Category Archives: Wedding

Draping for Weddings & Events

Draping for weddings and events is an extremely useful tool to structure and customize your event to exactly the way you want it. Use it to create a unique backdrop for your dessert table or divide a room in half to separate the ceremony and reception. Use it to be a great backdrop for a concert or to make a grand entrance through a doorway. Let The Lighting & Sound Co. come up with a great design for your event.

 

Draping in Motion

At this wedding at the John Marshall Hotel, we used draping to direct the room to the ceremony, then removed it before the reception to open up the room again. Resizing the room and using uplighting helped make the ceremony feel intimate and shifted focus to the bride as she walked through the drape doorway. Finally, after we removed the drape, we redesigned the room for the reception and highlighted the floral centerpieces with pinspots. Because of the easy set up and take down, draping is an effective way to build a temporary, yet elegant barrier in the event space.

Versatility in Draping

 

Independence Golf Club Wedding Drape

Independence Golf Club Wedding Drape

Try combining draping with bistro lighting or uplighting to add a dramatic and unique feeling to your event. Remember that drape can be hung anywhere, so it can look great anywhere. Want to see it on the roof of a tent with string lighting or uplit along the walls? Head over to our gallery to see examples and ideas.

 

Wedding string lighting drape

Drape complimented by a string lighting curtain.

 

A drape & bistro look in a clear tent for a wedding at Tuckahoe Plantation.

Work with the designers at The Lighting & Sound Co. to come up with a special look that fits your event.

 

 

 

Uplighting Indian Wedding

Uplighting for Weddings & Events

Uplighting, out of all of the lighting services The Lighting & Sound Co. provides to its customers, is the most popular option.  It’s also one of the quickest and most affordable ways to add the “wow factor” to your event. A perimeter of uplights can change an event space from dull & drab to magically beautiful. There are thousands of choices to make for your event, but uplighting is a great place to start. 

Wedding and event uplighting science museum richmond virginia

There are thousands of choices to make for your event, but uplighting is a great place to start.

Uplighting is Decor Item

Like most lighting services, it is usually set-and-forget to one color. There are also options available to have the lighting change throughout your event. Perhaps you want one color for dinner, and a different color for dancing. Going with a few colors? The lights can be set to automatically change colors throughout the night, requiring no extra day-of staffing.

 

wedding and event uplighting at the commonwealth club richmond va

Uplighting can be virtually any color.

The Sky is the Limit with Uplighting

With 6-color LEDs, virtually any color is possible. You can pick from a range of sample colors and see the impact different colors have on your event space using our one-of-a-kind color picker. You can also use the color picker to see the impact of Pin-Spotting, another important lighting service. 

This is one of the more versatile lighting services. It fits into any space, and suits every type of event from corporate events to large and extravagant weddings. No power available? No problem. Wireless battery-powered LEDs are an option that fit into most event budgets. 

 

Wedding and event uplighting ward center pertersburg virginia

String lighting is a great compliment.

Uplighting and Other Lighting Services

Great as a standalone decor item, uplighting is even better when combined with other services such as bistro lighting and other string lighting.

Take complete control over the ambiance of your event space. While other decor items help make your event space look amazing, only lighting can make your event both look and feel magical.

 

The Hotel John Marshall

Want to see more? Check out our uplighting gallery!

Chauvet Festoon Pink close up

Wedding String Lighting

Wedding String lighting & bistro lighting have taken over the special event industry- learn about the different types of string lighting available so you can make the best decision for your event. When it comes to string lighting, little decisions can make a big difference. Let’s start with the basics.

 

String Lighting Color

Picking the right cable color for your event string lighting is the first decision you need to make. Traditionally, bistro & string lighting comes in black & white colors, with specialty colors such as gray available in some areas. There really isn’t a bad choice here most of the time. Some people want the cables to blend into the background, some people like them to stand out- the decision is yours. Black bistro is great against the backdrop of the night sky.

 

Garner Pavilion SMOV Wedding Bistro Lighting

Black Edison Bistro strung in a zig-zag pattern for a wedding at the Garner Pavilion in Richmond.

