Dazzling Ways to Use Twinkle Lights Throughout Your Wedding
Lighting plays an essential part in the ambiance of your wedding (not to mention your photos), and working with a professional lighting team is one of the best ways to ensure you achieve your desired look. While we're all for full-scale lighting design, we also know that adding just a few strands of twinkle lights (otherwise known as string or fairy lights), can pack quite a punch, too. They're easy to wrap around things or cluster together, and because of their petite nature, are quite versatile overall. Smaller than the ping pong ball-sized bistro lights, twinkle lights are what are often used in holiday decorating, and there's probably a chance you've bought a few strands over the years. Used en masse or installed in unique ways, they're anything but ordinary.
Take this destination wedding, where Italian Eye took the old building behind the long reception table and breathed new life into it by tapping GB Audio to decorate it with countless strands of fairy lights. Done on a smaller scale, it would also be a beautiful way to frame your sunset ceremony or sweetheart table.
Hung overhead, twinkle lights create a canopy that mimics a star-filled night sky or turns an open-air reception into a room-like space. And while they're often seen wrapped around the needles of a Christmas tree, they still make quite a statement when enrobing other types of nature—like hedges, tree trunks, or an archway of branches, all of which you can check out in the slides that follow.
With the introduction of battery-operated strands and tinier bulbs, you can even incorporate twinkle lights into your décor, not just over and around it. Take the lanterns on the next slide that would be magical at a ceremony, along a pathway, or flanking the stage for the band. Click through to see all the ways you can use these tiny bulbs to light up your celebration.
Looking for a way to anchor your outdoor dance floor? Look no further. S4 Lights used dozens of warm white string lights to pull off this stunning display. We love how the strands were gathered at a central point.
One Impressive Tent
With help from LightenUp Inc., Brooke Keegan Events transformed a typical clear-top tent into a reception environment that's anything but basic. It's as if the stars were pulled down to be just feet away from the party. This planetarium-style treatment (which would also work on a ceiling in most venues) adds ambiance that flowers only wish they could achieve.
Above and Beside
A Tunnel of Light
From Dusk to Darkness
The beauty of string lights is that they transform an outdoor area as the sun sets. Take this dusk scene as an example. The dangling twinkle light installation, which was designed by Wedding Planners, truly became visible after sunset and played off the glowing candlelight on the tables.
A Canopy Over Dinner
The beauty of string lights is that they aren't too heavy and can be strung nearly anywhere. Take this lovely al fresco dinner, where Italian Eye and GB Audio used a few poles with bases to install twinkling strands. What that means is they can go over any part of your ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception.
With the Band
At this reception, the band's stage was quite simple but the backdrop was impressive. A wall of greenery (you can rent boxwood panels for a similar effect) was covered with twinkling lights to frame the musicians and play up the natural barn setting.
A Glowing Ceremony
The crawling columns of greenery adorned with twinkle lights are a mainstay at 501 Union in Brooklyn, but Jove Meyer and Lindsay Rae Design added draped fabric to create a focal point for the ceremony. If your venue already has some greenery in place, think about adding some lights to really make them pop. As for draping, it's always a romantic addition.
How romantic is this setup? The twinkling lights behind the couple cast a beautiful glow at the reception, but it would work for a photo booth, too.
A Simple Grouping
If you like the idea of understated ceremony décor but still want a unique backdrop for your vows, look no further than this setup of twinkle lights. Puddled at the bottom on a platform, your guests won't be able to take their eyes off of you as you glow from behind—and within.
Raising the Roof
Maybe you're lucky enough to get married somewhere that weather isn't a concern and a tent isn't necessary. If so, think about making a "roof" of just twinkling lights. It will give your reception area a sense of space without feeling closed in.
An Illuminated Archway
An archway of trees leading up to a ceremony is already romantic enough. But wrapping them with twinkle lights creates a little something extra, particularly on the branches that curve overhead, like at this wedding that took place at Hartley Botanica.
A Mix of Lighting
At this reception, several methods of lighting merged to create a stunning sccene: a patterned wash on the dance floor, loads of candlelight on the tables, and a trio of twinkle lights overhead. The orbs, swags, and dangling installations all played well together. So, when designing your own lighting plan, don't limit yourself.
White Lilac Inc. combined sheer draping, dimensional stars, and cascading twinkle lights along the top of this open-air tent.
A Collection of Lanterns
Impact Lighting worked with Katie Siegel Fine Events and Kathleen Deery Design on this dazzling arrangement. Lanterns held both pillar candles and tiny fairy lights, turning an otherwise ordinary corner into something spectacular, but you could use a similar setup along pathways or at your cocktail hour.
Orbs of Light
Surrounded By Light
This sprawling reception table was set aglow thanks to plenty of candles, but the olive trees that flanked it added even more drama to the space. By day, they looked like ordinary trees, but as the sun set, the scene lit up. Should your wedding plans call for an entirely outdoor celebration, consider surprising guests with a transition similar to this one.
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