Monday, October 21, 2013

Beautiful Lighting For Outdoor Weddings

Getting married in the great outdoors? If your wedding will run into dusk or evening hours, you will want to be sure to plan how to light up the space, both for practical reasons and to create a romantic ambiance. These are some ideas for beautiful lighting for outdoor weddings.

First there is tabletop lighting. Candles are the most romantic way to add some soft light to a wedding. For an outdoor wedding, candles in glass will tend to work best, as they will be protected from the wind.

A simple hurricane lantern surrounded by a floral wreath is one lovely idea. 

Votives in beautiful holders are also great. Particularly interesting are pierced candleholders in colorful glass with a Moroccan flair. The flame will flicker and dance through the pierced design, while the colored glass will cast wonderful reflections on the tables.

Tiki Torches
Candles can also be used to light many other parts of an outdoor wedding. Walkways can be lined with tiki torches or fancier wrought iron candleholders on tall posts. The tiki torches are also helpful in keeping mosquitoes at bay, which your guests will certainly appreciate. Steps should also be well lit, both for decoration and safety. You could use galvanized pails filled with candles for an informal wedding, classic luminaries, or decorative lanterns. Just be cautious about setting out open flames where guests might step in them!

For an autumn wedding, a fun way to add light is through the use of carved pumpkins. They are a terrific seasonal detail, and will also add soft illumination to your reception. Carved pumpkins do not have to be traditional Halloween jack o' lanterns, if that is not your style. Almost anything can be carved in a pumpkin, including monograms, geometric motifs, and symbols like hearts or doves. Masses of glowing pumpkins look especially dramatic when placed in a row, such as along the top of a stone wall lining a driveway or behind the bar.

Paper Lantern
Overhead lighting is very important for really illuminating your outdoor space. Without adequate light coming from above, your guests will not be able to see their dinner or for that matter, each other. Besides, all that soft light from above is very flattering, as it will catch every twinkle in your Swarovski crystal earrings, gently illuminate faces, and make hair look glossy. Paper lanterns work very nicely to light up a large open area.

They can be hung directly from trees to create romantic nooks. You may also wish to create a grid of very fine wire from which you can suspend large numbers of lanterns to provide more general lighting for the wedding. If at all possible, do a test run on an evening before your wedding to make sure that the amount of light cast is enough that you can see clearly, but not so bright that it kills the mood.

Twinkling white lights are another beautiful addition to an outdoor wedding lighting scheme. They can be wrapped around tree trunks and tent poles, scattered throughout tree leaves and foliage, and even intertwined directly into tall centerpieces. A gorgeous effect can be created by hanging numerous tiny white lights over the top of the reception area to mimic the effect of a starry night. If this is impractical to do for a very large area, consider doing it just over the dance floor. Your guests' fancy dresses and Swarovski crystal earrings will sparkle and shine as they dance the night away in the beautiful glow cast by hundreds of little white lights.

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