Friends, today we are talking lights. I know it isn’t a super sexy topic, but I assure you, if done correctly, lighting can and will completely change the entire look of your wedding…for the better. Most wedding receptions are a night and this means you’ll need lights of some sort. (Side note: Not needing lights is a budget saver for daytime weddings!) Also, many weddings in the Washington DC metro area are in hotel ballrooms or historic mansions. And, what do hotel ballrooms and old venues have in common? Bad lighting.

The right lighting can transform a space and make your guests feel as if they are in a magical place. Flowers, wedding cakes, bridal dress details and table decor are wasted in a room with poor lights. If you are spending money on decor, these extra touches will need lights to truly be their best. The same is true for photography. Lighting helps photographers capture your wedding in the best way possible.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these two photographs that Michael Connor took of a rehearsal dinner at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Here is the space with the “house” lights, or the lights that are already in the room:


Here is the after shot of the same room and decor with the professional lighting from Frost Lighting:


Photo Credits:  Connor Studios

The professional lights make such a dramatic difference, allowing those gorgeous flowers to glow while making the room feel intimate and inviting. You can see more of this rehearsal dinner followed by a beautiful wedding at Union Station and all of its gorgeous lighting on Michael’s blog.

To help you in your quest for the best lighting possible for your wedding, fret not, we have Aimee Dominick, owner of A Dominick Events, a wedding planner and designer here in the DC area. Aimee and her team planned the wedding in the above pictures and she is offering some tips for lighting. Take it away, Aimee…


I have a major problem with lighting. That is to say I am obsessed with it. Truly, nothing else transforms a space like good lighting. It is a hard concept to explain to clients who aren’t familiar with the idea. There have been quite a few dads who have received a lighting bid from one of our lighting vendors and called me to say “…but the tent/hotel/venue has lights.”  It is my job to explain the difference between quantity and quality.

Here are a few important points to keep in mind when selecting lighting for your wedding:

  • Your event should look romantic and candle-lit, but not dark.
  • Your flowers should glow, but the chairs should be dim.
  • Your dance floor should be lit in a tone that makes you look beautiful in the photos of your first dance.
  • A little up-lighting will go a long way to bring in your accent colors.
  • Insist that all equipment is set up to dim, and be sure to pay for a lighting tech to stay on site so you can dim the lights as the evening goes on.

My list goes on, but those are the basics. There is a major different between décor lighting and theatrical lighting. Your lighting company should know the difference. While it may feel at times like to you are producing a Broadway event as you plan your wedding, the last thing you want is your guest’s distracted by strong colors and bright lights. The trick is to make them think the room looks magical and natural, kind of the way you want them to think you look on your wedding day.


Thank you so much Aimee! We really appreciate your tips and expertise on lighting. If you are looking for a wedding planner in the DC metro area, but sure to check out A Dominick Events. We know you’ll have fabulous lights and a whole lot more, of course!

BTW, if you aren’t convinced yet and you still don’t believe us about the importance of lighting, read this post on wedding reception lighting from Love Life Images.

For more tips and advice from DC area wedding pros, or wedding ideas and inspiration have a look around!

** A Dominick Events is one of our fabulous sponsors, but didn’t pay for this feature. We showcase local talent because we love it. For more info, read our blog editorial policies.

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