I cannot stress enough to no skimp on your lighting budget. One of my biggest concerns was the lighting at our venue. Will I have enough candles on the tables? Are the battery packs going to hold out for 5 hours in the lanterns? You just cannot have enough lights and you don’t want to be sitting in the dark on your last dance.
Our reception site, even though we had florescent lights that dimmed, still didn’t give me the “romatinic mood” I was looking for. I felt like I was still at the office but with dimmed lights. So I found some hanging lanterns, made some floor lights, added more candles to the tables and hung a disco ball over the dance floor.
These gorgeous lanterns I stumbled upon at about 2:30 am when I was still looking for a bargain…and I found them at Countryside Closeouts. These come with the standard lantern bulb that socket plug in. I didn’t have the option to run cords all over the reception room so I used hanging battery lights. See battery lights below. I hung three in each lantern all at different lengths to create the illusion of a chandelier look. To hang at different lengths, buy additional rings. My guests raved about them all night. See the “Floor Lighting” below for how I used the bulbs that came with these for another lighting project.
Hanging Battery Lights
These hanging battery lights last 5 – 7 hours. I bought 30 plus of these and tested them myself before the reception. They lasted a good 5 hours before they started to dim. I haven’t found another site that offers these and when bought in bulk these are pretty reasonable.
Table lighting is just as important. Remember you want the room to be warm, but bright enough so that your guests and photographer can still take pictures. Here I used one pillar candle in the middle, 3 flared shot glass favor containers, filled with aqua gem stones and clear tealight candles.
If you have a seaside theme, like we did, you can use candy pearls on your tables to enhance the look of your theme. You can be find candy pearls at a cake decorating store.
Even if your not very creative you can make these. Using small paint cans from Home Depot, I was able to make my own floor lighting. In the paint section they have small paint cans, with lids. I got 10 of these. My husband punched holes, the size of quarters in the sides, just big enough to get the bulb socket (from the light cords that came with the above lanterns), through them and then we screwed the bulbs in. To maximize the lighting on the walls, I angled the cans on the floor using shells – you can use anything. This gave the room a warm feeling and didn’t break my budget.