Top tips for transforming a venue’s spaces with lighting advice from Version Events
A unique and personal wedding is something many couples aspire to, but this represents a challenge and cost if you are looking to reinvent the wheel. The wish to stand out from the crowd has led to lighting being a key component in transforming any wedding. With many weddings held at the same venues up and down the country, the flexibility and adaptability of lighting designs can allow event planners to truly dazzle their guests without wholesale changes to the venue.
Lighting can transform any event by changing the look and feel of a venue as well as enhancing the surroundings to perfectly illustrate a chosen theme. Simple touches like coloured lighting can be used to match the chosen colour scheme, while more complex lighting solutions create an atmospheric ambience and even define different areas to make a single room seem like a larger and more interesting space.
Practicality is something that must be considered when choosing the right lighting for an event even when there is artistic license to be creative. The thought process must balance out each aspect of the day, such as taking into account whether the guests will be able to see their food while trying to create an intimate setting. Weddings are complex days where the focus often shifts from the reception through to the dancing and the lighting must be chosen correctly to control and react as the day goes on.
Lighting for every occasion
The range of lighting options available is truly staggering and allows you to design down to the minutest detail to deliver the ambience you crave. There’s something for every requirement, from the most extravagant to more subtle designs. Options include:
- Up lighters – Perfect for lighting up walls or features, these small and subtle lights can be installed around the edge of a venue or even change colour for a party-style atmosphere
- Dappled lighting – Looking to create a magical feel to your wedding or event? Dappled lighting gives the effect of sunshine beaming through the trees and provides the ideal look for a dining area or can be used throughout a venue if you require a midsummer moon-lit theme
- Spot lighting – If you’ve got a centre-piece on your wedding tables then spot lighting can concentrate focused beams of light onto it to make sure it remains the focal point even when the main lights are dimmed for evening entertainment
- Fairy light backdrop – Create a stunning backdrop to your top table with a fairy light backdrop in any colour you wish, which can be defused behind a soft pleated fabric to produce a warm and inviting setting for the most important guests
- Intelligent lighting – Party your wedding night away with intelligent lighting frequently found around the extremities of a dance floor. Often twinned with smoke effect systems, these lights can be programmed and controlled from one desk to deliver colourful and shaped beams of light in time with music
- Coloured wash lighting – Colour schemes make a big difference to any wedding or event and these dimmable lighting options ensure that you have no need to be stuck with the harsh lighting
- Message projection –Project favourite quotes or initials onto walls around a venue with these light designs, which are also perfect for displaying theme images if you want to create a truly bespoke atmosphere
Creating an impact without the expense
Transforming a venue can be expensive, but clever lighting solutions can help deliver an improved experience without the associated costs. The beauty of light is you can change the colour, intensity or position to suit your theme and bring a different ambience. One issue that is often faced is the covering up of ceiling artwork or making a ceiling lower to create a more intimate setting without becoming claustrophobic. The use of strings of fairy lights in various designs can help to reduce space or draw the eye away from less visually appealing structures as well as creating a false ceiling for large venues.
If budget is no issue
Lighting is truly capable of elevating any event to be awe-inspiring and if there is budget available then the possibilities are endless. There is the ability to either bring something hugely elaborate using versatile and innovative LED lighting to create a focal point of the event or to strip it back to being more traditional with simple festoon lighting that adds an understated glamour to a wedding or special occasion. The sky really is the limit.
Getting lighting right outdoors
The right exterior lighting at any event must work during the day and then come into its own at night. For when the sun goes down, there is the ability to use architectural lighting to highlight natural landmarks such as trees, lakes, sculptures and structures. At many events, guests will arrive when it is light and stay until its dark, and in these situations festoon lighting with older style Edison lamps, paper lanterns or fairy lights can deliver an eye-catching visual effect during the day and become more practical as the day moves on.
Lighting up large structures
Barns and marquees are as popular as ever for weddings and events, but they pose very different challenges when lighting them effectively. Whether industrial or traditional, barns offer character in abundance, whereas marquees act more like a canvas. It’s important to work with what your space offers you, highlighting features to provide the perfect backdrop to the day. Consider fairy light canopies, strings of paper lanterns, crystal chandeliers or up lighting to provide a bespoke ambience and theme for the event.
What will be big in 2018?
There’s been a huge trend for the vintage and shabby-chic look especially for weddings and extravagant events. It is likely this will continue into 2018 but with the development of more intricate designs incorporated into fairy lights and theming to create visually-stunning focal pieces. With the pace that LED lights and the devices controlling them are advancing we are likely to see big improvements in the capabilities of this technology, so watch this space.
‘LED-ing’ the way
The advances in affordable LED lighting is outpacing any other form of lighting and has delivered an opportunity to push the boundaries for clients without breaking budget. Their multi-faceted advantages over rival products makes transforming prestigious and listed buildings simpler without putting a strain on beautiful surroundings. They create a wonderful atmosphere in places that would not have previously been possible. LED lighting’s environmentally-friendly credentials makes it ideal for many events. Just some of their advantages include:
- Low power and recharge ability – Running on low power and even being rechargeable allows wireless-type LED lights to make the most of open spaces in venues without the need for unsightly cabling spoiling the look of the designs
- Small and light – Compared to many light sources, LEDs are hugely light and flexible meaning they can be placed more sympathetically around venues and even suspended from delicate structures or the roof of marquees
- Lack of a fire hazard – Renowned for emitting very little heat, LED lights can be placed in close proximity to drapery without creating a fire risk, which is hugely important for all venues
- Wireless capability – LED lights have benefited from the improvements in wireless technology to be controlled remotely, negating the need for multiple control products spoiling a design
- Individually-controlled – LED fairy lights can now be controlled individually making it easier to sculpt them into shapes that can work as a focal point for any event, and to have them change colour depending on the ambience required.
Benefit for a venue
Commissioning a company to manage the lighting aspect of an event gives a venue the peace of mind of knowing they are in safe hands. We are fortunate to have a number of contracts with venues that trust us to handle “the look” freeing them up to focus on other elements of the day. Event management firms are happy to offer a bespoke service to clients or to provide a package offering that venues can upsell to their customers. Our venues know that by using our experts they have a professional and experienced team, who are proficient in all testing and risk management and able to handle any eventuality; as well as someone they can trust to be respectful of their property.
Lighting is just one element of the service
Lighting never sits alone when panning the blueprint to deliver the perfect event. It should work alongside the design requirements and capabilities of the venue to seamlessly exceed expectations. By hiring a specialist events company you get experts who can elevate the experience of the client by combining all aspects to work as one and create the perfect ambience for the client on their special day.
About Version Events
Established in 1997 and based in Colchester, Essex, Version Events and Wedding Creative have been providing event and wedding services across the UK for more than two decades. It’s worked on a diverse range of events supplying bespoke solutions for every client.
Drawing on experience gained from the theatre and events industries, the team has a passion for providing creative design concepts that make for great talking points and wonderful memories. The designers and project managers also draw on their backgrounds in live events, television, theatre and architecture. Version Events also carries a large selection of event equipment from outdoor structures down to finishing touches and accessories.