Do You Need to Hire a Lighting Designer?

If you’re anything like me, you have probably not given much though to the lighting design of your wedding beyond “Is there light?” and “Do we need to add more light?” But apparently arranging the lighting for your reception site is now an important part of the process. The wedding planning process, that is.

I’ll admit that it never even occurred to me to hire a professional lighting designer for my wedding, being that it was outdoors in the daytime, so I got all the light I needed from old Mr. Sun. But for an indoor affair, especially in a space with lighting options limited to ON and OFF, I can definitely see the allure of colored lighting (aka color washing), pin lighting, camouflage lighting, and even monogram, fireworks, or other projected effects.

Yes, it means there’s yet another wedding vendor to hire and another line item to add to your wedding budget, but if you have the funds – anywhere from $750 to more than $5,000 – professional wedding lighting can be a fun way to add ambiance, cover up venue imperfections, play up the best features of your venue, or turn an otherwise plain reception space into something a bit more grand without having to buy a lot of stuff.

While I’d never suggest that professional wedding lighting design is an absolute necessity (and really, other than a willing couple and someone to officiate or witness, depending on where you are, what do we ever tell you is an absolutely necessity?) a little light here and there can definitely have an impact on the look and feel of a wedding.

I’d love to hear from someone who designed or is designing their own wedding lighting or is using a professional to create a custom lighting design for their ceremony and/or reception! Are you hiring a lighting designer? What inspired you to do so?

(Images via: 1, 2)

3 Responses to “Do You Need to Hire a Lighting Designer?”

  1. 37 Butter Knives says:

    Timely! I’ve been thinking of “uplighting” (as it’s called by most brides) lately, since I saw some unattractive photos of my reception space at night (it’s a beautiful room, but the existing lighting came across as harsh in the photos).

    It’s huge in New Jersey – people love to have the room bathed in purple or blue – or have the colors change through the night. I’d just want a subtle glowing ambiance.

  2. Kate says:

    We had pretty simple uplighting with amber filters – it added a sort of golden warmth to the room without being very dramatic or conspicuous.

  3. @37 Butter Knives I think I like the idea of a subtle glowing ambiance – especially for a nighttime wedding – more than I like having everything purple or green or red for the whole night. Too clubby, maybe? Or maybe I’d just feel like I was stuck inside a giant Jell-O mold.

    @Kate That sounds beautiful! Kind of like man-made candlelight!