 

String Lighting Varieties 

Like everything else about your wedding lighting, Lighting & Sound Co. offers a large variety of options to ensure that your event turns out perfectly. Scroll through some of the options below and find the style that fits your event.

 

Black & White Edison Bistro

 

Black Edison bistro is by far the most popular type of string lighting used for events. The classic look and soft incandescent light at a magical ambiance that is impossible to capture using other methods. Edison bistro is popular mainly because it not only lights the space well, its affordable and looks fantastic in pictures.  This type of wedding string lighting is best for traditional looks, such as zig zags & parallel styles. For more on bistro styles, check out our article on Bistro Lighting Styles For Weddings, Corporate Events & More!

 

Black Edison Bistro at the Valentine musuem

 

Black & White Globe Bistro

Globe bistro is the diet version of string lighting. Smaller bulbs than Edison bistro provide slightly less light, but make the strings lightweight and versatile. Globe bistro lighting is great for accents, & tracing bistro lighting styles.

The globe bulb can also be replaced with a candelabra style bulb, for a slightly different look:

 

A white globe bistro accent for a drape canopy at Independence Golf Club

White Globe Bistro as an accent to a drape canopy at Independence Golf Club

 

Tracing bistro wedding Lighting

Globe bistro on a tent for a wedding at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

 

RGB LED Edison Bistro

LED bistro is a low-power solution for bistro, with an added bonus: It can change colors! These string lights looks just like Edison bistro. In addition to providing a lovely incandescent look, they can also change to brilliant colors to fit your theme. Great as accents where there is already enough light and you want to add a wow factor.

 

RGB LED Festoon Lights

Festoons are the most versatile string light available. Festoons have a slightly different look than Edison & Globe bistro, and they can be used for pretty much anything. These lights are fully controllable, with each individual bulb being able to be changed to a specific color. RGB mixing means pretty much any color is possible, making Festoons an extremely versatile string light.

 

RGB LED Festoon bistro string lights pink

Festoons in pink for The Love Story at Short Pump Town Center.

 

Black & White Mini String Lights

 

Traditional Mini Lights, more popularly referred to as Christmas lights, can be used for a ton of different purposes. These lights not only come in strings, but in nets and drapes too, giving you even more options for your event. Great for making drape canopies sparkle, for waterfall effects, and for wrapping around columns or just draping in vertical sections.

String light drape canopy as a backdrop for the wedding party table.

Wedding String Lighting Trees

Wrapping the bases of tree with mini lights is another fantastic effect to add some detail to your wedding.

 

These are just some of the most popular options for string lighting, reach out to an LSC Designer to learn more about string lighting for your wedding.

 

Event & Wedding Lighting at the John Marshall Ballrooms

Lighting the John Marshall Ballrooms

The beautiful historic ballrooms at the Hotel John Marshall are a Richmond, Virginia institution. They make for a very lovely venue for wedding ceremonies & receptions, corporate parties, and other special occasions. With two stunning ballrooms, a pre-function lobby space, bridal suites, and a hip-looking lounge, there’s plenty of room to fit most events. The Hotel John Marshall provides plenty of space for any event and the authentic look of the historic building brings a next-level amount of class not found elsewhere in Richmond.

As a selection for a venue, you can’t get much better than the John Marshall. However, as is the case with almost all venues, the ambiance can be improved dramatically simply by adding a few lighting features. Check out the details of the most popular services below.

Uplighting

An especially popular technique to use in this space is uplighting. Using LED lighting, you are able to set the mood using the colors of your choosing. In addition, uplighting has the power to make a large room feel intimate. Beyond that, choosing your uplighting colors can be fun! Try out our powerful Color Picker tool and explore the many different possibilities uplighting can provide.

Custom Gobo

Custom gobos are also relevant in the world of wedding lighting. They are a fantastic way to make your event personalized and memorable. Frequently, a monogram gobo is projected on to the curtain on stage. This location is desirable as the gobo is centered and presented in a way the entire room can see it. Gobos can also be aimed on the dance floor or even in the lobby so guests may see it as they enter.

