Indoor weddings and outdoor weddings are equally wonderful occasions, but they do come with their own set of considerations when planning the design behind the whole thing. Lighting, in particular, plays a large role in an event’s design, but it’s important to keep the venue in mind when dreaming up your ideal lighting scheme.
One of the biggest differences between indoor and outdoor lighting is the logistics of setting it up and ensuring there is enough electricity to support the design for the whole night. Generally, indoor lighting tends to be simpler, but there are still some considerations to keep in mind.
“You need to be aware of the electrical availability, aesthetics of the room, your own personal aesthetic, how high the ceilings are, and whether or not you want to hide or highlight anything in particular,” explains Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services.
Outdoor weddings, on the other hand, can be much more predictable as you have to deal with the forces of nature. “You’ll need to take into account wind speed, sunset time, and potential rain and how it will affect the lighting,” shares Dennis. “The availability of power is also a major factor, so keep that in mind when speaking with your venue coordinator.”
However, the weather can easily be worked through and outdoor weddings can still dazzle just as much as an indoor wedding. “We see a lot of LED lights being purchased for outdoor weddings,” says Audrey Isaac of 100Candles.com. “Not only are LED candles virtually wind-proof, but couples also like to wind string lights around trees to produce a whimsical twinkling effect.”
Types of Lighting
There are so many options for lighting fixtures, but it’s important to pick the ones that will give your special day the perfect ambience for your dream wedding. Whether you’re after an intimate, romantic fête or a bold, modern celebration, there’s certainly a mix of pieces out there for you!
"Lighting can still have a major impact on a space, whether the event is being held indoors or outside,” tells Fabrice Orlando of Cocoon Events Management Group. “By bringing in thousands of candles, we’re able to create a magical atmosphere that lights up the night. We’ve found that, with outdoor events especially, people tend to gravitate towards fire displays and enjoy taking pictures with them. Colored uplighting is always a popular choice for luxury weddings, but we've also made use of professional movie lights to make couples and their guests feel like they're the stars of the show."
Of course, there are some lighting pieces that work no matter where the event is held. “Candles are a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor weddings, but it's important to always check with the venue for any open flame restrictions as some indoor venues may require LED candles instead,” urges Isaac.
Although candles and uplighting can steal the show whether indoors or outdoors, there are some popular trends seen in each type of wedding. “With indoor weddings, our most popular pieces are chandeliers, as they offer the biggest bang for your buck, but GOBO washes and spotlights are both a close second. You can easily transform a room with these three fixtures,” shares Dennis. “We see a lot of market lights and uplights being used at outdoor events. The uplights are a great way to highlight the landscaping, while the market lights give off enough light for visibility while still being decorative.”
Whether your special day is indoors or outdoors, your lighting design will play a large role in the overall atmosphere so be sure to take some time to plan it out in advance!
Amanda Zack is a proud millennial and wedding PR specialist with OFD Consulting, based in Richmond, VA. She also serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University. Inspired by the power of words, she is an avid storyteller with a love for animals, weddings, and anything else that elicits a smile.
Connect with her on Instagram at @amandazack.