Outdoor Wedding Reception Lighting Tips

There is nothing quite as beautiful as an outdoor wedding. Something magical happens after the sun has set on the horizon and an evening wind blows gently through the trees. Of course an outdoor wedding reception takes specially designed accessories and lighting. With the myriad of rental equipment on the market, how do you choose the style of lighting to use for your special day?

Create a stunning outdoor wedding reception

How to Use Lights for your Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor wedding lights should be both functional and attractive. A simple string of lights may provide the appropriate lighting but lack the aesthetic appeal you are looking for. Similarly, a lavishly designed lighting system may be beautiful and memorable but too dim to be practical. Whatever style of lighting you choose, you will need to be conscious of how you hang them. If you are uncertain how to go about the process it might behoove you to hire a specialist in wedding lighting. They can be found online or sometimes through your local theater company.

Types of Lighting for Outdoor Weddings

There are a number of lighting options for you to explore for your outdoor wedding reception. Before you choose, visit the anticipated reception site and study the surroundings. Is it an open clearing or are there a lot of trees that could be used to hang lights? How is the natural lighting? Does the area have outdoor street lamps nearby or is the area naturally dark? Answering these questions can help you to decide what look might be best for your reception. Here are some of the lighting options available:

String lights

String lights: Most people are familiar with using string lights for Christmas or Halloween, but they can also make beautiful additions to a wedding celebration. They can be hung almost anywhere, and come in most colors so you can match your chosen motif if desired. Best of all, even basic white string lighting is attractive and inexpensive.

decorated outdoor wedding reception

Paper Lanterns: There is something mystical and alluring about paper lanterns hanging above. They come in many different colors and you don’t need a lot of them to make an impression. Although they can be cumbersome, you will enjoy the effect of the wind blowing them to and fro.

Tea Lights in Lanterns

Candles/Tea Lights: Everyone knows how romantic candles are. Placing candles on reception tables in a tea light container or in glass jars can create a sensual mood while remaining safe for the guests. The only problem with using candles is in keeping them lit for the whole reception as wind and other weather conditions can blow them out.  To avoid this problem, use battery operated flameless tea lights, or place them in enclosed lanterns.

Other Lighting: Elaborate lighting available from your local party rental companies or special effect lighting can make a huge splash at a wedding reception. Derby lights, Blacklights, LED strobe lights and other varieties can shoot or wash light across your reception area and create a festive mood. It is easy to go overboard with the party lights so you will want to plan carefully. Less can be more when it comes to setting the mood.


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2 comments on “Outdoor Wedding Reception Lighting Tips

  1. I love the use of the small lanterns. I think it really provides a classy look and gives you a soft lighting. I don’t know how much light it would produce but it is certainly one of the better looking options.

  2. My wedding is this summer, and it will be held outdoors. The lighting is going to be an important part of creating the right ambiance. There are so many different options. As you said, it’s a good idea to visit the venue beforehand to see what different lighting would work the best. Perhaps a professional lighting company would be able to provide some help in this regard as well.

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