Outdoor weddings are some of the most memorable events. There’s just something special about a celebration of true love blending with a beautiful natural space. But of course, hosting an outdoor wedding also comes with a special set of challenges. One big challenge is outdoor wedding lighting.
Before you dance the night away with your guests, be sure to balance safety considerations with setting the right mood. Fortunately, there are many creative ways to make your outdoor wedding lighting picture perfect.
In fact, done right, lighting can be used to transform your space, to make your decor look even more amazing, and to create incredible photo ops (Did someone say sparklers?).
Choosing Your Illumination Expert
When it comes to outdoor wedding lighting, it’s important to consider budget, safety, venue restrictions, and style. Choosing the right experienced lighting professional who can advise you on all of these elements is money well spent.
Ask your contact at the venue for recommendations for lighting pros who have experience with the unique challenges of the space you have chosen. A true professional should be able to show you pictures and offer recommendations in line with your vision.
Visit the site after dark
Once you’ve chosen your professional, walk the site at the same time as your wedding will be happening. This will help you to get a feel for exactly how bright the afternoon sun will be and figure out what types of existing lighting, you have to work with.
Again, plan to visit your site before you get too deep into wedding details. You don’t want to plan your dream wedding and then find out many of the elements you envisioned won’t work in the space you chose. For instance, while you may love the idea of each of your guests holding a candle to illuminate your way down the aisle, your venue might have a strict no open flame policy.
As you walk the site with your outdoor wedding lighting pro, take note of the outdoor outlets available and consider how many extension cords might be required to meet your needs. Also, work with your contact at the venue to figure out whether you will need any permits and ask if they know where you will need to file the paperwork.
Identify any problem areas and brainstorm about what you can do to make the area safer. Besides lighting the main areas where the ceremony, dancing, and dining will take place, don’t forget about lighting areas around the main celebration spaces.
Pay special attention to pathways where you expect a lot of foot traffic; for example, between the main reception tent and the stylish, luxury restroom trailer you rented to please dear, sweet Aunt Betty, who wouldn’t dream of stepping into a typical port-o-potty wearing her good shoes.
Wait. You didn’t think to rent a stylish restroom trailer complete with running water, temperature control, interior and exterior lighting, marble sinks, and a lighted mirror? It’s not too late! Contact us today to secure your Blue Ribbon Restroom for your outdoor wedding extravaganza.
Additionally, lighting can potentially use a lot of electricity. If you’re hosting a wedding at home, discuss the capacity of your home’s electrical system with your lighting professional. Remember that the band or DJ will need to plug into your home’s system too. You don’t want to risk blowing a fuse in the middle of the First Dance.
Because of the extra draw on the electricity, it may make sense to bring in a generator to take the pressure off of your home’s standard electrical system (Blue Ribbon also has Whisper Generators available). If you decide to use a generator, make sure to place it well away from guests, out of earshot.
Once you have safety concerns under control, you can think about the fun stuff—using lighting to make your celebration uniquely yours.
How will lighting enhance your celebration?
The Classic Outdoor Wedding:
Classic weddings are all about the glam. Strategically placed chandeliers or wall sconces can add an elegant feel to any outdoor space. Pair these classic light fixtures with silver candelabras on the tables and pillar candles in hurricane vases to add a warm glow. Anything that reflects light will help to make the space feel bright and warm.
If you’re dancing under the stars, strings of twinkle lights make the moment magical. Spotlights on the happy couple dancing for the first time or illuminating an ice sculpture can add a dramatic flare too. Don’t forget fireworks and sparklers for that grand finale feeling.
The Romantic Outdoor Wedding:
If your style is more romantic than classic, set the mood with twinkle LED’s. You can never have too many of these tiny, sparkly lights winding around tree branches, tent poles, and barn ceilings. Hang strings vertically to create a romantic backdrop for pictures or create a canopy of lights overhead. The possibilities are endless.
Lanterns with candles hanging overhead or lighting pathways also set a nice romantic mood. Use colors, like gold and rose to flood the space with a romantic glow. At the end of the night, have guests release floating candles into a pool or release glowing lanterns into the sky while making a wish.
The Rustic Outdoor Wedding:
Even a rustic outdoor wedding can use a touch of elegance. Choose globe-style lights that are bigger than Christmas lights and offer a bit more light. Line ceremony aisles or stone walkways with luminaries, like bag luminaries, to make a simple statement.
Going for a more eclectic look? Use mason jars in different shapes and sizes hanging at different heights with glowing Edison bulbs. When it comes to that rustic feel, you are really free to mix and match outdoor wedding lighting. You can even use lighting to divide up a large space. Suspend a chandelier made out of a wagon wheel above the dance floor, or create an intimate space with lights at each table. Get creative! It’s your day!
Whatever mood you want to convey with your outdoor wedding lighting, don’t ruin the mood with subpar restroom facilities. At Blue Ribbon we specialize in giving your guests a first-rate experience through and through.