Lighting will be the second most important decision you make about your wedding reception, next to the entertainment. And, even with the right entertainment, a dull room with no accent lighting can create the wrong mood or atmosphere. If you really want to set your wedding reception apart from everyone else's, the right lighting is essential.
There are basically 4 different types of lighting that you need to consider when planning your wedding reception. Each of these types of lighting has a particular purpose and if utilized correctly can add elegance to your reception. There is just no reason to have a wedding reception in a boring, cookie cutter room.
Spotlighting can help you to accent a particular area or even a portion of the evening to emphasize it's importance. Spotlighting the wedding cake has become extremely popular. Utilize a spot light or multiple spot lights to highlight your first dance. Careful not to overuse this and lessens it's effect.
Uplighting is when you place a spot or wash light on the floor at the base of the wall and shine it up the wall to the ceiling. Uplighting can add elegance to any room and can change a plain white room into your wedding colors. Uplighting can also be integrated into the dance portion of your wedding reception if controlled via DMX by your DJ or lighting designer.
When a spot light just is not enough and you want to flood an area area of your room with light, you will want to use wash lighting. This can especially be used on the dance floor utilizing par can or linear style wash lights. Consider though that some guests may be shy about their dancing skills before flooding your dance floor with bright light.
Dance Floor / Effect Lighting can turn the dance portion of your reception into a party that your guests will never forget. Mult-colored, multi-beamed effect lights are extremely popular for this. They add lots of color and movement to your dance floor without flooding it with light, which can sometimes discourage your more guests from dancing.
All four of these types of lighting used together or in any combination, can turn you wedding reception from boring and predictable to elegant and exciting. While the band or DJ you choose for your wedding reception is very important, most people are visual. The will remember the spectular lighting long after they forget what songs were played. Think of it as the icing on the cake.
Most professional DJ's now offer lighting services along with the music services. If the DJ you choose does not offer these services, you can always hire a professional lighting company. They will probably be more expensive though, so it's usually better to find a good DJ that offers lighting as well.