Thanks to Ryan Kelley from Beyond for answering this week’s reader question:
I know lighting is an important part of a reception but I have no idea where to begin. Can you tell me what questions to ask a potential lighting company?
The first step in planning lighting for your wedding is to choose and secure your venue. You’d be surprised by how many clients come in to discuss lighting when they don’t even have their venue picked! Once that is done, start gathering pictures that illustrate the ambiance you’d like to have at your wedding. Perhaps it’s that of an intimate candlelight dinner, a romantic night under the stars, or a bright party scenario. Take your ideas with you when meeting with lighting companies. Find out if they’ve worked in your venue, and request images of their work in that location.
You will also need to inquire about the types of lighting they will be using. LEDs are very common but are sometimes unable to portray certain colors (even if they say they can). To achieve these shades it is necessary to manipulate the saturation and hue and few companies in Dallas have LEDs that can do that. Remember too, that a light on a white wall in a showroom, might not look the same as a light on a brown wall in a ballroom.
Next, ask them to be specific with the number of lights they are bringing in. If they list a “room wash” ask how many lights that will include and make sure they put that amount in the proposal. One company’s room wash may only include 10 lights, while another’s might be 20 lights. You want to get the most for your money, and little details like that can sometimes cut you short.
Lastly, question them about power (electrical) management. This may seem silly but if the power is not properly managed and allocated then you could end up with darkness, or silence (from the band or DJ), in the middle of the event when a circuit trips. Some lighting companies will manage this for you so be sure to find out if that’s an option.