Once you’ve inked a contract to rent a venue for your event, your next thought is probably choosing the vendors that will provide services at your event. Sometimes the venue has requirements, such as, they must handle the catering.
Many times, the venue will also offer to provide your audio-visual and lighting services. Unlike the catering staff, who are likely employees of the venue, the AV provider is most commonly a contractor of the venue who they recommend to their clients. (Sometimes this is not the case, and the venue does have employees who handle AV needs)
Pros and Cons of using in-house AV
Is it a problem that your venue provides AV services for your event? Not necessarily, but consider all the aspects. Here are the details:
Hotels and even some wedding venues say that it is more convenient for you to use their in-house AV team. After all, they work at the venue regularly and they (might) keep their equipment there. In case of last-minute changes to your event, the house can just grab more gear from their closet. You have one contract for the space, food/beverage, and audio-visual. Maybe there is a required penalty you have to pay if you don’t use their AV provider.
Many times, the in-house AV provider has a commission agreement with the venue. This means they pay a percentage of your AV contract total back to the venue. If you don’t mind spending extra money then this is not a concern. But if you want to reduce your AV budget, a local lighting company can usually provide better service at a better price.
These venues might neglect to tell you that the in-house AV vendor is almost certainly paying a large commission back to the venue, charged directly to you. The venue will likely forget to mention that the “on-site equipment” has indeed been onsite for 25 years and is outdated and unreliable. And there will be no mention that the “dedicated technician” for support during your event will have to service all of the rooms at the venue. Just when you need help connecting your laptop at the start of your presentation, the technician might be fixing the sound in another room, and will come over to you when available.
Quality AV Services are Key
The lighting and AV play a key role in having a perfect event or wedding. If nobody can hear the bridal party speeches because the sound was bad, all your guests will remember. Imagine if the projector breaks and nobody can see the presentation. Your audience’s key takeaway will be that your event was poorly planned. You can see that the selection of an AV company dedicated to ensuring your event runs smoothly is critical.
At The Lighting & Sound Co, we believe that service before and during your event is the most important aspect of our relationship with you. We work with you to determine a lighting and AV scope that fits your specific needs. We don’t provide cookie-cutter equipment that is barely related to your event vision. Our skilled technicians are dedicated only to your event when onsite. If you call your account manager for help, the response will be “someone is coming to fix that issue.”
The decor, style and ambiance of a wedding encompasses who the bride and groom are as a couple. By ensuring that the room is styled in an inviting way, it allows the space to set the tone, make the air magical, and let the guests feel an emotional connection with the couple.
There are many aspects when it comes to planning a wedding. One of the first tasks the bride and groom will face is deciding on a theme. Once they have established a theme, the choices and options that are available when it comes to decor can be a little bit intimidating. Decorations for a wedding are made up of a number of elements, with each component bringing its own essence to the atmosphere.
Cake topper: Check!
Tables and chairs: Check!
Don’t underestimate the influence of what lighting can do for your wedding! Wedding lighting can help enhance the ambiance of the room and create the desired mood by spotlighting decor and brightening a dark space. It can also enhance the quality and complexion of your photos. Without proper lighting, your guests won’t be able to see the hard work you have put into the decor. Sometimes the lighting itself can be decor. From simple pendants to extravagant chandeliers, you can create that magical tone simultaneously through both light and style.
If you’re looking for a focal decor item, The Lighting & Sound Company’s light-up marquee letters that spell out “LOVE” is the perfect piece. This versatile decoration can be used in a variety of ways that accommodate for all types of wedding themes. It can also be used to light up a space that establishes the desired ambiance and romantic detail that only weddings can accomplish. Marquee LOVE letters are the perfect piece to add to your wedding lighting and will fit into any theme.
Here are a couple of wedding themes that LOVE marquee lights could be incorporated into:
Pair the “LOVE” marquee lights with fairy string lights, soft ribbons, wood elements and floral touches. Use the decoration as a photo booth backdrop or arrange it around a table where guests can recieve their table assignments or sign a guestbook.
In order to achieve a modern twist on “LOVE” marquee letters, keep the look clean and simple. Prop them up against a large wall and treat them as the focal point for your dance floor. Or you can add them to create interest in a dead space or blank area that needs more detail.
