The New Wedding Lighting Trends

Of all the décor options, lighting design is the ultimate element that will set the tone for your wedding. More than just illuminating a room, imaginative and well-planned lighting will establish your ideal environment, transforming your wedding from ordinary to extraordinary.

Advances in technology and a trend in more unique weddings have turned lighting design into an element of personalization rather than functionality. Larry Lustberg of Stortz Lighting has noticed a decline in “cookie-cutter” weddings and a move toward more “couture, individually-crafted weddings, designed from the ground up to fit the individual vision and budget of the bride and groom.” Many of the weddings Lustberg has worked on recently have been smaller, which he says allows the couple and design partners to focus on creating a stunning ambiance to be appreciated by their family and friends.

This focus has led to the emergence of more distinctive lighting styles. Here are the top seven trends that will bathe your guests in jaw dropping light:


While chandeliers aren’t a new form of lighting, they are being used in more creative ways.  Rather than a single fixture overlooking a table, chandeliers are being more commonly grouped together or hung from distinguished areas, such as tents or chuppahs. Chandeliers can even bring their beautiful glow to the outdoors. Dasha Powell of Illumene Event Lighting says that chandeliers suspended from trees create a look of enchantment and sophistication.

The classic crystal chandelier is still a coveted piece for its elegance and glamour, but a variety of styles brighten the setting just as beautifully. Intelligent Lighting Design’s Katherine McCommon has seen a growth in requests for custom-designed pieces to accommodate specific themes, from couture to diamond-studded to old Hollywood styles. No matter the chandelier type, they all add a touch of dreamy romance. “Chandeliers cause guests to gasp with excitement as they enter a wedding reception space – every single time.”

Outdoor Lighting

As brides diverge from traditional venues and opt for more unconventional ones, outdoor lighting has become increasingly popular. McCommon finds tree illuminations and café string bulbs hanging in canopies over lawns to be the most admired options of this trend. The lighting is soft and subtle, enhancing the natural effects of the outdoors.

Café string bulbs, as well as vintage pendants, can also be hung from the ceilings of ballrooms for brides who wish to bring the outdoors in. This effect can also be achieved by setting up lighting outside of windows, which McCommon says creates the illusion of moonlight shining through. This washes the dance floor with a more intimate and mystical feel.

Video Mapping

Elegant video mapping can transform a reception by adding a touch of awe and enchantment. Bentley Meeker of Bentley Meeker, Lighting and Staging Inc. calls it an “incredibly versatile tool” that projects a live wallpaper of whatever the bride desires.

“Video mapping and content creation give us the ability to take a white (or any colored) wall and it turn into a forest, or a shimmering ocean or a starry night.”

Meeker once accomplished this look by creating a collage of Monet’s Water Lilies, in which he said the willows and lily pads moved gently and imperceptibly in a way that brought the event alive. Such a technique transforms any reception area into an alluring wonderland.

Ray Thompson of Images by Lighting notes the importance of recognizing the wedding story couples wish to exude through lighting. "[Bringing a wedding story to life] can happen with movement of color and texture through the event or by working with video projections of their particular story or theme be it delicate, grand or otherwise. "

Break-Up Patterns

The custom monogram is being abandoned for eye-catching break-up patterns. Also known as a Gobo projection, this practical and stylish lighting design is projected on an open wall or dance floor to hide imperfections or to create a focal point.

“It creatively “breaks up” the monotony of that area…it creates an amazing “wow” factor,” Powell said.

McCommon has noticed a growing popularity with patterned dance floors, which allow the bride to instantly create a dance floor the size of her choice. With over hundreds of patterns to choose from, the possibilities are endless.


You might also like