The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Lighting

Wedding lighting is far more than just a detail to check off your planning list—it’s a powerful tool that sets the ambiance of your event, highlights your chosen theme, and creates breathtaking photo opportunities. With our extensive experience at Ambrosia Events, we’re here to help you navigate the world of wedding lighting with ease.

Setting the Tone for the Wedding

Lighting works like a magical brush, painting your wedding venue with emotion and depth. A soft, warm glow can create an intimate, romantic atmosphere, while vibrant, colorful lights can give your celebration a fun and energetic vibe.

Enhancing the Wedding Photography and Videography

Great lighting doesn’t just create a beautiful ambiance—it also has a huge impact on your wedding photos and videos. Proper illumination can bring out the beauty of the venue, enhance the vividness of colors, and add an air of majesty to your photos and videos.

Types of Wedding Lighting

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is a boon for photographers. It gives your photos a soft, ethereal glow that’s hard to replicate with artificial lighting. Venues with plenty of windows or outdoor spaces are ideal for making the most of this free, high-quality light source.

Artificial Lighting

There’s a myriad of options available when it comes to artificial lighting. Chandeliers, lanterns, fairy lights, light curtains, neon signs, and Edison bulbs can all be used to add style and character to your venue.

natural wedding lighting

Bistro Lighting

A much-beloved favorite in the world of wedding illumination, bistro lighting (also known as cafe or market lights) brings a charming, relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for an evening under the stars. These versatile string lights feature bulbs spaced at intervals along a cord and provide a warm, welcoming glow that’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor settings.

Advantages of Bistro Lighting

  • Versatility: Suitable for all sorts of venues, from rustic barns to elegant ballrooms, and even outdoor marquees.
  • Ambiance: The soft, warm light of bistro bulbs creates a cozy and intimate ambiance that’s perfect for romantic celebrations.
  • Decorative: Bistro lights are as beautiful as they are functional. They add a decorative element that can stand alone or complement other decorations.

Bistro Lighting Ideas

  • Canopy: Drape strings of bistro lights across the ceiling of your venue or outdoor space to create a twinkling canopy that mimics a starry sky.
  • Curtain: Hang strings of lights vertically to create a dazzling backdrop or divider.
  • Pathway: Guide your guests through your venue by creating a lit path with bistro lights.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting refers to the general illumination that fills the venue. It’s your baseline light level, and it’s crucial for setting the mood and ensuring your guests can navigate the venue safely.


Uplighting is a technique that involves shining lights upwards—usually against walls or drapery—to add depth and drama to your venue. It’s a great way to incorporate your wedding colors and transform a dull space into something extraordinary.

Pin Spot Lighting

Pin spot lighting is used to highlight specific areas or objects. It’s perfect for drawing attention to your beautifully decorated tables, cake, or floral arrangements.

Monogram Lighting

Want to make a grand, personal statement at your wedding? Monogram lighting is the way to go. Project your initials, names, or a custom design onto the dance floor or wall for a touch of personalization.

String Lighting

For a whimsical, fairy-tale ambiance, you can’t go wrong with string lighting. These little twinkling lights can transform any space into a romantic wonderland.


Nothing says romance quite like the flickering glow of candlelight. Whether you use them as table centerpieces or aisle decorations, candles are a timeless choice.

Lighting Techniques

Mood Lighting

Mood lighting is all about creating an atmosphere. This technique employs colors and shadows to evoke specific emotions. This might mean using warm, soft lighting for a romantic feel, or bright, cool lighting for an energizing vibe.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight specific areas or features within your venue. This could be a beautiful architectural feature, your wedding cake, or your dining tables.

Highlighting Lighting

Similar to accent lighting, highlighting uses concentrated light to draw attention to a specific area or object. It’s perfect for showing off those beautiful details you’ve spent months planning.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wedding Lighting

There are several factors you should consider when planning your wedding lighting. These include your venue, the time of day of your wedding, your wedding theme, your budget, and the size of your wedding. For example, a large, evening wedding in a grand ballroom will have different lighting needs than a small, daytime wedding in a garden.

