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There are so many variables to think about when you get married, and that is why many people hire other people to do the thinking for them, the same applies for lighting. I’m going to focus a little bit on installed lighting because in many cases venues offer lighting and sometimes force you to go with their lighting in the ceiling. The reason being is that they spent a lot of money to put that lighting there, and they have a contract with a dj or production company.

Lighting Technician: Is there a lighting technician there all night to control the lights?”  The reason to bring this question up is that some companies just flip a switch and use preprogrammed programs, the problem with this is when the mood changes in the music, the lights are going bananas. Or you want to ask if the dedicated lighting technician is just in your room. These venues that have multiple rooms, cut cost by having one technician for the whole venue. So if the mood changes, or you need spots at the door, you have to wait for this technician to come from another room and finish before you can carry on with your night. Imagine waiting for a technician to get your speeches started. If they say there is no lighting technician and just leave the controller for the dj, are you going to now pay your dj more money to control lights all night? There is a reason for a lighting technician job, its because its work, and you don’t want your dj fiddling around with a light controller when the dj should be worrying about your guests music selection.

Pin Spot not hitting whole centre piece

Pin Spots:  While it looks really nice in photos and when they show them to you, a good question would be “will the pin spot cover your whole centre piece? In some venues, the lights are actual small pin spots, which in many cases will not cover the whole centre piece you choose. I’ve seen bouquets where it only covers one side. You want to make sure the whole thing is covered or it will look silly. Will the light be shining in one of my guests face the whole night? If you look at the placement of some of these lights, they are not directly above the tables, or the table configuration must be moved according to the floor plan. If the light shining is at an angle, the light will shine in the face of

one or more of the guests faces. Imagine how uncomfortable that is for your guest. How would you like to eat a bowl of pasta while feeling like your being interrogated by the F.B.I. Will the pin spots be on all night? The pin spots are generally really bright, and brighten the room. It is ok for dinner but not a good atmosphere for dancing. Do the pin spots change colours or are they one colour? Something to think about before you spend a lot of money on these lights.

Moving lights: These are the lights that move in the ceiling or dj’s bring them on a stand. They are called moving heads. There are different types, small and large. Typically installed in a hall or venue, they are the larger ones. The question here you must be asking yourself, are these going to be flashing in your guests faces all night. The quickness and rotation can cause problems for people with epilepsy, and generally the older people do not like these lights. Some halls have cheap ones, but some spent the time and the money to put good quality and here’s the thing with this type of lighting, what it comes down to is programming. Was there time taken with programming these lights. Some places I’ve seen have them on auto music, so they just flip and flash around to the music, which is really bad looking. You also want to ask yourself what kind of look do you want for your wedding.

Uplighting: This type of lighting has changed drastically over the years. We went from old school real amber bulbs, to white bluish hue led lights, to now having led lights that mimic all colours. Now we have cordless and wireless ones. In the past connecting a room with uplighting was a big task, imagine setting up 30 lights in a room and connecting power and dmx cords so a computer can control the lights. Well now a days they have cordless and wireless systems. The led bulbs have gotten better, so you must ask if you can get an amber out of these lights. You want that type of colour because a white blueish huge doesn’t look great at a wedding. The problem is, the newest lighting with this feature is expensive to buy. There is a big difference in price for a company to invest in this type of light. I do tend to like this feature with lighting because you can control the lights, you remove some wires, and you can change the room to any colour, and not hit guests in the face.

Smoke and Haze. We used to use chemical smoke, and put vanilla in the liquid to give it a good smell when the smoke would blast from the machine. The smoke detectors have gotten so good it is difficult to do that these days, but now we have water based haze. Haze just magically appears to go up and gives the lighting a good beam and cool effect. The only problem with any smoke is that some people don’t like that. So the dj must use discretion when using any type of effect. Some don’t and leave it on all night, and guest feel like they are in a fire. Also please don’t get haze and smoke confused with Dry Ice and Low laying fog, that is different.

Some places I’ve been to ,turn the place into a night club. While it was cool for all the young people, the old people went into the hallway and then just went home. Not a great experience for those people that just left. You should really be asking a lot of questions regarding the lighting because it can set the mood and look of the room for the night. I’ve seen lighting destroy and make a wedding. The question is, what kind of lighting do you want and how much do you want to spend for it? Many halls and venues are forcing you to use their lighting, video screens, and you end up paying thousands in the end because you didn’t read your contract. Find out how much these companies are going to charge you before you book with a hall.


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