“Do I Need Uplighting At My Wedding? Or should I work with what my venue has to offer?” Is a question I get all the time from my brides-to-be.
My quick answer, after photographing weddings for 11+ years: Yes, it is worth the investment.
I definitely don’t want you to blow your budget by upgrading every last detail, but even upgrading your venue’s chairs and lighting can make a big impact on the way the venue will feel on your wedding day. Enhancing the lighting is worth the investment because it can elevate & transform even the most neutral spaces!
I wanted to educate my brides (and grooms) on how additional lighting (cafe lights, hanging lights, tea lights, candles, uplighting, etc.) can drastically enhance the ambiance & aesthetics of your wedding ceremony and reception.
Additional lighting is a photographers’ dream! I especially love cafe lights or any sort of hanging lights!
I interviewed my friends Tori from Sound By Design & his wife Tiara from Events to a T to answer some pending questions around additional lighting at your wedding & why they are worth the extra investment.
Why uplighting is something Brides should consider when deciding their wedding budget?
What is uplighting?
Simply put, uplights are light fixtures that rest on the ground and shine a light “up” highlighting features of a space. Typically they will be placed around the perimeter of the room and can be set to different colors. A lot of lights are battery-powered and can be controlled wirelessly to possibly change those colors throughout the night.
What colors work best?
What is the importance of adding uplight/additional lights?
Can additional lighting enhance my wedding vision?
As a photographer, I think added uplighting can enhance the most beautiful parts of your venue and even deter from the parts you aren’t in love with (dated carpet, entrance to the kitchen, etc.)
Look at this beautiful uplighting behind the head table at The Grain Exchange in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
What is the approximate investment/cost?
A lot of DJs/Bands offer lighting as an extension of their entertainment service. Each room varies but the uplighting budget should be around $500.00-$1,000.00. Things can get more costly when you add different styles of lights (Cafe lights, spots lights, Marquee letters, etc.).
Are there other types of additional lighting I can add?
You betcha! Tori of Sound By Design explains other lighting options that you can add to uplighting for your ceremony or reception:
- Tea-Lights: Candlelight feel on the tables.
- Uplights: Easiest and most popular way to spruce up the room. Uplights can transform any room by adding light/color to the walls around the space.
- Dance Floor Lighting: These are usually intelligent lights on trusses that interact with the music to give you more of a concert/club feel.
- Cafe (String Bulbs/Bistro): Very popular for outdoor weddings. This creates an overhead canopy and looks amazing in photos/video. You can also use it to create a backdrop behind an altar or head table. ** Caleb and I had these Edison Cafe Lights at our wedding and we now have them hanging in our backyard!! I love having a piece of our wedding day as everyday decor!
- Spot Lights: Brings focus to different areas such as dessert tables, the head table, or floral arrangements. Really helps keep your investment in those floral arrangements prominent as the room gets darker.
- Marquee Letters: Large wooden letters with bulb lights in them. Typically you will see initials or phrases like “LOVE” or “XOXO”
- Monogram: Create a custom print to cover a wall/tent ceiling or add a wedding logo (Usually with a combination of the date, names, and initials)
- Twinkle Lights: They are the same concept as holiday lights often used to create backdrops like a twinkle light curtain. Again can be used behind an altar or head table. You can also weave twinkle light throughout your floral and/or centerpieces to add to the look.
Work with your partner, your planner, your photographer, and your venue to determine which wedding rental upgrades will make the biggest impact on your wedding day. And if/when in doubt, upgrade the details that will make a difference in the overall experience for you and your wedding guests. After all, they probably won’t remember the upgraded linens, but they will remember how incredible the reception hall looked upon arrival & the beautiful dance floor that kept them dancing all night long
Look how beautiful the uplighting & string bulbs at The Atrium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin makes the head table look! I love the bokeh effect!!