Select Page

Lighting your wedding reception

by | 3 March 2018 | Wedding Reception

When it comes to the finer details, sometimes planning a wedding can get a little (or a lot!) overwhelming. Lighting might not have factored into your plan from the beginning, but it is definitely integral when it comes to creating the mood and setting the tone for your big day.

Although often overlooked, your lighting choice will also help light your photographs and keep the mood long after the sun sets. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few ideas to help you decide what you want.


Before you get giddy over dreamy pictures of candles on Pinterest, check your venue allows them first. Some historical, listed venues don’t allow open flames, you can of course substitute with faux candles, but you might not get the same effect so keep this in mind.

That said, if you can have candles, they are sure to create a dreamy, romantic vibe. Cluster them into groups on your tables to create a focal point, float them in water to give them a more ethereal vibe, or choose long tapered candlesticks for a classic, grand feel. You can even hang them from floral arrangements and trees for an enchanted firefly effect.

Fairy lights

Soft, twinkling fairy lights are guaranteed to set a starry tone, but only when they’re done right – you don’t want a bare string of lights straggling across a few trees. Make a real feature out of these; wrap them around trees and venue columns for a regal feel, or create a canopy of lights draped from the ceiling for a subtle glow. You can even take this idea outside, to create a starlit feel when the sun sets. Try some bistro lights if you want a more rustic look.


Go grand and opt for opulence with a chandelier lighting feature. You can hang chandeliers from the ceiling, you can decorate them with flowers and foliage, you can even hang them over the tables to give it an extravagant banquet feel. Chandeliers work particularly well if juxtaposed with their surrounds, introduce them into a rustic barn setting to give the room a palatial finish, or if you’re getting married outside, why not hang them from the trees to create an enchanted forest feel?

Image courtesy of Arabian Tents Co

Image courtesy of Arabian Tents Co

Colour washes

One of the easiest ways of colouring a room is with light. If you want the walls to complement your colour scheme, hire some up-lighters that will illuminate the walls in any colour you desire. You can even set them so they change throughout the night, especially great if you want to set the mood when it’s time to hit the dancefloor…

Light your wedding reception shutterstock_239378692


Paper lanterns give a soft and dreamy light that is perfect for your wedding photos, while glass lanterns will bring a more upscale feel whether they’re rustic in style, industrial or polished. Paper lanterns are often associated with good luck in Asian tradition, so why not hold a lantern releasing ceremony in the evening to create an added wedding moment? Again, just check with the venue that it’s ok before you do it!

Have you made a lighting plan for your big day? What do you think of our dreamy ideas? Let us know in the comments box below.

About the author

Laura Feasey

Having studied journalism at the London College of Fashion, Laura trained in crafting features and articles, not only in the subject of fashion, but in lifestyle, art, travel and culture. For the last few years she has been writing for a number of clients, from holiday companies such as and lowcostholidays, to design retailers such as and Debenhams.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Wedding Reception Lighting your wedding reception