Having an outdoor wedding? Don't forget your lighting!

Posted by on 2/1/2016 to Wedding Lighting Ideas
Having an outdoor wedding? Don't forget your lighting!

If you are having an outdoor wedding, it is not just a good idea or an extra, it is really a requirement to a good reception to think about and include a fantastic lighting plan. Lighting is one of the areas of your wedding that if done right, it will pull everything together and you will have a fabulous event. But if neglected or done poorly everyone will notice. So do not skimp on your lighting budget, plan ahead and plan well to have a superbly lit wedding.

You may be wondering, "How do I go about planning the lighting?" Here are our top five products and how to use them to create a look that will be stunning yet affordable for any DIY couple.

Icicle Christmas Lights Can Create A Starry Sky

Icicle Lights used to create a starry sky effect for weddings

Icicle lights hanging from the ceiling or suspended over an outdoor area is an eye catching addition to any wedding or event. Hang icicle Christmas lights from beams or with guide wire closely (within 6 inches) of each other overhead to get this stunning look. What products should you purchase to get this look? Try our incandescent icicle lights for a warm glow or our LED warm white icicle lights if power will be an issue. The LED icicle lights allow you to plug up to 30 strands end to end so you can use less power and have less plugs to try to gain access to. For a starry sky effect like the picture shown you really need to use LED mini lights for the easiest installation. These were stapled to overhead beams that were spaced every 12 inches apart.

High Light Pergola's And Other Architectural Elements

Mini Christmas lights on Pergola for Wedding Lighting

Don't forget to add lights to pergola's, trees or other architectural elements to outline and add ambient lighting to these areas where guests will gather. Remember that LED lights can make your camera pictures go a little wacky when taken up close so you may want to consider using incandescent mini lights if you plan to have a lot of close up pictures in those areas. It will create a warm glow that your guests will love and your photographer will be in heaven taking pictures near.

Try G40 Lights To Zig Zag Over Dance Floors Or Main Gathering Areas

G40 Christmas lights installed over Dance Floor

Don't forget to light up the dance floor or over eating areas. Our G40 C7 lights are perfect for this. Just make sure you use guide wire overhead to attach the lights to and anchor the guide wire well on poles, buildings or to trees. You don't want your lights falling down on guests! It is easiest and will look best if you install your G40 lights in a zigzag pattern over the dance floor or table area. The picture below shows how this effect can look at your wedding or event. This couple also installed glass crystals and vases to the guide wire for an added opulence effect. These were hung on their own separate guide wire zig zagging in between the lights. They reflected more light in the space from the lights and really stepped up the look of richness at this wedding.

Remember when using G40 or G50 lights for your wedding:

  1. Use Guide Wire that has been well anchored
  2. Make sure the lights will not hang down to low and hit anyone on the head as they walk by, even your tallest relatives and friends. For us that means hanging them at least 12FT in the air for the best effect but you may even want to go up a little higher depending on your area.
  3. Zig Zag the lights, for pictures and aesthetics this is a must. If you just take the lights and outline the space in a square it won't look as nice. We promise it is worth the effort to do it right.

Zig Zag Pattern for Christmas light installation over a dance floor

Overhead lighting at wedding using G40 Christmas lights

Create Something Out Of The Ordinary

Grapevine balls with Christmas lights suspended in trees

Looking for something out of the ordinary? Try transforming ordinary grapevine balls into high end artistic masterpieces. We love the look of these when suspended from tree canopies, over tables (again on guide wire) or grouped together on tables, in centerpieces, around gift tables or in flower beds or planting areas. Take standard 10 inch-24 inch grapevine spheres in various sizes and then wrap them with our brown wire LED mini lights for the best look. If you want to add color go ahead and use the green wire lights but never use a white wire light with these as the wiring will stand out like a sore thumb.

Once your lights are wrapped on the grapevine balls you will want to attach these with some heavier duty wire (not floral wire, it's not thick enough) or a few zip ties to your guide wire to insure they aren't going anywhere. On your guide wire you can create custom extension cords with our SPT1 wire and our female inline sockets and male plugs to be able to plug them in on the guide wire without an added hassle with bunches of extension cords. You will just want to use zip ties to attach your power along the guide wire to be able to plug these in and light up the space.

Grapevine Balls with Christmas Lights suspended for Wedding reception

Create Wall Curtains For Ambient Lighting And Visual Interest

Curtain Wall for wedding with Christmas Lights

Having an indoor wedding? Use white wire mini lights to create light curtains behind sheer fabric at your head table, around the perimeter of the room or as your reception line backdrop. Sheer tulle is a great choice and you can use either our 4x8 net lights or simple use our 100 light clear mini lights on white wire to go up and down behind the fabric from top to bottom in a less patterned order (like the effect in this picture). How can you do this you might be wondering? The easiest way is to begin by measuring the height at which this curtain will be hanging. Is it 8FT, 10FT, 12FT, 18FT? Make sure you get exact measurements. Once you have your height you can determine what type of lights you can use. If it is 8-9FT tall, we suggest using our 4x8FT net lights with white wire. They will be super simple to install. If it is 10-11FT try our 2x10FT white wire net lights, again this will be the easiest to install and work with. But if you are trying to cover a tall space it will be a little trickier. Our 35 light mini light sets are 17.5FT long, these may be a good option depending on the area you are covering, or you can use our 50 light or 100 light sets and swag them up and down and then just plug end to end, up to 250FT of length. We begin our wedding light wall curtain projects with a long 2x4 board and first create a way to plug in the lights. Be that having a multi-outlet bar or creating our own extension cords with our SPT1 wire and female inline sockets. You have to think about the power first!

Once that is done, attach the top of the lights to the boards. We just carefully staple them to the board, measuring the drop of the lights to our needed length and have the lights space about every 6 inches along the board. After your lights are installed it is time to install your tulle or semi sheer fabric. The fabric should hang in front of the lights and hang all the way to the ground. If there is a chance for the area you are installing to be windy you may also want to leave some extra space (a foot or more) to add another board at the bottom to hold down the fabric. Install these 2x4's to a sturdy structure and plug in the lights for a gorgeous curtain light effect.

We hope your DIY projects are a success and should you ever have questions about what lights to use or how to install, give us a call! We decorate at over 300 commercial properties each year and know Christmas lights!

How have you used Christmas lighting to transform your wedding or event?

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