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Put Your Wedding in The Spotlight

When I discuss decorations with wedding planners, we always end up in an argument. To a wedding planner, the word ‘Decorations’ always begins and ends with flowers and floral arrangements. They automatically think that flowers are the best use of any decorating budget.

Coming from a background of event management and production, I tend to think that the way to truly transform a ho-hum venue into something that will take your guest’s breath away is by the creative use of lighting, as well as any decorative items such as flowers.

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I don’t want to be the wet blanket and try to take anything away from traditional role that flowers play in the wedding ceremony and reception. I just don’t feel that they are as important as wedding planners make them out to be in the overall decorative scheme of things.

For instance, flowers will not be able to set a serious, romantic mood early in the proceedings, only to be able to change to a lighthearted, celebratory mood later on.

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And flowers will not be up to the task of drawing your guest’s attention and making them aware of when certain features of the day are taking place, like the cutting of the cake, or the throwing of the bouquet, like lighting will.

To be honest, in order to bring out the beauty of your flowers and present them as highlights of your decorating scheme, they really need a bit of lighting on them as well.

Fairy or LED Lights

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Credit: One Wed

Providing creative lighting at your wedding doesn’t have to be particularly expensive either. If you’re on a DIY budget, particularly if you’re having the celebration outdoors, multiple strings of inexpensive fairy lights can be very dramatic when draped from trees around the venue, and can lend an air of a ‘Fantasy Wonderland’ to your outdoor venue.

Small LED lights are also available relatively cheaply in multiple colors, and can be used to create dramatic up-lighting effects when placed at the bases of trees.

However, fairy lights and home use LEDs are not programmable, and most likely not be able to provide you with the dramatic lighting-effects that you are probably imagining in your head. If you feel that you won’t be satisfied with this DIY-level of lighting, or if the venue is too large for DIY lighting to be effective, then you’ll need to contact a professional lighting supplier.

Candle Light

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Candles are also often used by people wanting to add a romantic and elegant touch to the venue.  You should use tall tapered candles in groups for accents and highlights, and make sure that you place them in areas that are not susceptible to drafts or combustible materials. And, put the candles in places that are removed from foot traffic. Also, be sure to have some fire extinguishers on hand, if they are not provided by the venue.

Professional Lighting

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Before you contact a lighting supplier, look around the wedding venue, and see if you have any ideas about how to light the venue. A lighting designer can come up with their own ideas of how to provide lighting, however, if you have an idea of what you’re expecting to see, or a mood that you want to create, it will give the lighting designer someplace to start.

When you’re looking around for a lighting supplier, and Singapore has many, don’t go with the biggest and the best supplier. They’re more used to dealing with large conventions, stage shows and concerts, and they most likely won’t give you the service and attention that you’re expecting, and paying for.

Choose a supplier who is familiar with lighting private weddings and events. Expect to pay separate charges for the setup and dismantle, and then costs for the dimmers, lighting board, operators and the number of lamps required.

A number of these smaller suppliers also offer audio and projection services. If you need microphones to make speeches, music to dance to and projectors and screens to be able to show embarrassing photo-montages of the bride and groom growing up, they will be able to offer you a package price for everything.

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You’ll also need to have access to the venue prior to the event in order to do a walk-around with the supplier. Arrange to have the room measurements for the venue on hand. And, ask the venue management to point out where the main electrical power is located. The supplier will need to see that.

Also, make up a timetable of how the day of the wedding will unfold. When the ceremony and reception will begin and end. What time the first dance will take place, the cake will be cut, and the bouquet will be thrown.

The supplier will create lighting ‘Pre-sets’ for each of these activities, in order to highlight them wherever they are in the venue. Don’t worry about following the timetable exactly. It’s the order of the activities that’s important, and the suppliers are used to events not running exactly on time.

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Credit: Belle The Magazine

During the walk-around, tell the supplier your ideas for the venue’s lighting. He will then be able to finalize how many lamps it will take to give you the effect that you’re looking for, and any other equipment that will be needed. He will most likely give you options to explore and offer suggestions as well.

Keep in mind that in order to create some of the ‘looks’ that you’re thinking of. It may be necessary to bring in truss or other support structures to mount the lights on. So, determine if you can deal with the trade-off of having these structures present in order to achieve your desired look for the venue.

And, last, but certainly not least, be sure to arrange for a bit of spotlighting for the flower arrangements.

Dave is a thoughtful and thorough editor who never loses sight of the core meaning behind a written piece. He has worked in the communications, event production and video production industries in The Asia-Pacific region.