Wedding Reception Lighting Ideas

Wedding Reception Lighting Ideas

Without a doubt, the most overlooked element in wedding design is reception lighting. Nothing transforms an atmosphere quite like it. Unfortunately, reception lighting ideas seem to be one of the last things couples think about when they get bogged down with making choices about centerpieces, linens, and tableware. So before you finish your wedding decor planning, keep in mind you can elevate your vision in a flip of a switch with chandeliers, spotlights, projectors, gels and more. Whether you’re hiring a seasoned wedding designer or renting your reception lighting, here are a few things to keep in mind and 20 shiny ideas to inspire you.  

Chandeliers add sophistication and elegance to wedding design. They are classic, beautiful, and sparkle like diamonds over the dining hall and dance floor. If the style you’re going for is classic and refined, there is no better way to illuminate it than with the right chandeliers. Obviously you don’t want to hang them yourself, so find a venue that already has them installed or hire a rental company to hang them for you.

Lanterns and lamps allow you to bring tons of personality into your reception lighting design by using shapes and colors. You’ll find choices to complement almost any theme and they come in a wide range of wattages and sizes so you can choose how brightly they shine. Woven styles look wonderful at laid back summer weddings while glass lanterns with candles add a magical look around tables and cakes. Try using lamps directly on your tables for a fine-dining restaurant feel.

Strings lights are economical and fairly simple to hang, so it’s no wonder they are very popular. Adding romance to any atmosphere, they twinkle like stars under tents and over dinner tables. Choose from large incandescent bulbs, small electric lights and solar powered LEDs which you can use no matter where you go. Save a couple of strings to take on the road and surround yourself with light on your honeymoon!

Lighted signs add another dimension to your wedding decor and are often used on dance floors and in welcome areas. Use your initials, a welcome greeting or a message of love that can act as beautiful backdrops for your wedding photos.

Haiku Mill wedding, photographed by Melia Lucida - Maui, Hawaii wedding photographer
Photographed by GarrenTee Photography - Vermont wedding photographers
Lucien's Manor wedding, photographed by SMJ Photography - York, Pennsylvania wedding photographers
Montage Laguna Beach wedding, photographed by John and Joseph - Los Angeles, California wedding photographers
Banyan Tree Cabo Marques wedding, photographed by Citlalli Rico Photography - Riviera Maya, Mexico wedding photographers
Photographed by Corbin Gurkin - Charleston, South Carolina wedding photographers
Segrave Barns wedding, photographed by Ronan Palliser Photography - Ireland wedding photographers
Villa Cimbrone wedding, photographed by Joanne Dunn Photographers - Amalfi Coast, Italy wedding photographers
Bates Hall Boston Public Library wedding, photographed by Kate McElwee Photography - Boston, Massachusetts wedding photographers
Hacienda del Rey, Cancun wedding, photographed by Citlalli Rico Photography - Riviera Maya, Mexico wedding photographers
Villa Catignano wedding, photographed by Sarah Anne Photography - Seattle, Washington wedding photographers
Photographed by M. Hart - Los Angeles, California wedding photographers
Four Seasons Hotel Florence wedding, photographed by Edoardo Agresti Photographers - Italy wedding photographers
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens wedding, photographed by Carolina Guzik Photography - Miami, Florida wedding photographers
Photographed by Ronan Palliser Photography - Ireland wedding photographers
Sodo Park wedding, photographed by Alante Photography - Seattle, Washington wedding photographers
Photographed by Gabrielle Desmarchais - Quebec, Canada wedding photographer
Knightsbrook Hotel wedding, photographed by Ronan Palliser Photography - Ireland wedding photographers
Photographed by Amandine Ropars - France wedding photographer
Olowalu Plantation House wedding, photographed by Angie Nelson Photo - France wedding photographer

Looking to light up your wedding and reception with candlelight? Check out our post, 35 Candlelight Ideas for Romantic Weddings and don’t miss our Details and Decor Gallery full of thousands of brilliant ideas for your wedding.