Basic lighting techniques to bring the right ambiance and romantic setting to your wedding.
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Lighting plays an important role in setting the “mood” at any wedding or reception. At the flip of a switch a reception or wedding can go from ordinary to stunning. We’ll help you get started with some lighting basics and examples from lighting professionals.
Who is going to do the lighting? This is an important question to consider. There are many ways to find lighting professionals for your wedding. Ask your event designer or florist as they often do their own lighting or may frequently work with lighting specialist at other events. If they don’t have suggestions, consider asking a coordinator at the reception venue; they might be able to suggest a lighting business that has worked onsite before. If you are on a budget then consider doing it yourself or having a family member assist you.
If you’ll be planning the wedding event yourself, make sure to assess the site of the wedding or reception. This is important so you can plan and prepare to block out any unnecessary light. Ask the venue coordinator if there are dimmers for overhead lights and if there is any fluorescent lights make sure to turn them off. You want lights that help people keep their eyes on each other, the tables, dance floor and the newlyweds. To achieve this effect block out lights, windows and service doors that may illuminate walls and ceilings. These can distract and take away from your subjects.
Here are some professional techniques to help make your next event glimmer:
Pin Spot: This is a highlighting technique that usually transmits a concentrated beam of light on to an object such as centerpieces, a wedding cake or dancing newlyweds. Pin spot lighting in most cases is produced by incandescent light bulbs.
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Gobos: Gobos are circular stencils stamped out of steel or made of glass which transcribe an image on walls or floors. These materials are typically used because they can withstand high heat emitted from light bulbs. Fashionable gobo wedding designs include monograms, displaying the names of the newlyweds, date of the wedding, initials or hearts. The more complex the design the more expensive the gobos will cost.
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Color Wash: Commonly referred to as “washes,” these light fixtures feature a recessed, soft, widespread infinity edge. The effect brings a blanket of light that covers an area. In most cases colored light is used with this technique. LED par cans and other LED luminaries can be utilized to create this great look.
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LED: LED’s are generally used for accent lighting (up-lighting), color, and strobing effects. These functional light bulbs are a popular choice for many weddings because they are affordable, use less electricity, are not heat prone and are often wireless.
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Pipe and Drape: As one of the most inexpensive uplighting methods, the pipe and drape is sure to give your reception an enchanted ballroom feel. This technique uses metal framing and transparent fabric to create a sub wall, curtain or sub divider. It brings a glow to the fabric allowing for a warm feel.
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Here are some other designs to consider:
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