This is it, you're getting married. It's one of, if not the most significant events of your life. Which means you've got to get it right, there are no repeat performances (at least, there aren't supposed to be!). Whilst your initial thoughts might immediately become occupied with the dress or the venue, lighting shouldn't be forgotten.
Wedding lighting in many ways is many ways in like the wedding cake. There is a multitude of combinations and options to choose from, and you'll need the help of experts to decide (such as On Tour Events), but you'll probably dedicate more of your time to other seemingly more pressing matters. But if you get it wrong, not only will it annoy you and put a dampener on your day, but your esteemed guests will notice too.
We understand that wedding lighting might not reach the highest spot on the priority list. However, if you get it right, it can set everything off perfectly. From the dancefloor to the photographs, lighting can literally make or break your wedding celebrations.
With that in mind, what have you got to think about when it comes to wedding lighting equipment and wedding lighting hire for that matter.
Which Aspects of a Wedding Require Lighting?
Ok, we'll admit this question is a little like asking "how long is a piece of string?" However, it's still a worthy exercise to sit down and properly think about which specific aspects of your day are going to require wedding lighting.
An excellent place to start is by breaking your choices down into two categories. Start with the absolute essentials, as in, what aspects will not be able to function without proper lighting equipment. Then progress to think about ways lights could really elevate your venue to the next level.
Starting with the essentials, there are many aspects of your celebrations that are clearly going need hired wedding light equipment. First start with the venue itself, is there going to be adequate lighting provided? Unless your planning on pioneering a 'wedding in the dark' theme, you're going to need lights as the sun sets and your celebration progress well into the late hours.
Many venues are going to provide bog-standard lighting arrangements, but many others won't. For example, if you're hiring a tepee, marquee, or other outdoor temporary structure, many providers either steer clear of the electrical set up or only offer options that leave a lot to be desired.
Once you've got your venue lighting sorted, the next prominent place to start thinking about in the context of lighting is the evenings' entertainment, which is going to require all manner of wedding lighting equipment. From DJ lights and lasers to spotlights for the first dance, your stage and dancefloor are going to form the centrepiece to your celebrations. Thus, they should be bestowed with wedding lighting worthy of the occasion.
Once you've checked everything major of the list, it's time to think about how lighting can transform your space. Festoon and outdoor lighting can change the whole ambience of a wedding. From brash and bold, to subtle and understated, your wedding lighting choices can set the tone for the evening ahead.
The list of wedding venue areas below is by no means exhaustive, but it should get you thinking about where you might want to hire specialist wedding lighting to make them extra special:
Reception exit (sparklers, glow sticks, etc.)
Understanding Wedding Lighting Jargon
Brides-to-be often tell us that it feels like we are speaking a foreign language when describing lighting options. While we try our best, we can't avoid all lighting-related jargon, and therefore we thought it would be a good idea to familiarise you with some of the most common types of lights so you can get a better idea of what you might want to go for with your wedding lighting hire:
Spotlight – a light that emits a narrow beam to focus on a particular person or space. Perfect for the first dance and wedding speeches.
Floodlight – pretty much the opposite of a spotlight. Lights a large surface area, which is ideal for larger outdoor spaces that require guests to be able to see what they're doing.
Uplights – lights that are placed on the floor and shine up the walls in various colours. Perfect for setting the mood and ambience within your venue.
Textured lights – these lights shine a preset pattern, such as leaves or a starry night sky, which is great if there's a theme to your wedding. For instance, you could adorn your venue with revolving snowflakes if you're having a winter wedding.
Pinspot – a tiny light used to illuminate a small area, such as a centrepiece on a table, often powered by LEDs these days.
Festoon lighting – also referred to as twinkle, fairy, bistro, or cafe lights, these strands of lights are the most versatile and cost-effective way to light up any space. They mostly appear as a long line of lightbulbs on a string, but there are many variations. These are especially popular for outdoor weddings, and rightly so, they look amazing when you get them right.
Pendants – these light are single fixtures that hang from the ceiling. You could decide to go old school and hang one right above the dance floor instead of the obligatory glitter ball.
LED light – the light you're probably most familiar with. A cost-effective option with a range of colours available capable of dazzling brightness, if that's what you're aiming for. Used in a lot of contemporary DJ lighting products as well as for pinspots.
Mood lighting – again, you're probably familiar with mood lighting, which floods the venue with a particular colour without having any recognisable source. Great for switching up the feel of a room when transitioning from the meal to the dancing later on.
Once again, this isn't an exhaustive light. Instead, it's a quick a run-down of the most commonly chosen lighting options for brides and grooms-to-be.
What Are the Most Significant Areas When It Comes to Wedding Lighting?
The answer to that question largely depends on whether you're hiring an indoor or outdoor venue. An outdoor wedding is going to need more spent on general wedding lighting. You'll also have to figure out the associated challenges of supplying your lights with the necessary power if in a rural or remote setting.
