding venue, you can use string lights to set the whole room alight.

Canopies of light are not restricted to indoor structures. Professionals can create a tent or canopy of light in the middle of a field.

Color Wash

Using mostly uplighting for the effect, you can wash entire walls of any color. Need pink walls? No problem. Blue ceilings? Absolutely. Don’t feel restricted to color choice. It can completely transform a space.

Beam Lighting

In contrast with wash lighting, beam lighting sends off a column of more focused light. Speak with a lighting professional for options, recommendations, and demonstrations.


Gobos are customizable stencils that go over a light to project artwork, monograms, and other patterns.

String Lighting

String lighting, also known as café, bistro, and market lighting, adds a magical ambience to any wedding. Larger than traditional Christmas lights, these globe-like lights provide significant illumination while appearing warm and intimate. Click here for different string light pattern ideas for outdoor spaces.


Consider adding a unique chandelier treatment for a romantic effect. Think how elegant a crystal chandelier and wall sconces would look in your wedding space.

Candles and Lanterns

Groups of candles on the table can help set the right glow for your guests. Consider floating candles, fairy lights, and flameless LED candles for safety.

Wedding Areas to Consider

There are some areas of the wedding reception that should be priorities. Besides lighting for safety reasons, spend some time thinking about how the following areas will be lit up:

  • Bridal Table
  • Wedding Cake
  • Centerpieces and Flower Arrangements
  • Floors, Walls, Ceiling
  • Stage/Speech
  • The Walk-In
  • Columns
  • Dance Floor

Perks of the Pros

Researching and hiring the right lighting professional will make a huge difference. Be wary of anyone offering lighting as a secondary service, such as tent, DJ, or turn-key wedding companies. They may be able to offer you a deal, but professional lighting companies are the way to go. Don’t risk lighting, safety, electrical, or aesthetic problems with the wrong people in charge. Safety should be your primary concern.

Consult a professional to plan your lighting design specifically for the wedding location. If you are having an outdoor wedding, make should your lighting pro can provide weatherproof lighting. It’s important to have everyone’s safety as a priority. A professional lighting team will visit your property at night with you to determine how much lighting you need.

Most likely, especially if you have a lot of sound equipment, you will need additional power. Professionals can provide the generators and power necessary to prevent any risk of a power outage.

Create Your Perfect Wedding

The right lighting will wow your guests, provide great photo-ops, and give you the romantic environment you want. Whether you know exactly what you want or want to know more about your options, contact the event lighting experts at The Perfect Light.

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