by  Karen Peterkin,PBC

As wedding planners we work with many knowledgeable, professional companies that provide lighting for weddings and special events.

But I had yet to meet a lighting company that defined themselves as “lighting designers”…  that is until I had a conversation with Brian Toner, president of Eventions, a lighting design firm.

As one of the best in the business with whom we hold a close professional relationship, Brian had a lot of expert advise for those considering lighting at their wedding, and as a wedding planner coordinating all of the wedding professionals working on a client’s event, I thought it would be helpful to share what he had to say.

Firstly, I asked Brian if he saw more couples skipping out on lighting for budget reasons.

Quite the contrary says Brian:
“Properly designed lighting can be one of the most cost effective WOW factors for a wedding. Many wedding receptions can be lit by a great lighting designer for less than it would cost to upgrade chairs, or linens or many other wedding “upgrades” I think one of the most important things a bride needs to do is to make a personal connection with their lighting designer. Set up an appointment to meet them and discuss what your vision is. This is very important. Don’t let someone change the whole look
of your room ( positively or negatively) without being on the same page.”

I also asked Brian about trends in lighting that he was seeing.

He remarked that more couples are steering away from monograms on the dance floor, because once guests start dancing the effect is ruined.

Instead one of the newer techniques is to project video onto the dance floor making it look like flowers blowing gently in the breeze for instance.

If monograms are used, Brian has been placing more and more of them in doorways, like welcoming “doormats.”

Eventions has seen more and more clients asking for LED uplights, in large part to clients wanting to “green” their wedding.  But beware says Brian,”95% of the time, this is a bad idea. Most LED uplights that are supplied by many wedding vendors will make your wedding video strobe… you won’t see this until you get your wedding video, but it is becoming a big issue. Also, most LED fixtures only allow you to have deep saturated colors and most of the time, that deep of a color is not appropriate for a wedding.”

What we recommend as wedding planners is that clients use a knowledgeable, reputable, professional lighting company first and foremost.  Many venues and sound/music providers have begun to offer lighting packages, but without real knowledge or proper equipment and the experience it takes to provide a high level of service and creativity that companies such as Eventions can provide.  And without that experience it can cost the overall look and effect of your wedding.

Check out these great before and after shots of a ballroom, it’s amazing how much of a difference a little light makes.