No matter the time of the year, outdoor weddings can be trendy and gorgeous options for weddings. While you won’t need any artificial illumination during the day (thank you, Sun) you’ll definitely need some help from electricity. While outdoor lighting is often more complicated and harder to pull off, once you succeed, your wedding will look truly unique, magical and cozy. So, for all the couples that dream of a perfect outdoor wedding, here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your illumination.
Ask about the power options
Even before you start creating anything concerning the illumination of your outdoor wedding, arrange a meeting with venue staff and ask for a rundown of their power options. Write down the number of circuits and amps you’ll have at your disposal keeping in mind that you’ll also need power for caterers, band and photographers. Check what their lighting packages include and see how you can improve upon that. There are certain things they might not allow in their space, so keep that in mind as well. Open flame and any suspension cables can be problematic for some outdoor locations. Once you know what your options are and what you can and can’t do, you can start your creative process of coming up with gorgeous venue lighting.
Call the pros for more complicated projects
No matter if tented or not, your reception area needs great lighting. The right illumination can make your ordinary venue look truly magical! No matter what you choose in the end—chandeliers, uplights, washes or monogrammed lights—as soon as you need to mess with electricity, you’ll need to call a professional. Certain countries like Australia have very strict laws that don’t allow untrained people to do anything concerning power sources and wiring, so have an experienced Sydney electrician nearby to handle all your work. You can light paths with luminaries and hang string lights yourself, but anything that needs a deeper knowledge of electricity (or requires tall ladders) should be handled by experts.
Be careful with LEDs
While LEDs came a long way and they have a much more natural and softer glow, they still don’t have that warm and cozy feeling that’s ideal for weddings. You can even try to adjust the color temperature, but nothing can replace that gorgeous glow of Edison bulbs or traditional bulbs. So, your best choice is to combine modern LEDs with traditional bulb and you’ll strike a perfect balance. However, if your goal is to have a carbon-neutral wedding and be green and eco-friendly, keep in mind that LEDs require almost 90% less energy and have a much longer life.
Grab some candles
If you want to handle your own illumination, you can always choose candles. Wax is a great choice for outdoor spaces, because it has a natural vibe and it doesn’t pose the same fire risk outside like it does inside. Also, wax candles come in all sizes, shapes and colors imaginable, so you’ll definitely find something that fits your theme.
Invest in accent illumination
Lighting can really do wonders for your space—hide all imperfections and highlight good features. For instance, beautiful architectural elements can be highlighted with uplights and you can illuminate your dance floor with a beautiful chandelier hanging from a sturdy tree branch. Another great idea that combines aesthetic appeal and practicality is illuminating table centerpieces. Installing a fixture above each centerpiece will highlight the florals and offer a little bit more light to eating and conversation areas without being too overbearing.
Don’t neglect the surroundings
Once you’ve illuminated tables, dance floor and bar, don’t just call it a day! Expand the scope of your reception area by lighting the trees and buildings nearby. Think something light like a gentle wash on the surrounding buildings and some string lights on nearby trees. So, instead of being in a lit tent in the middle of a dark outdoor space (which has a strangely disorienting effect), you’ll create a nicely-lit backdrop that offers comfort, warmth and more depth.
While you won’t hurt anyone’s eyes with candles and LEDs, you really don’t want to over-light the space. Outdoor weddings need to have that camp vibe with very relaxing and gentle lighting, so think smaller pockets of light. If you have any bigger and more centralized fixtures, make sure to dim them properly.
Thanks to these tips and ideas, your outdoor wedding will look and feel more magical than you ever even thought possible. Make sure to take plenty of professional photos and they will look amazing displayed in your home even after thirty years of marriage.