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The days of cookie-cutter ambient lighting (remember the lone spotlight on the emcee?) for wedding receptions are long gone. Today’s couples know what they want, and they know that lighting can make or break the atmosphere. In fact, couples have moved way past ambience; now, it’s all about aesthetics. Whether your style is understated and romantic or big, bright, and dynamic, there’s an area vendor who can design a lighting scheme to match your vision. Here’s what’s trending: 

 

​Uplighting

By far the most popular lighting technique for weddings, uplighting can turn the most basic room into a dreamscape. Lighting fixtures are placed on the floor and can be adjusted to provide a “wash” of color or focused beams. Remote-controlled wireless uplighting is the latest incarnation, says James Anthony, president of Pure Platinum Party Entertainment in Tarrytown. “Brides are uplighting the vases of their flower centerpieces,” he says, “which adds an amazing soft glow to the centerpieces and to the entire room.”

 

Pin Spotting

Thin, focused beams of usually white light are used to accentuate small objects or areas, such as flower centerpieces or the wedding cake. Pin spots are generally used with other lighting effects; a wider light beam is used for bars and food or dessert stations.

 

GOBO (“Goes Before Optics”)

Also known as pattern projection or stencil lighting, Gobo can add dimension to a room, and designs can be projected onto any surface, including walls, tables, and the dance floor. Though Gobo has been around for a while, what’s new is that couples are getting more creative with their monograms by adding hashtags, using different-colored lighting, and adding custom designs.

 

Café String Lighting

Also known as bistro lighting, café string lighting is very big, particularly in industrial spaces. The latest trend in string lighting is the use of dangling vertical light strands. “Many brides are going vertical, using low-hanging string lights, including candles,” says Katie Pinto, PR coordinator at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester. Café lighting is also great for outdoor nighttime weddings, whether tented or not.

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