Archive for the ‘Receptions’ Category

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

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

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!

LOVE/HATE: The Surface Tension Edition

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Wedding bubbles, as photographed by Paul Craig Weddings of the UK

Simple LOVE/HATE today… let’s get the lowdown on wedding bubbles. I know beyond a doubt that the two-year-old La Paloma is always delighted to attend a wedding ceremony or reception that includes wedding bubbles, much like the little one in the photo above. But I’m wondering what the average adult thinks about blowing bubbles at weddings. Is it fun? Pointless? Should couples just stop buying those little bottles of soap, or are you more likely to shout “Bring on the bubbles!”? Me? I like them because my daughter likes them, but prior to procreating, I don’t think I ever cracked open a bottle of wedding bubbles.

The Easiest of All the Reception Table Centerpieces I’ve Ever Seen

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Okay, so many not the very easiest, which would just be letting a florist do your reception table centerpieces. But definitely the easiest DIY reception centerpieces that goes one step beyond simply putting flowers in a vase on all of your tables. I love it because it’s easy and simple and pretty in an authentic, easygoing way.

Eating jam, getting centerpieces!

The recipe for this particular low-profile mason jar centerpiece? Take nine mini mason jars per table – easily acquired online or by eating a great deal of jam and cheap pesto in advance of the wedding – arrange in a grid, tie a ribbon around the whole thing, and add water and flowers. DONE. I really wish I’d done this at my own wedding, as the look would have been absolutely perfect and so much better than the messy afterthought arrangements I did have on the tables (boo, hiss!).

And speaking of my own wedding, today just happens to be my and The Beard’s fourth anniversary! Mazel tov to us!

Getting to Know You: Tell Us About Your Reception Meal

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

I'll take one of those... and, ooh, one of those!

I don’t have to be invited to a wedding to be interested in the wedding reception menu. There are so many ways to feed your wedding guests, which means that a reception meal might be anything from champagne and cake (with a fruit salad) to, like one wedding I attended while in college, a full sit down dinner in addition to hours of buffet station and passed appetizers that were basically dinner. I’m talking multiple carving stations, pasta stations, bacon-wrapped everything… it was actually kind of surreal.

You may not be serving the kind of American outsized tasting menu consisting of full meals, one right after the other, but I am still curious! What are you serving at your wedding reception – or did you serve once upon a time – and why?

The Typewriter Guestbook: Still One of My Faves

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

My mom’s wife has this gorgeous old typewriter and I tried to convince them to have a typewriter guestbook at their wedding. It would have been perfect, I think. It was such a small wedding, so everyone could have added their warm wishes on one sheet of paper that could have been tucked into some book somewhere to be found later and read with lots of love and fond memories. But there was some issue with finding a ribbon or some other thing, so it didn’t happen. Booo.

click click click click shrrrrk!

Maybe I can convince you to have a typewriter guestbook at your wedding receptions? The typewriter owners among you, anyway. Or the brides-to-be who’ve been looking for some excuse to buy a vintage typewriter. A wedding! What better excuse? You could even have a typewriter themed wedding! And then later on you can display it in your living room with a nice white sheet of paper and pop over to it whenever inspiration strikes to jot down a few lines. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Inspiration: 6 Creative Table Numbers

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Table numbers – if you’re assigning seats or tables at your wedding reception, you’re going to need them. I know, I know, your table numbers don’t necessarily need to be numbers, so take these ideas and translate them into non-numbered table numbers if you want to! Because they are awesome and fun and definitely a step up from a number on a stick randomly erupting from a floral arrangement.

via Lil Missi, but easily DIYable with burlap wine bags, fabric paints, and stencils

via the Back Porch Shoppe


Puzzle Place Cards Can Make Finding a Seat a Little More Fun

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

I am absolutely enamored with the idea of using puzzle pieces as reception table place cards! Like these, which feature images of the bride and groom. A table’s worth of puzzle pieces are assembled by guests and *voila* a keepsake that can go home with some lucky guest.

Brides and grooms who have a bit of artistic talent (or can use paste without freaking out) can even DIY this one with a package of blank puzzles!

Images by Kurstin Roe Photography