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10 Incredible Wedding Lighting Ideas

  |   By Kimberly Aglipay

Photography by Shari + Mike.

When it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for your wedding, as well as having it look incredibly dreamy and photo-worthy, the right decor is key. While flowers play a huge role in ensuring your wedding looks sensational, lighting is just as important to carry your celebration into the night.

There are lighting elements you have less control over (such as your venue's in-house lighting system) but also lots of ways to make the space feel cozy and inviting at dusk and beyond. Here are our favourite examples from real weddings—some will make your venue look vaguely angelic, and others reflect a fiery passion that couldn't be more appropriate for the occasion.


Edison bulb pendant lights

Photography by Christene de Coening.

Single lights hanging from ceilings or floral installations can make your tablescape that much more exciting and unique. This reception leaned into the Edison aesthetic and didn't employ hundreds of bulbs to achieve a radiant look.

We love that these individual lights can be hung at various heights to add dimension and interest to your decor. If you want drama, all you have to do is look up.


String light curtains

Photography by Scott Williams

Whether you go for a dense curtain or a sparse but stunning option like the one pictured, strings of lights make for the best ceremony backdrops. Talk about moody and mesmerizing—we're very keen on the edginess of this tableau, and it's all down to lighting.

As seen in this real wedding.



Photography by Benjamin Wheeler

Chandeliers add a generous splash of glamour to any celebration and hold their own as a primary light source during the reception and when it's time to dance. These crystal chandeliers are dazzling and work in layers with candelabras and pillar candles to ensure the meal is lit in every sense of the word.

As seen in this real wedding.


Tea lights in glass orbs

Photography by Rebecca Wood

We're not in Hogwarts, where objects float in mid-air during dinner, but that doesn't mean your wedding can't be magical. Upon first glance, the candles here appear to be levitating for you, your sugarboo, and your guests.

We especially love that the lit-up orbs are hanging among greenery-laden floral installations for a secret garden vibe.

As seen in this real wedding.


Hanging candles

Photography by Art Haus Foto

You can up your candle game with a jaw-dropping installation that hangs from the ceiling. Here, the combined effect of the hovering greenery and flickering tapered candles will leave your guests in awe. Love it!

As seen in this real wedding.


Custom hanging light fixtures

Photography by Mango Studios

To tie in with your theme and if your budget allows, consider installing statement-making light fixtures for an elevated look. This one is as contemporary as can be—it adds a new dimension to the tablescape and ensures your photographs will turn out oh so special.

As seen in this story.


Aisle candles

Photography by Natalie Andrusiak

This classic decor idea never goes out of style. Candlelit aisles often cost less than multiple arrangements of short-lived flowers too. For maximum effect, opt to hold your ceremony while the sun sets, like this couple did, and ensure you use votive candles of different heights for a more intriguing result.

As seen in this real wedding.


Backdrop candles

Photography by Shari + Mike

With the help of tree stumps, candles placed at varying heights—in combination with string lights—create a fantastic effect for a ceremony backdrop. Our favourite part of this other-worldly image is how the candlelight shines through the bride's gossamer-like veil.

The dark background suggests the couple has reached the light at the end of the tunnel.

As seen in this real wedding.


Fairy lights strung along tent roof

Photography by Brandon Scott

It's often difficult to see blankets of stars in urban night skies, but if you can't gaze up at what your ancestors might have during their light-pollution-free twilit nuptials, you can get the next best thing with spectacular fairy lights.

Strings strung along a transparent tent roof will give your event a hypnotic aura and add warmth and romance. This wedding featured fireworks to round off the dazzling experience.

As seen in this real wedding.


String lights and paper lanterns

Photography by Sandra Lee

We love the effect of string lights strategically draped against a wall, accented by gold and white Chinese paper lanterns. This adds whimsy to your ceremony backdrop and imbues the moment with special meaning.

When two people choose to share their lives, they promise to be a source of comfort and illumination for each other through good times and bad.

As seen in this real wedding.

This article was originally published on Jan 18, 2021

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