Decorating weddings and special events over the years, I've often helped clients with other aspects of their events besides the decorating. I want to share that information and advice with you. I also want to highlight other event vendors whose work I like and different local venues. I invite you to ask questions as well.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Amongst all the possible elements decorating your event – beautiful florals, attractive linens, opulent table settings – lighting is often an afterthought. Or even worse, overlooked all together. This is a huge mistake, as proper lighting can really set the mood and elevate the entire look of a room. Let's put it this way. How do you feel on a veranda on a sunny afternoon? How do you feel at a special candlelit dinner? How do you feel in an office with fluorescent lighting? More than likely your venue will not have fluorescent lighting. But if it does – change venues immediately!

Perhaps your event will be held during daylight hours outside or in a room that lets in good light. Then you don't have to do anything - but pray for sunlight! But it's always important to at least consider what light you have at your site, natural or otherwise. Viewing your site at the same time of day as when your event is to be held and at the same time of year is best. You can then determine whether you will need to add any candles or special lighting. See if there is any already available, like uplighting on columns around the room or existing pinspotting.

What is pinspotting you ask? Pinspotting is when lights (either permanently mounted on the ceiling or that have to be brought in and mounted on stands) are directed right on your centerpieces. Generally there should be two lights on tall centerpieces and one on low ones. And candlelight should still be incorporated on your tables. Other key areas, like your place card table and cake table, are also usually pinspotted, as well as having a gentle light wash over your dance floor. You could even have a custom gobo made (like perhaps your monogram) to be projected on the dance floor.

If you have your heart set on just a candlelit event make sure of your venue's open flame policy. Some venues will allow real flame, but enclosed within a holder. Other venues, like museums and galleries, will not permit any flame whatsoever. So, if your venue does not allow any real flame an alternative could be using LED votive candles - some even flicker a little. Static LED lights, which come in a variety of colors, can also be attractive.

I recently incorporated LED lights into arrangement designs at a low light site with no flames permitted and no pinspotting to be utilized either. Because the theme color was red I nestled several red lights amongst glass beads that filled tall glass cylinders. It gave a soft, glowy look that didn't look gimmicky or detract from the florals placed on top of the cylinders. For the cocktail tables I put individual lights in small cylinders also filled with glass pebbles, each with a single flower tucked in. I think it was a fun way to add a needed bit of warm light to the room. But no matter what tack you take, specialty lighting, hanging lanterns or an array of candles, just be sure to consider your lighting options. And as they say, let there be light!