Add whimsical vintage elements to your “LOVE” marquee lights such as wooden crates, detailed candle stick holders and vases, or chalkboard signs featuring swirly cursive lettering. (Add some bistro lighting to provide a warm, homely glow to your space!)
A glamorous theme can be achieved with “LOVE” marquee lights by adding some sparkle and uplighting. Draping a glitzy fabric behind the letters can create an enchanting texture. Have your lighting designer place uplighting surrounding or behind the marquee lights to add a dramatic tone that give your guests a dazzling atmosphere.
There are countless more wedding styles and themes that can successfully incorporate our “LOVE” marquee lights. You will be sure to make a statement with such a unique piece, which you can acquire along with a beautiful lighting design through The Lighting & Sound Company. Take your wedding lighting to the next level, click here to learn more.
Remember, nothing says “love” like giant letters spelling out LOVE…in lights.
Creating classic wedding lighting designs in a new space
The Estate at River Run
Everyone in Richmond’s robust event industry is talking about the estate at River Run. In case you missed the news in Richmond business and wedding magazines, the Massey Manor in Maidens Virginia has been purchased. By this Winter, it will be in use as a wedding and event venue. Doug & Tamra Adams (Adams International School, Virginia Barn Wedding), along with one of Richmond’s most prominent planners and designers, Kim Moody Design, are the new owners. Kim will take on the role of In-House planning and design work at the New River run estate venue.
River Run will be a high-end, corporate and wedding event venue that can serve up to 299 guests. The venue plans to be somewhat selective about their vendors. However, there is no official list as of this post. Kim Moody explains “While we would love to have vendors from all over Richmond work in [The Estate at River Run], we plan on hiring from a small list.” This will keep the property in better shape, and also create a more cohesive week-to-week game plan between vendors that are used to collaborating with each other in the beautiful space.
Our wedding lighting designers were called on to provide lighting for the inaugural event at River Run Estate. The event, a networking event for our good friends at Richmond wedding magazine, a monthly occurrence. The excitement of the new venue brought out all of Richmond’s best wedding vendors. Everyone was excited to inspect the new venue and create ideas for our Richmond brides.
Our first design at River Run used our extensive collection of powerful outdoor RGB LEDs to highlight and accent the property. The view from the back patio of the manor is perfectly framed, the sun setting perfectly over the James could not be a more picturesque moment, as the deep reds and warm pinks of the sunset blend seamlessly with our our fiery uplighting. Our wireless capabilities means that even outside, we can change the lighting to completely affect the mood. Uplighting is just the tip of the iceberg. With a space like this, anything is possible. We expect to see a lot of Uplighting, bistro lighting, pendants, chandeliers, drape and of course texture gobos to go up in this space.
How to Find the Best Wedding Lighting Company for You.
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. It’s no secret that wedding lights are extremely important when you are planning for the best moments of your life. Proper lighting can easily affect the mood and make the entire event much more enjoyable. To suit that, you want to make sure you hire the best wedding lighting company possible for your date. But what makes a lighting company great?
There are many things that come immediately to mind when you think about what you want from a company. We put together a list of some of the most important facets of a lighting company, so that you can be sure you choose the best wedding lighting company available.
Doing your homework: Check the Testimonials
It isn’t uncommon for couples to meet with each of their vendors once, or even not at all. In the digital age, you can usually find out everything that you need about your vendors online. The easiest way to find out what you need to know about a wedding lighting company is to check their google reviews.
While not all couples will leave a review for their vendor, couples that have bad experiences almost always do. Sub 4 star reviews are warning signs that you should at the very least read. You will also want to check for the number of reviews, a low number means a less experienced company. Aim for above 50 good reviews to get a vendor you know you can trust.
Finally, check reviews for their legitimacy. Ensure the accounts reviewing have other similar reviews that make sense for their profile. Many small companies will only receive reviews from friends and employees, double-check for this. The best wedding lighting company will have the best reviews, reading them will give you insight into what kind of experience you can expect from the company. Which brings us to our next point…
If you’re vendor is not responsive at first, it’s only going to get worse once you make your deposit. The quickness with which a company responds is often directly correlated to the level of service you’ll get from that wedding vendor. Vendors that respond quickly take their first interaction with their clients as seriously as their final product.
When a vendor replies to you quickly it tells you two things.
