Outdoor Wedding Event Lighting – Mistakes to Avoid

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Outdoor Wedding

With the cost of weddings these days, it’s hardly surprising if you find yourself playing a bit fast and loose with your budget. However, it is surprising that people who are already spending a lot of money on their wedding day make many mistakes when hiring outdoor wedding lighting services.

If you want to create a beautiful atmosphere for your wedding reception, consider white fairy lights. They can set just the right mood for your special day as well as transform an ordinary space into something magical.

But why then do so many couples get it wrong?

The Most Common Outdoor Wedding Lighting Mistakes That Happen

Each of these mistakes is easily avoidable – if only someone had told you that you were doing them wrong before it was too late.

Inadequate lighting after dark to showcase cake, card, and guest book tables

Since the focus of your reception will be on dancing and partying, most of your guests will probably be tired by the time they leave. This means that they won’t have much energy to admire all the decorations you’ve put up just for them.

And what about those precious photos? If you only have your fairy lights on during your first dance, you are missing out. They will only be in the pictures when it is dark. It would be best to have them on during all of the pictures.

How to Avoid This Mistake: You can avoid this wedding lighting mistake by putting your fairy lights on a dimmer switch. This will allow you to control the light level later in the evening, during dancing and party time. This way, guests will still get to appreciate them even after they’ve started flagging.

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Not being clear and precise when it comes to the lighting service providers

If you are not specific about what type of lighting service you want, there is a good chance that the service provider will not give you what you want. This is why many couples feel like something is missing after their wedding.

You might have thought you had enough fairy lights but then found that some of the paths through the garden were too dark or that the lights around the edge of the dance floor were hardly bright enough to let you see what your shoes looked like.

How to Avoid This Mistake: To avoid this wedding lighting mistake, make sure to write down what you want your lighting service provider to do for you before they start working. This will help make sure that there is no room for error. If you’re not specific about words like ‘bouncy,’ ‘twinkly,’ and ‘bright,’ then they’ll only be guessing at your tastes.

Not having a clear understanding of lighting hire and installation expenses

It is not always cheaper to buy fairy lights than to hire them. This is especially true if you consider the cost of installation.

If you choose to have lights for your wedding, make sure the lighting service you hire can provide everything you need without charging you extra. If they don’t include the cost of wiring and hanging in the price, then you might end up paying a lot more than you expected.

How to Avoid This Mistake: You can avoid this mistake by working out how many hours your chosen lights will be on. This will ensure that there is no chance they will be on when they shouldn’t be. Also, check whether any charges are included in the initial quote for installing these hours or if they’ll incur added expenses.

Not remembering that poorly placed lighting might be harmful

It’s not just bad decor – it’s also a potential safety hazard for your guests and wedding service providers. If you’re hiring lights for an outdoor wedding, ensure that they are staked to the ground securely. Lights that aren’t secured can be blown over in strong winds or caught in passing cars or people.

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How to Avoid This Mistake: If you want to avoid making this mistake with your wedding lighting, get rid of anything that doesn’t look safe if weather conditions change on your wedding day. This means that you should avoid buying cheap paper lanterns in areas with even a light breeze.

Getting trapped in a lighting cliche

People often have different opinions about what is beautiful at weddings. Some people like having all the lights in the garden shining in the water of the pool or pond, but other people don’t like this idea. This is far too clichéd for most modern brides and grooms, so don’t do it unless that’s what floats your boat (literally).

How to Avoid This Mistake: By doing plenty of research before your wedding, you can avoid making the mistake of using the wrong type of lighting. It’s not enough to know how many lumens each style emits. You also need to be familiar with any other common complaints about them.

Not matching your lighting design to the overall aesthetic and style of your wedding

If you have fairy lights or Chinese lanterns on hand, avoid using them in an otherwise poorly illuminated garden solely because they are there. Instead, employ them for a striking effect that complements the rest of your wedding décor.

For example, if you’re going for a modern wedding theme, use vertical metal bar lighting rather than shabby-chic festoon lighting along the edges of your dance floor.

How to Avoid This Mistake: You can avoid making this mistake with wedding lighting by getting into the habit of asking yourself, “if my partner didn’t know it was there, would he or she question whether it was meant to be part of the design?” before making any decisions.

Not present during setup to confirm and sign off lighting

It would be best to ensure that everything works properly before your guests arrive. This includes checking the lights, the sound, and everything else. You don’t want any surprises during the wedding. Make sure everything is working well before the guests come.

How to Avoid This Mistake: You can avoid this wedding lighting mistake by rehearsing ahead and checking that everything is set up correctly. You can also arrive early on the wedding day to check that everything is in order.

Instead of relying on the professionals, trying to duplicate Pinterest exactly

Outdoor wedding lights can be tricky. You don’t want them to look like something from a fairy tale or Pinterest board. You want them to look perfect for you and your partner, so don’t let anyone talk you into anything that doesn’t suit your vision. This is your wedding day, after all, not someone else’s!

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How to Avoid This Mistake: You can avoid this wedding lighting mistake by hiring professionals who will work with you to get the best possible results. This will likely cost more than hiring the cheapest professionals, but the results will be worth it.

Top local light designers are also likely to have ideas about what would work best in the space available at your venue.

You don’t have enough lighting to create the ‘WOW’ impact you desire

You might have seen quotes saying something about a bit of light goes a long way, but they are not true when it comes to outdoor wedding lights. If you have string lighting in place for an area that is only one-sixth of the recommended size, your guests will not be impressed by your décor.

How to Avoid This Mistake: You can avoid making this mistake with wedding lighting by choosing a supplier who will send you samples of the garden and venue before you make any decisions about what style and number of lights you need, as well as how many power points/sockets you’ll require around your property.

Not checking venue agreement limitations

Before you sign off on any garden lighting, make sure you’ve checked the conditions of your venue’s contract. Some venues may prefer it if all the lights are turned off every day. So please don’t leave them on overnight or wrap strings of lights around trees where they’ll be impossible to remove without damaging the tree roots.

How to Avoid This Mistake: You can avoid this mistake by contacting the management of the venue and their event staff before making any decisions about wedding lights.


We hope this article has helped with some common mistakes that would otherwise be ruinous to create an outdoor space that is both romantic and dreamy with the brightest of stars twinkling overhead and moonlight bouncing off crystal clear water. Or something like that anyway!

About Norman Anthony Balberan

I am a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy graduate turned full-time web developer and designer. Although my professional background is in pharmacy and tech, I have a passion for writing and am excited to share my insights and thoughts through my blog. I write about various topics that I am knowledgeable and passionate about, and I hope to engage and connect with my readers through my writing.

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