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Light Up Your Wedding

Maybe you’ve picked the perfect venue for your wedding, or maybe you had to settle for something a little less-than-perfect. Either way, a good lighting design can take your space from ordinary to extraordinary, making your event feel romantic, lively, and even magical. Here are some tips for setting the mood with your lights.

Cluster your candles (or electric candles) in groups for best visual impact.  A good centerpiece design should give some thought to the lighting elements. A gentle light coming from the center of the table will flatter your guests’ faces, too.


Use light to draw the eye to features you want to showcase. Usually this is columns, trees, or special tables. Putting attention on specific areas is a great way to “hide” the other areas of the room you may not want your guests to see.

Use color to amplify and unite the space.  Modern LED uplights are easy to set up and dial in to any color. Putting the same color on opposite walls can help pull a room together. Just don’t use colored lights to light guests’ faces, as they are usually not flattering on skintones.

Make sure your DJ and lighting designer coordinate what lighting will be used. Usually, the event lights will be dimmed as dancing begins. Most wedding photographers will tell you they prefer more available light for dancing, so avoid turning the lights completely off.  Smart use of light can make the dances seem romantic, without having to be too dark.

Paper asian lanterns are a great way to add a little gentle light while also filling vertical space.  You can build a very large feature of different sizes of paper lanterns for a reasonable budget. The safest way to light them is with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, to minimize heat inside the lantern.

Jon Kline is founder of MKE Production Rental, offering wedding lighting design in Milwaukee.