Pin Spotting

If you are planning on spending a great deal of money on beautiful centerpieces, you don’t want to have them washed out by keeping the work lights on full in the ballroom, and you definitely don’t want them to be overlooked if the lights are a little dimmer. With pin spots, you are able to keep the lights at romantic level while having your magnificent centerpieces pop out of the background and create an eye catching effect. Consequently, pin spotting will allow your guests to admire the centerpieces all night and have them stand out in photos for years to come.

Bistro Lighting

Bistro lighting has the potential to have the biggest “wow” factor. When done correctly (and safely), bistro lighting creates an unparalleled experience. Working with the large ceilings and beautiful chandeliers, bistro lighting hanging from the balconies in the John Marshall produces a very intimate feel. Many popular Pinterest posts also feature bistro lighting.

Draping

The large space provided by the Virginia and Marshall ballrooms can sometimes feel massive. Custom drape features be can added to the space to reduce the expanse or transform the space. Furthermore, drape for weddings are completely customizable and many colors are available. Drape can have bunches and gathers, door arches, complement existing pieces, or create pieces of their own.

You can visit the website for The Historic John Marshall Ballrooms here. See the pictures from this post and many more in our galleries here.

6 LIES Your Wedding Vendors May Be Telling You

More than once a day we’ll hear a bride or groom mention something about one of our local wedding vendors that makes us scratch our heads. Since some of the things we’ve heard have been rather outrageous, we decided to compile a list of things you need to watch out for.

 

1.  Wedding Vendors who say specialization in events is vital.

Some wedding vendors may try to convince you that their services are superior because they only serve wedding clients. While you don’t want your caterer to be bringing in the lights, it isn’t unusual for production companies to serve different types of events. For the most part, the design concepts you’d see applied to lighting large corporate dinners are similar to ones used for weddings, just on a different scale.  Many production companies have different departments that handle various event styles. This allows them to deal with different client types on their own levels, while still having access to the same professional-grade equipment, resources and event partners.

Wedding Vendors Lighting

Design concepts are typically similar from one event type to another.

 

2. Vendors who claim offering a smaller number of services is better

Some companies will tell you that because they only offer a select number of services, their services are of higher quality than their competitors. This is like saying Google can only be good at email, search engines, navigation apps, OR self-driving cars; it just isn’t true.  Having a single production company with extensive resources to cover your lighting, AV, and drape needs makes life a lot simpler. Working with one vendor for all your related needs means one point of contact, one contract, and one vision. It also typically means lower cost to you through reduced delivery and labor charges.

 

3. Anytime someone tells you that you’re on a short clock to sign the contract

Many smaller companies can only handle one or two events at a time. Because of this, there is a possibility that they will book up during wedding season. Don’t let this pressure you into signing the contract to lock in your date.  You only have one chance to get it right, so make sure you take your time and select a vendor who puts your satisfaction first. Select a vendor that won’t rush you into signing a contract.

 

4. Lighting providers that claim Wireless LEDs are preferable for uplighting

Taken from 7 Things You Need To Know About Wedding Lighting

Some wedding vendors mislead brides and grooms into thinking wireless solutions are the only way to go. Be wary of companies that claim to only use battery powered LEDs and use phrases such as “no messy wires.” Any professional production company should be able to offer both solutions. Wireless LEDs are often required for areas that are impossible to get power to.  However, wired LEDs are far more powerful and brighter. Experienced lighting companies know how to hide all wires out of sight anyway, so make sure you go wireless for the right reasons!

Wired LED Wedding Vendors

Wired LEDs are far more powerful than their wireless counterparts.

 

5. Wedding Vendors that claim you always need an on-site technician

Some wedding services like catering or a band need on-site staff to provide the service. The same is true for some, but not all, wedding lighting services. However, if you have only ordered uplighting, this is considered a decor item. There is no need to have a technician watch over your wedding. Consider a production company that will provide a on-site tech at your request, but not force one on you by saying it is “included.”

 

6. Vendors that say an early setup costs more

If your event starts earlier, there may not be time to set up everything the same day. Hotels usually set all of the tables and place settings the evening before; lighting and decor can be done at the same time. This way, you can arrive and not worry about a set up crew rushing to finish. Some companies try to use an advance setup as a way to extract more money from a client.  Choose a company that will set up at a time that is convenient for you and does not impede other vendors or guests. Production companies should typically only charge for use day in these circumstances. 

