Lighting at a wedding can, if carefully planned, look stunning and magical.

10 Brilliant ways to use lighting on your wedding day.


Never underestimate the power of lighting at a reception! A little thought and planning with regards to any wedding lighting ideas, effects, candles, sparklers or other illuminated items can totally transform your wedding venue into a magical environment.

From venue up lighting, LED fairy lights, table candles, illuminated balloons and more, your wedding will certainly be enhanced with some lighting additions. Lighting will change the mood and set the tone of the atmosphere you wish to create. Whether you want an elegant, magical display or a fun party vibe, lighting will instantly transform a venue to help you get there. So, what are you waiting for? Illuminate your wedding by reading these great tips!

These are my favourite lighting ideas, discovered from attending weddings and events as a magician and balloon artist in Norfolk and Suffolk. Some you can create yourself, but others will require professional help.


1. Candles – simple wedding lighting ideas

candles at a wedding tableThis is the simplest option available to you. Candles are also relatively cheap to prepare yourself and the can transform a table display. Here are a few options:

Clusters on a table – simply arrange a group of candles at your table! Odd numbers always work best. Even number never look quite right. A group of 3 or 5 is perfect.

Floating – receptacles can be purchased online which float on water. A glass can offer a tall elegant solution whereas a bowl will allow the candles to drift around and offer dynamism to the effect.

Suspending from centre pieces – the most extravagant but expensive option! You will need a lot of candles here but the result can be stunning. You may not wish to take this commitment on yourself. A good events company would be able to produce this for you if you felt out of your depth.


2. Colour wash or venue uplighting – sophisticated approach

wedding uplighting idea


Uplighting has become more popular in recent years, perhaps because the cost has been dropping. Some call it a colour wash, since the result is to completely light up a wall in one bright colour. In the events industry, the process is named uplighting. Often experts suggest that this can be used as  ‘mood lighting’ since the approach boasts the ability to be adaptive. This means that you can have a nice calm blue or purple during the formal wedding breakfast but a warmer orange, yellow or red during the evening party. The power of the lights can really enhance your venue.

using purpe uplighting at a weddingIt used to only be reserved for large, high budget corporate events but now, uplighting is a real option for any bride and groom. I really like up lighting – it definitely enhances your wedding and I highly recommend it. I would recommend you discuss your ideas further with KSD events for this enhancement.


3. Architectural lighting – set your focal point

This is effectively the same as uplifting but used in a way to highlight certain features. Often used outdoors to light up doorways or impressive vegetation, the effect really provides a focus point for your guests. The external lighting is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about problems if it begins raining. I have actually seen a marquee illuminated from the outside (rather than the more traditional inside) and this really made an impact as you sat outside looking back at the ‘main area’ of the marquee. Perfect for a summer’s night!


4. Lanterns – hanging from trees

outdoor wedding ideaHanging lanterns from trees work well in summer outdoor venues or spaces. They are a great idea for creating a relaxed outdoor vibe. However, to get the right look, you will need to invest in quite a large number so this either has to be carried out in ‘an all or nothing’ way, or probably not at all.


5. Sparklers – wow look at these effects

Wow! Sparklers are magical and I rarely see them used at weddings. This is wrong! They should be! They can be used to form archways formed by people standing opposite one another holding up their sparklers in a peak formation. The bride and groom can walk under them as they walk up to do the first dance (indoor fireworks used here) or through the venue gardens.




But the real magical way is to partner with your photographer and ask them to shoot pictures with a long exposure option. This way, people from your wedding party can spell out words like names or ‘love’ as shown in the picture. Or, my absolute favourite, the bride and groom spin them around their bodies creating a magical spiral as they kiss. Amazing!




6. LED fairy lights – a classic and one of the best

Just like uplighters, LED lights have become cheap in recent years. This is good news because this effect follows the rule of, ‘bigger is better’! You need quite a lot of LED fairy lights to make an impact. But what an impact they can have! Use them to spiral around marquee poles, line the ceiling of your venue, or, my favourite, spiralled around trees outside in the grounds of your venue. At night time, the outdoor area is transformed into a magical environment with these lights!

A more subtle way of using only a few lights is to randomly distribute them behind the top table either directly on the wall or behind a drape/sash on the wall which gives a more diffused look.


7. LED Dancefloors – something extra special

If you have a dancing crowd, you should seriously consider one of these! An LED dancefloor looks amazing and completely transforms a dancing areas from an ordinary everyday dance floor to a fun, exciting dance area. You can hire these from KSD events.


8. Disco lighting – there is a difference you know!

Isn’t disco lighting all the same? Absolutely not! Cheaper DJ’s and disco hire use plug in and go lights. They behave autonomously and do not synchronise with the other lights the DJ may have. They provide a chaotic look and it doesn’t look great. More expensive disco and lighting hire means that a professional effect is created. These systems use state-of-the art computer controlled lighting rigs which all act together and in time. The provide a stunning display that wedding dance floors crave for. This is what your wedding day needs! Not a cheap plug and play system.


9. Neon party balloons – utterly unique

neon balloons as unique wedding lighting ideasIf you want a completely different look – a party atmosphere, there are balloons which have been made with special UV pigments inside of the latex. They look like regular balloons, but when your lighting engineer/DJ turns on the UV lighting system he has installed, the balloons take on a whole new look! These balloons can be as shown as in the photo or used in headwear during the Dance Floor Experience (ask for this addition when booking the experience). Why? Well it’s such a surprise for your guests! One minute they see ‘normal balloons’ the next minute, the whole room (and their hats if you have the Dance Floor Experience) just seem to light up all at once! This has a huge impact on your guests and, when timed correctly, cannot fail to get the party stared. This is one of the most unique wedding lighting ideas.


10. Take a look at this online store

Finally, you may want to take a look here to buy some great lighting effects for your special day.

11. The absolute classic! Love letters.

Ok, I said there were 10 ideas but I have a bonus for you! Very popular in recent years, simple illuminated love letters always look great and serve as a talking point for your guests!





I hope that you have been inspired to use at least one lighting effect at your wedding. I really feel that it will greatly enhance your day!

Nick Twist.

Take a look at Nick’s other blog posts:

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