Wight Wedding Blog

Photography credit projectwedding.com

Lighting up your wedding

(warning: quite a lot of L words that if spoken out loud might leave you tongue tied)

Here at Wight Wedding Days we have a bit of a…thing for lights. Our eyesight isn’t tip top but needing light isn’t an issue just yet. We love them in any form: candles, tealights (real and battery operated), fairy lights, festoons of large bulbs, masses of tiny twinkling lights and potentially in any or every shade of the rainbow.

Now it might not be top of your to do list and you may look at it as a portion or chunk of your wedding budget that you would rather spend on a better dessert, an extra garden game for entertainment or just leave it in your bank account for a rainy day (NOT necessarily your wedding day – think positive). Certain lights in your wedding venue could really help flatter us all, create a variety of types of ‘atmospheres’ and can affect mood significantly.

Plus!! If you have an unsociable guests attending you can either force them into the light to speak to people or create a nice dark corner for them to retreat to where you can’t see them being unsociable. (we advise allocating one person to be the arm puller – approaching and pulling on the arms of people who don’t want to dance, gets them to their feet at least).

So we thought we would discuss a few of your wedding day options, including the free ones you might not have thought of.

Photography credit mastinstudio.com

There are so many ways you can incorporate or adjust light for your wedding day to create a wow factor or to change the evenings atmosphere in the way you both want, these are just a few suggestions of your options. We would advise talking to your photographer beforehand as the light is sooo important and crucial to them getting those memorable pictures of your day. If they are free to visit or hear your plans then please do share, no nasty surprises after the wedding. However, most good photographers should be able to rise to the challenge. 

Photography credit Silk Wedding photography

The ceremony

Whether you are getting married in a church, registry office or an approved premises, find out how the lights work and can be adjusted in your venue. If some adjustments can be made without spending as much of your budget, then we are all for that.

In-house lights may be on a dimmer or you may be able to switch some off and light some candles or fairy lights. However as, at the moment, all marriages take place between 8am and 6pm depending on your venue you may be using the natural light of day. In October 2012 that will all be changing though and the opportunity to marry by the light of the moon may become a possibility (may need more than moonlight…just saying).

Religious ceremonies are most likely to take place somewhere they already have candles you could actually light (churches seem to be fond of them) and some can tend to be a little darker than outside so the effects of them would be noticeable for you and your guests. A soft light to be married in could be very flattering for your pictures and they might throw those in with the ceremony fees.

Civil ceremonies taking place in an approved premises might be quite bright normally but you could choose to lower lights, or add a backdrop to the end of the aisle whilst closing curtains or covering windows with something relevant to your theme to lower the light. That will give a light feature backdrop maximum impact on your guests. Makes for some pretty neat pictures too.

photography credit Melissa Jill photography

The reception

Again you should check how the lights at your venue work and how they can be changed to accommodate your needs. If they turn some off is it too dark even with your lighting option added, or still too light and you need to adjust your additional lights? These are things to consider, as you are most likely to be visiting venues in the daytime when they aren’t set-up for a wedding and you don’t have a chance to see how it looks of an evening.

First of all, upon arrival you may want to use lights to guide yourself and your guests up a path or hallway, or to gravitate towards an archway of fairy lights nestled amongst flowers, foliage or a themed garland. Don’t forget to plan to stop and have some pictures of you both under or going through it.

Lights in any colour in all sorts of crafty designs of ‘lightshades’ can be used to dress your venue in your chosen theme. Is it possible to attach and drape across your venue ceiling or perhaps hire freestanding lamps?  These additions can have a great impact on everyone as they enter your reception venue.


Photography credit left: projectwedding.com right: staceybode.com

Table centres are another opportunity to incorporate light and colour. You may choose candles (check your venue allows naked flames), battery tealights, lamps or lights inside all manner of holders: bowls, martini glasses, bird cages, paper lanterns, bejewelled table centres, hurricane lanterns and the list goes on. You may reserve a light backdrop for behind the top table to add to the drama and presence.


Photography credits top left: Harwell Photographty top right: DC Images bottom: diy.weddingbee.com

Like (pretty, well dressed) moths, we are attracted to lights so it is always a good way of bringing people into a space you might have an activity for them. Whether it be props for a photo booth, the guest book (those forgetful guests sometimes walk straight past it, open…..with a pen on it!), a sweets buffet or  a favour table.

Photograohy credit: Chris Cowley Photography

Photography credit Jason Swain Photography

For something really fun and attractive for the kids, and child in all of us, you could incorporate glow in the dark to the later part of your reception. For when the music is blaring and everyone is dancing away with glow in the dark accessories or furniture. Kids will love it too.

Photography credit allthingshendrick.blogspot.ca


Outside areas are always a great place to incorporate light, especially if you have ordered from the weatherman a warm summers evening, which ensures you and your guests spend time outside enjoying the fresh air and hopefully view.  Once it gets dark your chosen lighting with have maximum impact against a dark outdoor backdrop, even under moonlight. If it is an off-peak winter wedding then you know you will need the lights sooner rather than later and will get maximum use out of it.

Lights and glow in the dark products can be put into flowerbeds, across lawns, on any outside structures, free standing as features themselves or ultimately for functionality (but we like the magic lighting can create so we won’t call it functional).

Photography credit Keepme.tumblr.com

Through the evening you could use light to your advantage –

  • Create a wow factor and talking point to help guests who don’t know each other start talking
  • Keep it bright in the beginning if you plan on keeping people concentrating on those speeches. Don’t want Nanna falling asleep now do we
  • Bring it down lower during dinner as the conversation flows and people relax
  • Turn it completely off when you come to start the dancing, getting those disco lights on and the starlight ceiling putting aches in people’s necks while they gaze at it and dance.
  • Why not fill bottles with glow in the dark sticks and get a homemade bowling game going? 
  • Draw your guests into something you want them to be a part of or enjoy e.g. sweet buffet, outdoor games, guestbook and more

Realistically we can’t always control the lighting throughout the wedding day but it is worth considering as a way of dressing your venue and creating an ambiance for you and your guests.

For some more ideas you can take a look at our Light it up mood board on Pinterest, and if you used light at your wedding and would like to share why, get in touch.

Wight Wedding Days X

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