 

White Poly-Premier drape with Sheer Champagne Gathers for a wedding at the Hotel John Marshall. Uplights add an amber glow to the look.

John Marshall Ballroom Wedding Time-lapse

John Marshall Ballroom Wedding Lighting & Drape

Memorial day weekend is always busy, and this year was no exception as we had a number of lighting and drape events. So we created this time lapse for one of our Sunday weddings with CCS Events to show you some of the craziness. Our crew creates a drape backdrop to cut the room in half for the ceremony, and CCS staff preps tables for the reception.  Sheer champagne gathers and amber uplights complete the look.  We also place amber uplights around the ballroom and hang pin spots and wash lighting for the ceiling in the balcony above. The wash lighting adds a warm amber glow and washes over the room.

Once the ceremony is over, there is a short window during cocktail hour for the event staff to reset the room. CCS staff relocates tables and chiavari chairs and LSC techs clear out the drape. The room changeover is completed with plenty of time to spare.

Are you booking a wedding or event at the Hotel John Marshall?  Check out our services to learn more about what we can do to help make your event perfect. We have an extensive portfolio of events at the John Marshall Ballrooms, and other venues all over the state.
Venue:  John Marshall ballrooms
Date: March 28, 2017
Planner: CCS Events

Speaking Lighting

At The Lighting & Sound Co, we have provided event lighting and sound reinforcement for many years. Our start came from the concert and stage production world, which involves plenty of jargon and unique terms. Clients in that world typically have an idea of what their needs are and usually specify (often with a rider) exactly what equipment their production requires.

Weddings and special events, however, bring clients who have a vision but might be unfamiliar with the terms that describe what they want to see and hear.  It’s our job to explain the services we can provide that will accentuate and exemplify a vision that is given to us. We “speak lighting” and translate for our clients.

From Vision to Reality

Our design and sales team consults with clients every day who tell us where they are having an event, how many people are attending, and might share a picture that they saw and would like to replicate. We take this information and translate it into a complete event design, making it easy for our clients to have a perfect event. If the venue is a spot we haven’t worked at,  we’ll do a site survey to get measurements of a space, evaluate the feasibility of different lighting products, plan electrical usage and loading access, and find any limitations of the event site. Many times it is useful to meet the client on site to demo some lighting products or get a feel for what colors will look good in an event space. Of course, we also provide our clients with a virtual color picker, to choose colors in advance of an event.

There are thousands of different styles of lighting fixtures and ways to add light or leave an area dark, as may be required. We might “wash” a wall or ceiling with a single color, or, accent just the columns of a room with sleek, narrow uplighting. We can shoot a client’s logo as a”gobo” on a wall of drape or put narrow spots on the centerpieces of tables. If a large projector screen is needed right on the edge of a seating area, we’ll be sure to use a rear-projection screen so the image isn’t blocked by people walking in front of it.

Once we have an idea of a client’s vision, and have taken a look at the venue, we’ll offer lighting, sound, AV, and decor options that align with the theme of the event, look sleek and classy without having unsightly components, and, most importantly, provide for a safe event. A portfolio of lighting options is available to examine a selection of choices. The client selects the style they prefer and we set it up at the event. In the background, our technical teams are taking the equipment specified by the sales team and determining the safest and most efficient way to set it up. Very occasionally we’ll find that we need to add a component to safely do a job or provide the best experience for the client. If we lose money doing the job right but the client is happy, we are also happy.

How can we make your event perfect?

We specialize in delivering perfection, even with difficult or unusual requests. If you were told that a certain service couldn’t be done, give us a call. We imagine new ways to provide solutions that used to require significant expense or unsafe methods. Clients and venues often say to us, “Nobody ever did that here before!”

It pays to know people. If there’s a task we can’t handle, chances are we know someone who can. Our network of event partners spans numerous industries, hundreds of people, and multiple states.

Let us handle the complex or technical aspects of your event, so you can concentrate on other details. Tell us what you want to happen, and we’ll transform your vision into reality. Our promise is “Event Perfection” and we won’t stop until we achieve it.