That vendor takes your time seriously
That vendor has the organization and staff available to have an employee available to respond to you.
The best wedding lighting company may be a tough competition, but every serious wedding vendor should be responding to you within 24 hours.
Getting the Highest Quality
If you’re a bit later in the planning process, you’re used to hearing a few buzzwords so much you probably want to forget they exist.
Some combination of these
Who wants to hear a company talk about how good they are? They should be able to easily prove it! The best wedding lighting company will have a huge portfolio of high quality images. Get as many pictures of you can of a companies work, try to find the pictures that they aren’t catering to you. Getting a picture or two of your specific venue is nice, but the best wedding lighting company can work anywhere. Ask for general pictures of work, outside of just the ones for your venue. You may end up getting inspired along the way.
Need the best wedding party rentals? Check out our friends at Party Perfect!
Using Vendor Referrals to get the Best Wedding Lighting Company
We use referrals every day to decide what to buy, but how do you trust someone with money in the game? The short answer: It’s going to be difficult. More often than not, vendors will refer you to other vendors that they have a lot of experience working with. Most of the time, this is because vendors like recommending people they know will be professional and easy to work with on their side. However, sometimes those same vendors are in on the take!
Beware of preferred vendor lists. Definitely check out the vendors on them and do your own homework, but venue recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt. Often, venues charge to let vendors onto their lists, or take in commission on the referral. Taking a referral from a company getting paid to give it is never a good policy!
Picking the Best Wedding Lighting Company for Your Wedding’s Style
Many wedding companies are lifestyle companies and micro businesses. Hiring companies like this is a great way to get a unique style and feel to your wedding, but often can be quite limiting. While you might be in love with a style when you book it, your feelings might change. For a small company, a change like this can be catastrophic. The smaller the scale of a lighting company, the harder it is for it to stomach any kind of last minute problems, change, or charges.
Picking a well-managed full-size production company is the best way to ensure your lighting vendor can perform to your exact standards.
Transforming Your Event Space with Lighting & Decor
Completely transforming spaces is a major part of what lighting & decor companies do. As lighting & decor specialists, we are often asked to transform event spaces in varying degrees. There are many tools that we use to make a space go from drab to dream. Lighting and drape are among the most popular resources we use to transform event venues, but there are so many more options. To clear up some common confusion, we asked our design experts to answer some common questions.
How can I use my backyard for my wedding?
Pretty easily, actually. While tents are always a good back-up plan for weather, a tent isn’t needed for your backyard wedding. Waterproof uplighting can light up your backyard and turn it into a magical event space. Portable lamp posts can be a quick and easy option to provide area lighting. Classic edison bistro lighting is a fantastic option for covering large spaces, and it can be hung several different ways. Ground supports can suspend bistro lighting over your backyard. Learn more about those services by checking out our catalog.
Suggested Lighting & Decor Services for Backyard Weddings
The Bottom Line:If you have the space, having a wedding in your backyard is both very common and totally possible with portable lighting services.
Can I use lighting and drape to transform a basketball court for my wedding?
Working in gyms is very similar to working in a conference center or hotel. Unfinished ceilings mean plenty of rigging points, making it easy to hang lighting such as pin spots, texture gobos, or wash lights above your event. The walls of a gym can be totally, or partially draped to cover up ugly paint and textures. Dropping in chandeliers just above your guests will provide both a beautiful decor effect and a practical lighting one.
Suggested Lighting & Decor Services for Church Gyms
The Bottom Line: With the proper lighting design and drape look, any room can be transformed into a beautiful event space.
My event is in the middle of nowhere, can I still have lighting?
Along with a huge collection of battery-powered uplights, we also can bring in any sized generator to pretty much any location. Skilled technicians will run power for lighting, your DJ, and event your caterer, while keeping hazardous cables out of pathways and neatly out of site. Battery-powered pin-spots are almost standard now, so there is no location where lighting is out of the question.
Suggested Lighting & Decor Services for Remote Events
Battery Pin Spotting
LED Bistro Lighting
The Bottom Line: Portable generators and battery lighting make remote events a piece of cake.
A guide for event planners, coordinators, and brides.
It almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many folks don’t lead with the location of their event. Production companies need to know the location of the venue for multiple reasons. The primary reason is knowing the layout of the venue. This helps with costing services and knowing what will work in the space. Any kind of custom design needs exact dimensions, so being able to get a look at the venue is often crucial to the success of the design team.
