14 Fun and Beautiful Ways to Light Up Your Wedding

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One thing that many couples don’t think about while they’re planning their wedding is the lighting. During the ceremony and reception, the lighting can set the mood instantly, and it will certainly impact the pictures your photographer takes.

Natural lighting is one source of illumination, but there are tons of fun and interesting ways to light up your big day. Here are a few of our favorite lighting ideas from real weddings.

First and Foremost Get Ideas From Your Photographer

One of the best resources for creating a fantastic lighting scheme is your photographer. You may have noticed during your wedding photo shoots that lighting was a top priority. Professional photographers understand how to capture light to enhance features, soften the photo and create a dramatic mood.

Ask your photographer if they have any suggestions on how to use lighting to create different effects. They’ll probably be happy you asked since the decision will affect their photos.

Send the Couple Off With Sparklers

Today’s couples are exchanging birdseed for shimmering wedding sparklers. The glow of the sparklers creates a beautiful soft lighting that will make any beautiful bride look even better. Plus, the sparklers are super fun for guests.

The best sparklers to use will have a very long handle, so they’re safe. This makes it easy for guests to hold them up as you make your exit. Some vendors like VIP Sparklers can even customize your order, so you get the effect you’re looking for.

plus size bride and groom doing having a sparkler exit

String Lights Overhead

Bring the stars a little closer to the celebration of string lights. They can be strung overhead across tables, woven through canopies or wrapped through tree branches. Bistro-style lights are a great option if you’re using them to illuminate the seating area. You can also perfectly replicate the night sky inside by using a dark canopy along with string lights.

Swanky Chandeliers

Chandeliers don’t have to be reserved for grand entryways in mansions. You can use them to add a touch of class by hanging them over tables or using one grand chandelier over the dance floor. They can also be hung from trees to bring an indoor lighting element outside.

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Create Your Own Chandelier With Light Bundles

Light bundles are string lights that have been woven all around a wicker ball. They produce a lovely burst of light and resemble a glowing full moon. They look beautiful hung from trees.

Light Paths With Old World Lanterns

Walkways and paths throughout the reception venue can be dressed up with antique lanterns. Placing them on the ground will provide light where you need it without shining too much bright light.

Magical Maypole Lighting

Instead of using ribbons, you can use strings of lights to make a decorative maypole that provides soft lighting. Connect light strands at the top of the pole then run them out in different directions for a tent-like effect.

Make Things More Romantic With Paper Luminaries

Romance is certainly in the air when paper luminaries are hung from above. Luminaries produce a delicate lighting that is extremely romantic. Use them to illuminate walkways or provide soft lighting in dark corners.

Create A Light Show With the Ground as Your Canvas

Filters and films can be placed over spotlights, or a projector can be used to cast designs on the ground or a dance floor. Make it personal by creating designs that incorporate your initials, the wedding date, etc.

REAL WEDDING | Historic SC State Museum Wedding | Palmetto Duo | Pretty Pear Bride

Create Columns of Light

If you want a striking lighting effect, try this trick. Place a stick of bamboo or a wooden dowel in the ground. Run string lights up the bamboo/dowel. Now stack paper lanterns on top of one another over the lit pole. Secure the lanterns to one another with masking tape and you’ll have a unique column of light.

Make Candle Centerpieces

Provide lighting for each table with a centerpiece that features candles. Group candles together with an arrangement of flowers for a gentle glow that’s perfect for dinner conversation. To make this option a little safer, use flameless candles if possible.

Float Lights on the Water

If your ceremony or reception area has a pool or pond, you can use it for breathtaking light displays. Floating candles can be purchased or you can choose to make your own unique floating candles for centerpieces.

Change Colors With Lighting

A fun way to use lighting isn’t for illumination but to create different washes of color. Spotlights with colored filters can instantly add a different hue to the walls, floor or ceiling. This is a great way to highlight different events during the reception. For example, during the first dance as a married couple, you can use a light color that matches the theme of your wedding.

Illuminate the Cake

You’ve paid hundreds (if not thousands) for the wedding cake, so why not show it off? There are many ways to can illuminate the cake, including sparklers and encircling it with candles.

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Curtains That Provide Light Instead of Hiding It

Tulle paired with string lights can be used to create illuminated curtains. Light strands are hung in single rows from a bar overhead while the see-through tulle is overlaid to soften them. You can also opt to forgo the tulle for a brighter curtain of lights that will make a beautiful backdrop for pictures.

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