If you're looking to lend a warm, romantic glow to your ceremony or reception, string lights just can't be beat.

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single long table under hanging greenery and string lights

Looking to add a little something extra to your wedding design? String lights, also known as café lights, are a gorgeous way to amp up the style at your wedding ceremony or reception. Not only do they look beautiful, but they're practical, too—string lights, especially when layered, can generally illuminate an entire space on their own. Add in flickering candles and a few well-placed pin spots and there's no question about your ceremony or reception being well-lit. But why do wedding planners love string lights so much? Emily McMahon of Soiree Wedding Planning and Jessica Rourke explain here, and the experts also share their favorite ways to use them at weddings.

According to McMahon, string lights are a wedding-must have—they can be used to create a glowing canopy that really frames the space and creates an atmosphere guests will be excited to be in. "By adding a glow and warmth above the guests, the ceiling is now a statement that the guests will remember fondly," she says. What's more, they go with just about any wedding style, something that can't necessarily be said for uplighting. "String lights are also neutral in their design, so they can accompany campfires at an outdoor rustic event or chandeliers in a fancy ballroom."

Simply put, there's a reason you see string lights at so many weddings you attend: They look beautiful just about anywhere. Rourke says that string lights are classic, but using unexpected bulb shapes or layering them in creative ways can help your design feel different. And if you just love the traditional look of a café light? Go for it! "String lighting can transform a simple space into something that feels really special and festive," she says. "I tend to think that string lighting is a visual I'll never grow tired of for wedding-day lighting!"

McMahon adds that she loves string lights for their ability to completely change a room or venue and the fact that they can also mask areas of a property that you may not want guests to see during the reception. During a wedding where there was an incredibly high ceiling, McMahon used string lights as a way to "bring down" the roof of the barn. "This created a more intimate feel at their wedding in this barn," she explains.

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