If you’re planning your wedding, you’ve quickly realized there is a long list of things to plan: the wedding service, the reception location, the food, the flowers, the photography...the list goes on and on. And that doesn’t even touch on the myriad family concerns! While all of those items are necessary, don’t forget another item that is critical to helping you create the wedding of your dreams: the lighting!
Lighting sets the mood for your wedding. Whether your wedding is in a large hall or small historic building, whether it’s in an elegant garden or on a casual beach, creative lighting helps set the mood for your event in a unique way. The right lighting is functional, but it also helps carry your theme or style and can provide fantastic ambiance. From string lights to paper lanterns to fairy lights, there’s a wide array of lighting ideas that will make your wedding memorable.
One of the most popular and flexible ways to light up your night is with string lights! String lights can be used in a variety of ways; they’re equally suited for providing main lighting or for accent lighting. For an outdoor wedding, zigzag strings of lights across your entire space to provide soft, festive lighting into the night. Or if you have trees or other natural foliage, dangling strings from branches or looping lights amongst the branches both make for an eye-catching look.
For an indoor setting - or for a tent - strings that radiate out from a central point is both attractive and functional or you can use string lights to create a canopy of lights. With a wide range of lengths and socket spacing plus a variety of bulb choices, string lights should be the initial go-to option for your wedding lighting.
Commercial Grade String Lights. Are you an event planner and expect to use string lights over and over again? Or are you a bride that wants a professional look? Commercial grade string lights can be used to decorate in the same way as traditional string lights, but with added durability thanks to heavy-duty wiring and weatherproof sockets. Commercial grade lights are particularly good for outdoor weddings.
Vintage Edison String Lights. Weddings set in barns and other rustic or historic buildings are very much on trend right now. If the look for your wedding is rustic or vintage, Edison string lights are a perfect match thanks to their warm glow and unique designs. Edison bulbs look amazing strung along the rafters of your building to provide lighting for the entire space, or they can be used in a concentrated grouping or cluster for a dramatic - and romantic - look that will be perfect for photos of the happy couple and guests as well.
Paper Lanterns + String Lights
Asian-inspired paper lanterns are a beautiful way to decorate your wedding and they provide warm lighting and color to your wedding decor. With so many colors, shapes and sizes available, paper lanterns are amazingly adaptable. For a white outdoor tent, use colored lanterns to add some contrast; for a more formal look use all one color or shades of the same color, or for a more whimsical look, mix a rainbow of colors to emphasize the festive nature of the event. For indoor or nighttime weddings, mix the lanterns with string lights or pendant lights. Paper lanterns look fantastic when used sparingly as a minor accent or grouped into clusters.
Besides the traditional way of hanging paper lanterns overhead, consider using paper lanterns for your wedding centerpieces, cake table decor or other areas where you’d like to add a pop of color or highlight. Light them up with small puck-like LED Floralytes, battery-operated fairy lights or lantern light kits! The end result will make your wedding tables look amazing!
LED Mini Lights
LED mini lights make a great economical solution to brighten up your wedding. LED mini lights are low wattage, so multiple sets can be safely connected together, making them perfect for wrapping trees, shrubs or columns. They also make great accent lighting - ideal for outlining tables or architectural features such as beams or windows.
For a sophisticated look, wrap mini lights in tulle and use them to accent the edges of a tent or gazebo. For a dramatic look, use them as a backdrop, running strings back and forth behind a head table, as a feature display for the wedding cake, or as the background for your dance floor.
There’s something magical about the twinkle that Fairy Lights adds to any centerpiece or decor. Battery-operated fairy lights are the perfect, economical solution to add light all around your wedding ceremony and reception. Because they are on a flexible wire, you can wrap, twist, or bend to make them fit anywhere. Wrap them around candles in a centerpiece or on the head table, twist them around tulle or other table embellishments or bend them to fit inside jars or lanterns to add a level of creativity… the possibilities are endless.
Decorative String Lights
Sometimes you might be looking for a little more creativity than just spots of light. With a wide variety of battery-operated and plug-in decorative string lights, you can quickly make your centerpieces, cake table, bride and groom’s table and more have the elegance you’re looking for. From pearls to crystals for added elegance and cotton balls to rattan stars for a rustic feel, decorative string light sets add a level uniqueness above the basic mini lights.
The ideas above are big-picture, but it’s often the small details that can really make a statement. Submersible Floralytes - waterproof tea lights - are perfect to create eye-catching centerpieces that illuminate from within. Add these lights to clear vases to accent your floral arrangements or put them in a champagne fountain to create a beautiful and dynamic effect. Submersible lights can also give a moody and sophisticated vibe when submerged in a clear vase with clear beads; with floralytes in various colors or color changing versions, they can perfectly coordinate with your decor.
Another variation on string lights, delicate Flower Lights, are great for adding a unique and festive look! They’re ideal for places where people may get more up close and can see that these are no ordinary lights - use them to wrap banisters or columns or to light up a gift or cake table. Flower lights are available as roses or elegant flowers made from natural materials in wedding white. Everyone will be sure to notice this added touch of class!.
Another eye-catching option for providing accent lighting is an LED Light Base. These small stands can cast large scale light that is perfect for emphasizing table decor such as a centerpiece or vase or even an ice sculpture. They can also be used under linen-covered tables to provide dramatic under-lighting that can be tuned to your color scheme. Multicolor light bases allow for complete customization, with either solid colors or a varying color scheme for a tasteful yet dynamic display.
Ideal for wedding planners, or for couples who want a truly unique and custom wedding, projection lights provide an unprecedented level of drama to indoor or outdoor weddings. Wall washers provide uplights that cast your choice of color on walls to create “architecture with light” in the form of columns of light that make a bold and dynamic statement on indoor walls or the sides of a tent, landscape features or sculptures. For added effect, pinpoint projection lights paint your walls or outside spaces with a star field of thousands that is simply enchanting, creating a universe of stars under a tent, on outdoor landscaping or reflecting in the pool.
LED Cubes & Balls
Another specialty light that is sure to add that extra WOW factor to any wedding are LED Cubes and Balls. These lights can be programmed for different static colors or can cycle through multiple colors. The LED Cubes can be decorative as an accent piece either indoors our outdoors, or can even be functional, serving as a table or chair. The LED Balls are waterproof and float, making them perfect for a wedding around a pool.
Lighting is an essential part of your wedding planning. While it serves a functional purpose, it also is critical in creating the atmosphere and mood that you want for your special day. Whether it’s a Edison string lights draped throughout a barn, mini lights wrapped around trees or fairy lights creating a twinkle at every table, lighting makes your wedding unique and memorable.
Show us your wedding lights! We’d love to see what you’ve done for the big day! Email us or post a picture and tag us on Facebook (@partylightscom) or Instagram (@partylights_com).