Wedding Design: Planning to light up an Outdoor Space

Wedding lightingThe beauty of building outdoor events is that you can create just about anything your heart desires and budget will allow. In my opinion, lighting is one of the most important fundamental keys to a successful event. We often classify two types of lighting you need to consider – the atmosphere lighting (what makes the event so pretty) and logistical lighting ( the ability to see is very important).  When considering an outdoor wedding, both types of lighting must be carefully planned.

Atmosphere lighting: Consider the overall feeling and look of your wedding. Different types of lighting fit well for rustic, casual events and others might be suited for crystal chandeliers, or simple iron chandeliers dressed in greens and/or flowers (so pretty!).

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Top left: Lanterns hanging in a clear top frame tent from VT Tent Company. /  Top right: Sperry Tent with dance floor lighting by Darkstar. Image: Duback Photography. /  Bottom left: pattern wash on pole or century tent by Rain or Shine Tent and Events. /  Bottom right: Festoon Lighting aka G-50 bulbs or vintage string lighting in pole tent.
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Top left: iron chandelier dressed in greens and flowers / Top right: custom drum lighting on center-poles in pole tent by Rain or Shine Tent and Events / Bottom left: Paper lanterns in clear top frame tent by Vermont Tent Company. Photo by Duback Photography. / Bottom right: Paper lanterns. Image by Michael Riddell Photography.

Never under estimate Candle light and simple perimeter lighting if you are on budget as well. Just be sure to check with your event professionals to see if this is enough lighting in your tent for your specific needs. Some tents reflect light better than others.  Hanging lanterns, mason jars, string lights are also beautiful especially grouped in mass. Some of these projects will take much longer than anticipated. Couples with a DIY mindset should plan extra time to install these details. Consulting with professionals will also help determine what works well, what is more complicated than necessary or will work within your budget.

Logistical lighting: This is the lighting needed for safety and for event professionals and guests to make their way around the event areas. Pathway lighting and catering lighting are the two must have details. Spot lights will certainly work, in the catering spaces however for other “guest areas” we often suggest complimenting your logistical lighting to the environment created inside the event space. This is a nice way to tie the entire event together. Some great examples are luminaries, lanterns (both hanging and pathway), mason jars, string lighting and up-lighting trees and pin spotting gardens.

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Top left: Stowe, Vermont Wedding. Photo courtesy Eyes 2 See. / Top right: Adirondack Wedding. Photo courtesy Duback Photography. / Bottom left: Craftsbury, Vermont Wedding. Photo courtesy Brian Post Photography / Bottom right: Barnard, Vermont Wedding. Photo courtesy: Lauren and Abby.

Tip: Double check your power needs. Ensure all your lighting plans are reviewed with event professionals hired. It is also a good idea to cross check band lighting needs.

May your wedding be bright!

xxoo – Carrie

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