It’s that time again! Our latest installment of the At-Home Wedding blog series by Bellwether Events is back again. Without further ado, here is Janice helping us with at-home wedding lighting.
Thank you for checking out my fifth post sharing tips and advice for hosting a home wedding with DC area brides and grooms. I’m so thrilled to be partnering with United With Love to share my decade’s worth of wedding planning expertise with you. If this is your first time reading this series, I hope you will check out my past advice posts about customizing your wedding stationery, wedding tent floor plans, the fundamentals of wedding tents, and the wedding budget and guest list basics to get you started.
Today I’m going to give you the basics around home wedding lighting. Unlike with a special event venue, your home likely requires supplemental lighting to ensure that your guests have the best time possible at your wedding.
First and foremost, you will need to light your wedding tent(s). This can be done a number of ways. Perimeter lighting, string lights, pole sconces and chandeliers are just a few. These will likely be installed by your tent company. It is possible that you will want something more decorative than what your tent company can supply, which in turn could be provided by either your florist, a lighting company, or a specialty rental or décor company. I’ve even had a client buy their own chandelier and have the tent company install it for them!
Take a moment to consider what will happen inside your wedding tent. In addition to general overhead/ambient lighting, you should consider throwing direct lighting on your dance floor and cake. Consider this for your bar(s), band if you have one, and table centerpieces too. These are places where important photos will be taken, or there will be heavy guest attention.
You also must think about all the other places your wedding guests will go on your wedding day. Particularly consider places guests will be after the sun sets. This includes the path to the restroom, the path back to their car or the valet station, and the path to other areas you might have set up outside of the tent, like a cigar bar. You will want to light these paths and areas properly, so that there are no accidents on your wedding day.
Speaking of paths, you will want to have adequate lighting on the paths where your vendors will travel. This should include from the catering prep area to the tent and where vendors will load out once the wedding is over. Having a poorly lit load-out path is a recipe for damage to your property.
Finally, take a look around your property. Decide if there are any structures or trees you would want to highlight. A little landscape lighting can go a long way to setting the ambiance of your wedding once the sun goes down.
I know I’ve talked about a lot of lighting here; I imagine that you are seeing your wedding lighting budget explode. It doesn’t have to be that way! With your wedding at home, you have a lot more prep and set up time than at a special event venue. You can definitely DIY some of these things! Whether it is installing flood lights in strategic places, or hanging mason jars from a big tree, there are opportunities to DIY and cut some costs on your home wedding lighting. Just make sure that you communicate what you are doing and what power sources you are pulling from with your wedding vendors. One more thing: I don’t recommend that you DIY any lighting inside your tent. If something were to go wrong, you would be on the hook for a very expensive wedding rental item.