Snap weddings


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Snap! Tips: Great Wedding Reception Lighting

May 12, 2015

By Mariah Ashley

A question that keeps popping up among our clients is, “What do you suggest for great wedding reception lighting?” Good question! Great lighting is key, not only to the photographs but also for setting the mood and creating a festive atmosphere. We’ve seen a lot of great wedding reception lighting, so I thought I’d share some of our favorite lighting looks along with some tips.

Starting with market lights… you cannot go wrong with this classic. Market lights are sweet, festive, and throw a great warm color into a reception room!

Wedding Reception Lighting0001Snazzy lighting can be especially dramatic for a first dance. In each of the photos pictured below, there is colored up-lighting on the walls, however it’s the addition of the projection on the ceiling or the floor that really drives the photo and the mood home.

In the first photo, the white spotlight on the couple followed them on the dance floor for their whole first song- this was a dream to photograph because the bride and groom were lit with the lovely white light while the background remained that dramatic blue.

In the photo in the middle, the projection onto the floor is perfectly positioned. Sometimes, the lighting technician will aim the projection a tad to high which casts it onto the clothing of the bride and groom and looks bad. If you are planning a floor projection, make sure to discuss the positioning!

In the photo on the far right, the pattern on the ceiling gives the illusion of bringing the outside in, love it!Wedding Reception Lighting0002Thinking about adding up-lighting but unsure which color to choose? Here are two photos of cake cuttings taken in the same spot, with different colors. In this case, the couples went with a color that flattered the color scheme of the wedding overall. Cohesive!Wedding Reception Lighting0003My personal favorite up-lighting choice is warm pink. It matches most any color scheme, is flattering to skin tones and creates an overall warm candle-ish feeling. It appears as if the sun is setting on the walls, but it’s after dark! Wedding Reception Lighting0004Amber is another warm color option if pink is not your cup of tea. Wedding Reception Lighting0005Or red? You might not think red would be a contender, but depending on the location like this chic Boston Public Library wedding, it might be a perfect choice.Wedding Reception Lighting0006If you can’t choose just one color, how about two? At this wedding the bride opted for pinks during dinner and then a cool blue for the dance floor.Wedding Reception Lighting0007Does purple say crowd surfing? Yes it does.Wedding Reception Lighting0009If all of these colors or crowd surfing make your head spin, classic twinkle lights might be more your style. We are BIG fans of twinkle lights- the more the better! These little beauties create amazing bokeh (out of focus points of light) in the background of the reception photos. Romantic!Wedding Reception Lighting0010Lit paper lanterns also give create texture to the background and a warm glow to the room, nothing says party like paper lanterns.Wedding Reception Lighting0011It’s a party! Set the mood, get festive, and get creative with your lighting. Beautiful wedding reception photos are a combination of photography skill (we’ve got that part covered) and great wedding reception lighting. Adding lighting elements like string light, lanterns, or up-lighting is worth every penny. Your guests will love it and your photos will definitely be even better for it. Wedding Reception Lighting0013

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