You light up my world like nobody else.

I am so fortunate to be having my wedding reception in a gorgeous ballroom overlooking Cape May’s beaches and beautiful Victorian architecture. The room itself is to die for, and the views are beyond compare.


(Meyer Photography via the Grand Hotel)

And yet, would anyone REALLY notice or care if the room looked more like this?


(Empty Bucket Studios via the Grand Hotel)

As a guest, I have literally never once noticed how the room was lit. I guess if the lighting was overly bright or dark, I’d notice that, but as long as I was able to see what was going on in front of me, I was good. I guess you can say I have generally been a fan of functional lighting.

Now, I’ve learned a lot throughout the wedding planning process. One of my new nuggets of wisdom is that simply using your venue’s regular old ceiling light fixtures is not good enough – nay, Bees, you must spring for professional lighting creations created by a qualified professional lighting designer, or you may as well not even call yourself married. (I keep accidentally typing “lightning” instead of “lighting”. HELP.)

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a smidge.

But really, professional lighting is becoming more and more popular – is it something I should give more consideration? I don’t even remember if I’ve attended a wedding with uplighting or gobos or any of that good stuff. But if I don’t do it, will I regret it? Alternately, if I can’t even remember this feature at other people’s weddings, will I really care about it at my own? This is where the WIC gets me every time, Bees. This isn’t golf; I don’t get any mulligans if I screw up.

That said, uplighting definitely gives a room that extra special something. Check out the before/after here! The venue is the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston, and all photos are courtesy of Heather Parker


The St. James room without professional lighting. Stunning, right?


With uplighting. WOW!!!

See how, when done correctly, uplighting can really make a space pop?

See, I’ve always thought of uplighting as a thing you do when you’re trying to cover up your space or make up for a lack of pretty details (think high school gym). But, done correctly, it can actually enhance the best parts about your venue. If I went down this road, that would be the most important thing to me –  I don’t want the lighting to upstage/detract from the other wonderful things about our ballroom. And I definitely don’t want it to look like a color threw up in the room.


A little too much for my taste. (via Peter Lockwood)

In conclusion, pro lighting can do some really amazing things to a venue. But is it worth it? It’s more money spent, another vendor to keep track of, and will anyone really notice or care? You tell me, Bees.


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