Bistro Lighting

Bistro Lighting Styles for Weddings, Corporate Events & More

Bistro lighting is one of the most popular wedding lighting options, and The Lighting & Sound Co provides every style of bistro lighting you may need!

Also known as string lighting, festoon lighting, or cafe lighting, what we refer to as bistro lighting, is an individual strand with bare lightbulbs dangling down at even intervals.  Bistro lights provide a classic, timeless look with a warm glow. The lights are often hung over a reception area, but can also go over a dance floor, patio, or entrance area. Typically, our technicians will install multiple strings of bistro at an event site, arranged in a particular pattern.

One of the best features of bistro lighting is that it can be used nearly anywhere. We commonly install bistro light strings in tents, but have hung them in barns, over open fields and courtyards, in hotel ballrooms, on top of swimming pools, and around food courts and skating rinks. It also neatly complements other types of lighting including uplighting and chandeliers.

Styles of Bistro Lighting

Following are several styles of  lighting installations. This is by no means an exhaustive list but includes our most commonly-provided services:

Tracing Bistro

Typically installed in a frame tent or other space with exposed rafters, this style follows the roof supports. This style uses simple bistro which, while not as bright as classic bistro, offers a great look when used for tracing, and is great for shorter tents.

 

Tracing bistro wedding Lighting

Tracing bistro lighting on a tent for a wedding at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

Fanning (or festooning) Bistro

Often used outside, all of the strands of lights fan out from one point, on a building or other support structure.

Festooning bistro lights wedding

Festooning Bistro Lighting for an Event at Tredegar Ironworks in Richmond, VA.

Traditional (or Zig-zag) Bistro

Our most common service which provides a classic glow in any space, be it a ballroom, tent, or open field. If there is no place to hang the bistro from, we will bring appropriate support structures that don’t distract from your event.

Gathered Bistro

Commonly used to gather all the strands together over a key spot like a dance floor.

Gathered bistro cafe lights outdoor

Gatherered Bistro Lighting for an outdoor event. 

Parallel Bistro

Effective where there are balconies, buildings, or roof structures that create a long rectangular area.

Bistro lighting paper lanterns dance floor

Parallel bistro lighting with paper lanterns over a dance floor. 

Crossing Bistro

An excellent style for tents, because some tents are shorter than others. A stylish way of hanging bistro lighting, great for frame tents and long but thin indoor or outdoor areas.

Crossing bistro lights chandeliers

Crossing Bistro Lighting with chandeliers at a networking event for Richmond Weddings.

 

Bistro Arch

Also good for shorter tents, but works in any tent; bistro strings follow the angles of the roof to leave plenty of headroom for guest.

 

Bistro event lighting

Bistro Arch inside a tent for an event at Tredegar Ironworks.

 

 

Richmond Weddings Expo Fashion Show Lighting

Richmond Wedding Expo Fashion Show

Richmond Weddings just released this amazing video from the Richmond Weddings Expo Fashion Show we provided production for back in July. If you’re getting married in Richmond, you need to be familiar with these folks.

You can check out some photos of the show below!

All photos by Third Eye Studios:

beautiful high definition wedding chandelier gobo

Our beautiful high definition wedding chandelier gobo!

fashion show uplighting gobos

Uplighting gives the stage a great look.

Fashion show uplighting gobo chandelier weddings singer lit chairs fashion show blue uplighting dancing wedding

 

Custom Monogram wedding gobo

Stephanie & Justin’s Wedding

Got a call from Stephanie on Tuesday for a last minute wedding the coming Sunday. Stephanie needed uplighting for her wedding reception at The Hotel John Marshall here in Richmond. Summer is a busy season for weddings, and while we already had other jobs going on that day, we were easily able to accommodate another event. The next day, Stephanie told us she was also interested in a custom wedding gobo with her and Justin’s names on it. Fortunately, we are no stranger to rush jobs and manufacturing a last minute gobo before the date of her wedding was no trouble. We went through the design process with Stephanie, and had the custom gobo just in time!

Stephanie wanted a warm color for the uplighting on the beautiful walls of the ballroom, we suggested our champagne look, always an amazing look in there!

Wedding Uplighting hotel John Marshall