By Shalese Kocher

Oftentimes, lighting for your wedding is a lower budget priority. As Jake Anderson, owner of the Lighting Professors, pointed out, however, “The thing about lighting is you’re always experiencing it, so you take it for granted and don’t think about it as a design element. Without good lighting though, all the florals and details that you spent time and money on will be lost in the dark.”

So let’s set some realistic standards for what you may want to set aside for lighting in your budget. There are a few options when it comes to lighting:

Lighting for Indoor Space: Indoor spaces are often brought to the next level with up lighting and focal lighting (you will likely need focal lighting to illuminate the middle of the room). This can cost between $1,800-3,000 if you’re working with a professional lighting company. With most reputable companies, this will include on site technicians, set up, dimmers, project management, breakdown, and transport.

wedding lighting

Outdoor Space/Tents: When you think of outdoor lighting, you probably think of gorgeous chandeliers or bistro lighting. This is more labor intensive for illumination experts, so lighting for outdoor spaces can cost between $2,000-4,000.

A lighting professional should always schedule a site visit with you so they can understand the space and your ideas. Jake says, “I have the two V’s: venue & vision. Venue gives you what you CAN do. You have to understand the requirements and parameters of what can be done. Vision tells you how the client wants their wedding to look. It’s how we get on the same page.”

Tip from Jake: “Hanging bistro lighting is a lot harder than it looks. The first time I hung bistro lighting in a tent, it took seven hours. The tension, the right height . . . it’s way more involved than you think, and you have to know what you’re doing. I wouldn’t recommend it as a DIY project!”

When it comes to doing something customized and snazzy, the sky is the limit! You’ll want to have a lighting expert visit your site and really talk about the vision you have and what you can do to enhance certain spaces and details. Draping, GOBOs (these light features can be more than your monogram; it can be textures, effects, etc.) and even chandeliers that appear to be floating are all options to get your imagination going!

Remember, it’s important to not get TOO set on a price until your lighting expert is able to get a grasp of exactly what you want/need. There are many factors when it comes to getting you a quote for great lighting, but the affect it will have on your wedding atmosphere is invaluable!