However, the entertainment set up usually represents the most significant lighting spend. Spotlights, DJ lights, and pinspots, all form part of even the most basic of setups. That's without mentioning the related audio visual technology with which the lighting rigs are usually linked.
Then you've also got to factor in that this type of lighting is not the sort of technology you simply hire and then hand over the 'have-a-go Harry' of your family. They require expert technicians for set up, operation, and subsequent dismantling before being moved on to the next event.
For an all-encompassing wedding lighting hire package, it makes sense to hire all of your equipment from one place.
What Else Can On Tour Events Provide for Couples?
We realise that in the chaos of trying to organise a wedding, it helps to keep supplier numbers down to a minimum. Since we also work in the conference, exhibition, and awards show industry, we have everything imaginable in our warehouses for your wedding lighting, audio visual, and physical structure requirements. If we don't happen to have what you need, we possess the necessary human resources and skills to design and build it from scratch.
From stages to dancefloors and state-of-the-art PA systems, we can meet all of your wedding needs for one price. We can provide the following as part of our wedding services:
3D Visualisations before your event
Custom lighting designs
A full suite of audio visual equipment including
A full suite of IP-rated lighting equipment
A liaison to your event planner, DJ or live band
A selection of dance floors
Large LED screens for film and photos
Real dry ice machines
Wireless mood lighting solutions
All rigging and power solutions
Custom set and stage design
Most of these are available as part of our "off the shelf" wedding packages which are great for couples looking to save on costs and hassle.
How Much Does Wedding Lighting Hire Cost?
Perhaps the biggest question on your lips when it comes to hiring wedding lighting equipment and anything else you're hiring for your big day for that matter. You may not be surprised to learn that there is no straight answer. With the average spend on a wedding now topping £30,000, we wouldn't like to even hazard a guess at what percentage lighting and audio visual elements would contribute to your specific celebration without any prior information. There are simply too many variables in play to even to attempt it.
From the type of venue, you've booked to the kind of entertainment you've hired (live band vs DJ, or both), your wedding lighting costs are going to largely depend on your specific requirements. As a result, some lighting costs represent a considerable cost to couples who want to opt for a bespoke solution. In contrast, those who focus on the essentials before making their own personal touches will spend a lot less.
If you're desperate for a ballpark figure, the largest of our predesigned "off the shelf" wedding packages (which includes pretty much everything you could need) comes in at between £10,000 to £12,000. Before you gulp, we would just like to reiterate these packages have been used at some of the most luxurious weddings we've ever attended. What's more, we still believe that's at least 35% below market value, considering what's included.
At the other end of the scale, if you've got smaller wedding reception planned with about 100 guests, we can supply a small carpeted stage and install and operate the sound/lighting equipment for the event for roughly £1,000- £1,500, as long as your entertainment acts have no specific rider requirements. We then have plenty of "pick and mix" options for you to choose from as part of our "off the shelf" wedding packages.
Is There Such a Thing as an "Off the Shelf" Wedding Package?
Actually, yes, there is. As mentioned, through our years of experience, we've managed to develop a range of ready-to-go packages that will provide everything you need for your special day. From the most elaborate, to the basic, we can supply what you need and provide the necessary personnel too.
Generally speaking, these packages include all of your sound, lighting, stage hire, dance floors and any necessary power infrastructure. These packages have been assembled based on years of wedding and events experience, and we feel that we've developed a pretty good handle on what people want. We believe that these are the most cost-effective solutions, and we still give you plenty of flexibility to get creative with your look and the feel.
What Do On Tour Events Need from You?
Even if you plan on hiring an "off the shelf" wedding package, we would ideally like to know as much information as possible to help put together the right combination of equipment. First on the list is discussing what sort of production you are after, whether this is something quite simple and minimal or whether you're after something utterly bespoke one-off which hasn't been done before.
Then we like to get as much detail as possible about the venue so we can ensure items such as the stage and lighting rigs can be designed correctly to fit within the dimensions of the available physical space. If you're going with something bespoke, we are going to need to spend some extended time with you to flesh out the detail on your audio visual and lighting plans for your celebrations, ensuring that we come up with the perfect solution.
How to Get Started with On Tour Events Wedding Packages
If you would like to start that conversation with us for your UK (or European) wedding, simply use the contact information below to get the ball rolling. You can also view our previous wedding projects across our range of social media channels, should you wish to gain some inspiration.
We look forward to hearing from you!
On Tour Events: Technical Audio Visual Event Services London OFFICE & WAREHOUSE: +PHONE: 020 8058 0093 +MONDAY - FRIDAY 08:00 - 20:00 +EMAIL: INFO@ONTOUREVENTS.CO.UK +POST: 27, Old Gloucester Street, WC1N 3AX +FACEBOOK.COM/EVENTPRODUCTIONHIRE +TWITTER.COM/ONTOUREVENTS +INSTAGRAM.COM/ONTOUREVENTS