8 perfect lighting ideas for your wedding reception

When it comes to a wedding reception, there are a few small things you can do to elevate everything else. We are of course, talking about lighting. Even though lighting may not even be on your radar right now, it is essential for your wedding reception. Finding the right kind of lighting to suit your wedding, theme and style is imperative. You don’t want something that isn’t on theme or that you simply don’t like. Let us guide you through 8 perfect options for lighting at your wedding reception.

Why do I need to think about lighting?

wedding reception lighting

For many couples thinking about the lighting at their wedding will seem kind of strange. Surely everything else is more important, right? Well, no. If done right the lighting at your wedding will illuminate everything else. It will make everything else stand out and add an ambience that you may not have been expecting.

Lighting can complement your theme and the décor of your venue and add a certain charm that only beautiful lighting can add. Do you ever enter a room and feel like something’s off? Let’s fill you in. It’s usually the lighting. Lighting is essential and trust us, it’ll make everything better.

Lighting options:


wedding reception lighting

Many old wedding venues like castles, manor houses and county estates out in Britain’s beautiful countryside tend to have chandeliers in varying styles, depending on when they were built. Chandeliers are a unique lighting option for a wedding as they’re quite unlike anything else. While other ceiling lights may provide a similar glow to a chandelier, only a chandelier will twinkle and sparkle as they are regularly adorned with beautiful dangly jewels and the like that look incredible when lit up.

If you love chandeliers, then definitely consider checking out historic wedding venues or luxe hotels so you can have your perfect lighting.

Fairy light curtains

wedding reception lighting

Fairy light curtains are exactly what they sound like: fairy lights draped in a curtain-like way. This tends to happen over the dance floor or the tables where the guests are eating and looks positively divine. The ceiling becomes completely lit up, like it does on a dark night when the stars are out. It can be a truly magical experience to enjoy your wedding under lighting like this. It adds a truly magical touch to a wedding.

What’s great about fairy light curtains is that they work indoors and outdoors. Have it draped from the ceiling of your venue or outside using trees or poles to achieve the same look.


wedding reception lighting

If you want your wedding to feel very romantic and moody, then candles are an ideal option. You can hire a company to come in and fill your venue with candles or do this option yourself. If you choose to light your reception venue purely by candlelight, then you will need a great number of candles for the room to be well-lit. Even though this seems like a great effort, it is worth it if you want that glimmering and flickering light that candles give off. Plus, if you go for scented candles, your venue will smell amazing.


wedding reception lighting

For the past few years, we have seen couples using wooden cut outs of their initials as wedding decorations. Now, the newest trend with these letters is to buy ones that light up. So they’re essentially wired like a lamp and have big bulbs that follow the shape of the letters. It’s a beautiful effect that is very similar to mirrors that theatre actors and actresses use when applying make-up. As such, these mirrors have a very charming quality that really adds something special to a wedding. Have your first name initials or ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’. If you’re really up for something punchy, choose a phrase or a word that resonates with you, like ‘love’ or ‘I do’.


wedding reception lighting

Fireworks are always a good option, no matter what the occasion. But they’re particularly magical at weddings. For this option to work, you’re going to need to have permission from the reception venue to be able to do this and you’ll need to hire a professional to pull it off with finesse. This could be the wow factor option that you’ve been searching for.


wedding reception lighting

So if you want to go really big and bold, then pyrotechnics are a great option. This kind of lighting works very well for bold weddings. Weddings that are going to be quite over the top, like very luxurious and ritzy weddings are perfectly suited for pyrotechnics. So if your theme is luxe, then consider this fun and exciting option.


wedding reception lighting

You could go quite big with lighting, but if it really isn’t your style then you could keep things simple. Simply have some fairy lights, not a whole curtain of them, strung perfectly around your indoor or outdoor reception venue. Doing this is understated, elegant and completely beautiful.

You could also do the same thing with candles or lanterns. Just having some instead of an abundance is a really beautiful and simple way to light up your venue without going too over the top for your theme. This is particularly perfect for a rustic themed wedding.


wedding reception lighting

So we mentioned lanterns being a beautiful option in a minimalist way, but you can just have lots of lanterns too and have them peppered around the whole venue. You can have a range of varied sizes of paper lanterns hanging sweetly from the roof of your indoor venue, or string them from trees if you’re marrying outdoors. This option is lovely and the light is not too intense so you’ll still get all of those romantic vibes that you’re searching for.

To supplement the hanging lanterns, also consider having table lanterns which can be made of a range of materials including paper, glass or even porcelain. A combination of the two types will add a quirkiness and increase the beautiful ambience.

To help you decorate your reception venue perfectly, click here to find decorators near you. 

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