Popular Wedding Lighting Ideas

From stunning chandeliers to enchanting fairy lights, here are some popular ideas to inspire you:

  • Chandeliers: A symbol of luxury and elegance. Perfect for grand venues.
  • Lanterns: For a soft, warm glow that’s perfect for rustic or vintage themes.
  • Candles: For an intimate, romantic ambiance.
  • Fairy lights: For a whimsical, magical atmosphere.
  • Light curtains: For a breathtaking backdrop or entrance.
  • Neon Signs: For a modern, edgy touch.
  • Edison bulbs: For a warm, vintage charm.

How to Work with a Wedding Lighting Specialist

A professional lighting specialist can help bring your vision to life. The process typically involves a research phase, a consultation meeting, development of a lighting design plan, and finally, the implementation of the plan.

DIY Wedding Lighting Ideas

For those on a tighter budget or looking for a personal touch, DIY lighting is a fantastic option. Here are some ideas:

  • Mason jar candles: Simple, charming, and wonderfully versatile.
  • Wine bottle lights: A unique way to recycle and create a stunning centerpiece.
  • Paper lanterns: Affordable and beautiful, they add a dreamy touch.
  • DIY light curtains: Create your own stunning backdrops with string lights and sheer fabric.
  • Edison bulb chandelier: Combine multiple Edison bulbs for a stunning homemade chandelier.

Common Wedding Lighting Mistakes

To avoid any faux pas, remember:

  • Always consider the venue. Some lighting might not be suitable for certain spaces.
  • Don’t forget about your wedding theme. Lighting should enhance, not clash with it.
  • Never ignore guests’ comfort. Avoid lights that may be too bright or positioned annoyingly.
  • Beware of overdoing it. Sometimes, less is more.
  • Be mindful of poor placement. Strategic lighting placement can make all the difference.

Wedding Lighting Safety Tips

Remember, safety first! Follow these tips for a mishap-free celebration:

  • Fire prevention: Keep open flames away from flammable objects.
  • Electrical safety: Ensure all wiring is secure and properly installed.
  • Proper installation: Ensure all lights and fixtures are securely mounted.

Wedding Lighting on a Budget

Don’t worry if you’re working with a tight budget. You can still have fantastic lighting:

  • Maximize natural light: Choose a venue with plenty of natural light.
  • Rent lighting equipment: This can be a cost-effective option.
  • Use LED lights: They’re cheaper in the long run due to their energy efficiency.
  • DIY lighting: A fun and personal way to save on costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

This depends on various factors such as the type of lighting, size of the venue, and whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself.

Absolutely! Just ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your venue.

Consult with your venue manager and, if possible, a lighting specialist. They can provide expert advice.

This depends on the size of your venue and the effect you want to achieve. When in doubt, consult with a professional.

For simple setups, yes. For more complex arrangements, it’s safer to hire a professional.


Lighting plays a pivotal role in creating the ambiance at your wedding. With careful planning, it can transform your venue, create stunning photos, and give your day a magical glow. Now that you’re armed with all this knowledge, you’re ready to light up your wedding!

Our Wedding Management services, also known as the Day of Coordination, will ensure everything runs smoothly on your big day. From setting up table numbers and signage, to managing your vendors and venue. Ambrosia Events handles all the details so you can relax and enjoy your special day. 
Our Wedding Management/Coordination services include:
    • Developing & Managing your logistics (1) month prior to your wedding
    • Rehearsal
    • Wedding
    • Reception
    • Coordinating with your vendors and venue

Table Linen

Make your tables look like a showpiece using our floor-length tablecloths. We offer a variety of colors and sizes, prints, and textures from our in-house design collection, and don’t forget about your cocktail tables, cake table, and welcome table when choosing the suitable                 linen for your tables.