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.

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(Meyer Photography via the Grand Hotel)

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

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(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

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

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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.

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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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