Wedding Design 101: Outdoor Venue Lighting

Happy Wednesday!


Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

With the arrival of summer also comes the arrival of outdoor weddings full of great weather and sunset photos. But, when the sun goes down, it’s important to keep your party going and there’s no better way to do that than with some fun lighting. Lighting accounts for so much of the look that you want to bring to life since it can help create glows, romance and accents to your decor, so how do you choose ways to light up your venue? Today, we want to help break down some of the methods of adding lighting to your indoor, outdoor or indoor/outdoor spaces!


Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian

Go-To Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor weddings need great lighting, especially for functional purposes. Our go-to options for the outside are bistro lights. We have found that this is the most cost effective, cute way to help cover a big area of space with light when keeping dinner and dancing in mind. It can easily be draped above guest dining tables and provide a soft ambiance for a great reception dinner experience.

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Left: Steve Steinhardt Right: French Grey Photography

Hanging Lights

Any light can be done hanging from or between trees. Depending on the feel you are going for, you can use hanging icicle lights from the trees or attach lanterns from tree to tree. Rental companies can even provide chandeliers, which we like to use to highlight places like the bar, dessert table and sweetheart table.

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Left: Nessa K Photography Right: Steven Michael Photography

Wrap Lighting

Wrap lighting is commonly seen wrapped around big trees around and near the venue space to help set the mood for the night. You can also get creative and wrap lights on railings, posts and fences. Take anything stationary at the venue, wrap it in lights and you can make anything look enchanting!

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Left: Colin Cowie Weddings  Right: Morgan Gallo Events


Once the sun sets, if there aren’t any lighting on specific decor or beautiful landscapes, then they will not be noticeable. Uplighting can come in handy and be placed in bushes, pretty palm trees and architectural structures, so your guests can still enjoy the swoon-worthy details of your day.

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Left: Studio Impressions Right: Axioo Photography

Covered Spaces

When a reception dining area is either covered or inside, it can also use a little extra lighting! We love the idea for these places to have individual hanging or groupings of Edison lights. It never hurts to skip the simple lighting and add some flavor to your indoor venue with some mood lighting.


Photo Credit: Iris & Light

We hope we have lit up your wedding world with our design recommendations and inspiration. Before you jump in and go crazy on lighting up your venue – make sure to remember about lighting areas that need lights for function or safety. This would be places including your walkway, stairs, bar or kitchen. A simple wash in white, yellow or a diluted amber will do the trick!

Tracy & Adam Wedding-260

Photo Credit: Iris & Light

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