Guest Post: Lighting Guru Bentley Meeker On Lighting Design for Weddings

What’s this? Today’s post is written not by me, Christa aka Never teh Bride, but by Bentley Meeker, America’s premier lighting designer. I thought Mr. Meeker might have something to say on the subject of lighting design for weddings, as he has worked for over two decades in the event industry, creating extraordinary environments for the weddings of notable celebrities like Robert DeNiro, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Chelsea Clinton. The images in Mr. Meeker’s post come from his book, Light X Design, which features a kaleidoscope of amazing lighting design for weddings and other events.

Wedding lighting design for ceremonies

Lighting is THE single most important visual element in your wedding. More so than flowers, decor, or even architecture and space. Yet, with all of its critical nature, so many brides, and even wedding planners, don’t consider lighting or budget for it at all. If so, it is often looked at as an addendum to the wedding decor budget.

With lighting setting the mood, it should be considered first and foremost once a space is chosen. Here’s why: One can transform any space with light, but one can only augment with flowers or decor.

On the practical side, there are three things that need to be managed when executing a lighting design for weddings:

  • The room needs to look beautiful
  • The guests have to feel good
  • Lastly, the guests, especially the bride, have to FEEL good

Lighting design for receptions, too

So in support of that, here are five things to look for when lighting a wedding:

1. Symmetry - Light everything evenly so that the room looks symmetrical.

2. Intensity - Dim the lights a little less than you think you should. Your eye adjusts to the lower light and it creates so much more atmosphere than you’d ever imagine. Which brings me to my next point:

3. Levels - Dim absolutely everything. Having the ability to dim the lights when the grandparents go home and set the mood for the kids is a pretty important thing to be able to do.

4. Color - Soft beautiful flattering colors (pinks, ambers, honeys and apricots) should be used wherever people are. While we love blue and green to look at, and we often want to go bolder with color, those colors make our skin tones sallow and pasty.

5. Angles - Be super sensitive to light in peoples’ eyes by angling things as vertically as possible. If your grandmother has a light shining in her eyes all night, chances are she’ll go home before the cake cutting.

There is also a 6th consideration, namely your lighting designer. Since lighting is often mysterious and unknown, and the bride and her family are often unable to see the full picture prior to their walking in, (decor, catering, etc. will not yet have been set up) it is very important that your lighting designer really get you and who you are. That’s personality driven and I think it should be considered right alongside talents and portfolios as a critical criteria.

~Bentley Meeker

Are you a wedding vendor who has some insight to share with brides-to-be and grooms-to-be? Send me an email to talk about the possibility of guest posting right here!

2 Responses to “Guest Post: Lighting Guru Bentley Meeker On Lighting Design for Weddings”

  1. Jasmine July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    Thanks for the tips! I love the room with the blue lights!

  2. Demitri July 7, 2011 at 3:52 am #

    This is a really good way to the decorate!