How Many Up-Lighting Fixtures Do I Need For My Wedding Reception?

  |   Wedding & Event Lighting Ideas, Wedding Planning Ideas

How Many Up-Lighting Fixtures Do I Need For My Wedding Reception?  This is a question that we get asked all the time in the lighting industry.  As a wedding lighting expert, there is not a single answer to this question.  It depends on whether there are specific things or objects in the room that need to be highlighted.  Is the room symmetrical?  You want your lighting to be symmetrical and fit the space as well.  Too many fixtures can be just as bad as too few.

If your wedding venue has beautiful columns all around the room – this might be the architectural feature that you want to highlight with a light on each.  Maybe there are dramatic arched windows that need to be lit on each side (not in the window as that would be silly – nothing for the color to reflect off of).   Do you want lights on each side of your entryway?  Maybe there is a need for lighting just outside the room  to light the entry from that side?  A lighting professional will walk with you and do a site inspection prior to your wedding date and you can discuss your lighting needs with them.

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I can tell you, that we always bring more lighting fixtures than we expect to use at any given event.  Extras always come in handy when you find out that the cake was moved on the floor plan and you now need a special light for behind it or that the room was shifted so the head table is now on the opposite side of the room or maybe just as spares if the room just doesn’t look symmetrical once we are done setting up.

Lighting is all about the look of the room.  We will set up and then step back and look.  Are there dead spots in the room or does a light look out of place?  We will tweak our lighting setup to give you the best possible impact.   Do we charge by the fixture?  No. Our fees are based on the overall size and complexity of any given event.   Do we need to bring all our gear up 2 flights of stairs?  Is your venue in a downtown area that is hard to reach with truck & trailer?  How long do we have to set up?  Will we need 1, 2 or 3 assistants for setup and tear down?  All these factors go into deciding fees.  Will we charge more for more complex events that require twice as much gear?  Yes.

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If your wedding venue has built-in up-lighting – take a serious look at it.  Most pre-installed lighting is either outdated (not bright enough) or installed in the wrong locations (in the windows v. on the columns.  Many built-in lighting is only on a couple of walls and not around the entire venue.  Do you just take wedding photos facing EAST?  This just does not make any sense.  What happens when in the middle of your reception one of the lights go out or starts to flicker?  Do you really think your waiter can fix it?  We always highly recommend that an on-site light technician is there during all our events to take care of thinks like Uncle Joe kicking a light or someone unplugging a light to recharge their iPhone.  

A lighting company that charges based on a per fixture basis is not really interested in the wow factor of your room.  We might recommend PAR cans or our LED systems with Red-Green-Blue-Amber-White and UV color mixing.  We might suggest a single color v. color scene changes to save you money on your lighting budget.  It’s all about creating the right effect for each one of our clients. 

We can come in and light the same room 2 or 3 different ways to achieve a completely different look from one wedding to the next.  Who wants the same wedding photos as the last couple?  Adding texture, pin spots or focal points in the room can drastically change the overall look and feel of your reception. A custom wedding lighting installation might range from $1000 – $3000 depending on complexity.

Give us a call and let’s talk about your lighting needs.


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Rob Alberti is owner of Rob Alberti’s Event Services – Wedding Disc Jockey, MC & Wedding Event Director + Wedding Event Lighting design rated by local brides + voted as “The Knot – Best of Weddings”, Bride’s Choice Award Winner from Wedding Wire + his work has been featured in Martha Stewart Wedding, CT Bride, VT Vows, + on numerous national wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Wedding Chicks. Be sure to check out his blog, pinterest boards + on Facebook

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