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  • Writer's pictureAbbie Cole Hillis

Why Lighting Matters

Alright gals and guys, hear me out on this one. Lighting for your wedding matters. Lighting does so much more for the event than you probably even comprehend which is why I wanted to spend a little time on the blog today sharing why it is important and how to get the most out of your wedding lighting.

I am not the lighting expert so I reached out to my lovely friends at Altared Weddings and Events and they are stepping in as a guest to share their insight for you all. Here is what they had to say:

Why is lighting an important element to my event:

Lighting serves two purposes: It will create an atmosphere that cues guests as to what’s about to, or already happening. AND lighting brings attention to all those details you’ve so carefully planned. For example your cocktail hour and dinner may utilize soft amber tones that emulate candlelight and set the mood for conversation and elegance. Then when it’s time to shift gears for the party to begin, you’ll want lighting that is representative of the high energy that’s about to happen! Lighting is an incredibly economical way to transform the feeling in a room; it truly helps transition between cocktail hour, to dinner, and finally to the dance floor.

Should I use lighting as part of my ceremony or cocktail hour:

Evening or sunset weddings held outdoors are so beautiful in Texas! Using just a touch of light to complement the altar will give your guests a visual delight. A chandelier or fairy light globes suspended from the trees bring a sense of elegance and magic to your vows. Cocktail hour spent socializing under the warm glow of café lights sets everyone in a great mood and ready for the next stage of the party! Lighting is also incredibly important if you know the sunset is happening prior to dinner or cocktail hour (looking at winter months).

LIGHTING SUGGESTIONS: Crystal, Iron, or Edison Bulb chandeliers // Fairy Light Globes // Twinkle Light curtain // Café, Festoon, String lights

Subtle vs Purposeful Lighting:

Creating an atmosphere of awe can be as simple as adding uplights to the perimeter of a room, or using to highlight centerpieces on each table. And let’s showcase your beautiful ‘piece of art’ cake by using lights! Really personalizing a space might include a custom GOBO (names, initials, or image in lights) on the dance floor or behind the head table, or maybe you want to create an industrial chic theme with café lights and Edison bulbs. Add up to ten richly elegant crystal chandeliers for a serious ‘red carpet’ feel. Imagine the look on your guests’ faces when the dance floor area becomes a ‘Club Scene’ complete with lighting that moves to the music and lasers swirling in the haze! Wow! The possibilities truly are endless with lights.

LIGHTING SUGGESTIONS: Pinspots // Wash Lights // Uplights // GOBO // Moving head // Dancing on a Cloud // The Show //Multiple Chandeliers

What is an uplight? Using the word as a guide… it is a device that shines a light ‘UP’. Altared’s wireless, battery operated LED lights are positioned and pointed towards a wall or flat surface to shine custom colors. These are extremely bright so you would not use them to point towards the eye level of guests.

What’s the difference between a Pinspot and Wash Light? A Pinspot creates a beam of light that can be manipulated to shine a very precise area, like a centerpiece on a table or portrait on display. A Wash Light similarly creates a beam of light as a pinspot, but it will encompass a much broader area. The Wash Light can increase or decrease intensity and is great to highlight the bar, or a wide display of items on a table, and many times used to add subtle lighting to a dining area that is very dark. BOTH the Pinspot and Wash Lights are battery operated and have strong magnets so they can be positioned from places that are up high and magically bring light to a specific spot.

Do you need plug-ins for each of the lights? Uplights, pinspots, and washes are battery operated with a life expectancy between 6 to 12 hours. All of our chandeliers have a function for battery operation so we can hang them almost anywhere! The café lights will need a power source, however we typically use LED bulbs so they draw EXTREMELY low amperage. Fairy Lights and dance floor lights will also need to be plugged in, but a common 110 outlet is perfect.

Will you match the inspiration look I found on Pinterest? Absolutely YES. Our production team is incredibly versatile and creative. They will work with you to plan a lighting design that fits your space and even create custom elements ‘on the fly’ to make the most of your space and theme. It’s important for our team to know your venue or space so it’s common for us to visit the venue to *see* your vision and ensure it can be done.

The lighting looks expensive, how much is it? That’s the glory of lighting! You can transform an entire space with lights for a fraction of what renting physical pieces would cost. If you are looking for prices: Altared’s Café string lights typically rent for $1.25 per foot, so a cocktail area could easily be brought to life for $100. Candlelight ambiance to the reception space costs under $400 via uplights. And those beautiful chandeliers… start at $125. Altared is WELL KNOWN for CREATING PACKAGES TO FIT BUDGETS so approach us with your budget and let’s talk about maximizing what we can do to make your event AWEsome. (Note: All lighting elements require a separate charge for delivery & setup.)

What if I the lights quit working half way through my event? Altared has technicians dedicated to each event so once the lights are installed and tested, they will either remain onsite or be close enough in proximity to arrive quickly and fix the issue. Our team is very smart at what they do so issues are extremely rare and oftentimes fixable via a phone call from your coordinator.

Alright y'all, I hope you feel a little more educated about lighting, how it will work best for your wedding, and how to budget for it in your wedding planning process. Shelly and Scott are the owners of Altared Weddings & Events (AWE) and they are absolutely amazing to work with! They have given couples, coordinators, and guests the ‘AWE FACTOR’ for over 10 years in the Austin area. Have more questions? Reach out and email us at

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