Why your lighting company knowing the exact date is important
Lighting companies also need to know when your event is. It isn’t unusual for a lighting company to book events several months, or even a year in advance. While most lighting companies can service multiple events in a day, every company has its capacity. An exact date is the only way to determine for sure that equipment and labor resources will be available for your event. Try to make sure that this information is included in your initial request for services.
Why you need to get your lighting company an up-to-date schedule.
Lighting equipment can sometimes take longer than anything else to set up. Lighting companies have a pretty good idea of how long a service will take based on past experience. They use this information to get the most out of their equipment and crew during a somewhat lopsided work week. Corporate events and meetings often happen during the week. However, a large majority of events take place on the weekends. Lighting companies service all types of events year-round, but most event companies see a huge boost in activity during the fall season. This leaves them with a large amount of events, all happening at once. Because of this, event companies keep schedules that can be very tight. It is important to update all of your vendors with any schedule changes, to prevent any issues.
3. Event Type/Theme
After providing lighting services for thousands of events, we’ve learned a couple things. We like to handle different types of events differently, and with the care they deserve. Because of this, we’ve developed several departments that specialize in different event areas. It’s useful to know early on what type of event we’re dealing with so that we can get it in the hands of the right event expert. Chances are, we’ve dealt with a very similar event, and can call upon that knowledge when designing your event.
4. Total Attendance
Knowing total attendance is important for a few reasons. For a simple wedding in a hotel ballroom, your production company probably doesn’t need to know this information. But for larger events, especially where there’s sound involved, be sure to mention this number. More people not only create more background noise that the system needs to project over, they also obstruct the sound by physically being there. Knowing how many people will be there helps audio technicians bring the correct equipment. This ensures that your event audio will be heard loud and clear.
6. Power Requirements/Availability
Your lighting company needs to know more than just the power available at the venue; they also need to know what other vendors expect to use it. Caterers often require a large amount of power for heaters, and appliances such as coffee makers or food warmers. Many large-scale coffee makers require an entire circuit to themselves. In fact, everyone from the DJ to the photo booth could require power. Insufficient electrical availability could mean an important aspect of your event might go dark or without power.
7. Onsite AV or Lighting Technician
For some events, lighting is basically just a decor item. The lighting team will unload, set up the lighting, and take off. For events with simple uplighting, drape, or string lighting, this is the way to go. Although a technician is not always needed, some event coordinators prefer to have one standing by for the very rare chance that something goes wrong. However, if anything has to change during the event, you will need onsite staff. This includes everything from tying up drape pieces into gathers, to changing the color of the uplighting. The cost of this will depend on the length of time that the tech is needed, but work calls usually have four-hour minimums.
8. Service Needs
The more you can let your lighting company know about your needs, the better. You can save a lot of time by preparing a list of the exact services you need, and the details of each service. Ultimately, many people don’t have this information in the early stages of even planning. If this is the case, save time by making this clear to all of your vendors, so you can avoid them fishing for the information.
9 . Load In Procedure
More often than not, your lighting company will already be familiar with the venue. But for unusual event spaces or private residences, it’s important that an information sheet with any relevant rules and procedures is generated not only for your lighting company, but for all of your other vendors as well. Ideally, your lighting company won’t be loading in at the same time as other vendors.
Parking is something that many people take for granted. Venues in urban areas can often have parking that is quite limited. Some event setups can take anywhere from four to eight hours, so it’s important to think about where your vendors are going to park during this time. Most lighting companies drive extended vans or box trucks, so keep in mind that there may need to be more room than usual for them to park.
11. Venue Rules
As an event planner, you are often the center of communication between other vendors. The venue is no exception. While many venues are proactive and reach out to all vendors to provide information, every experience varies. It’s important to pass any essential information down the line to your vendors. Often, the venues expect this, and rely on planners and coordinators to pass information along to vendors.
If you want to learn more about lighting, The Lighting & Sound Co. offers tons of resources for people of all knowledge levels. Reach out by phone or email to speak to a pro.
Step up your game with these underrated event lighting design techniques
Do you want your event to stand out among the rest? Of course you do. Event planners are always searching for new ways to spice up their event designs, but these five classics are timeless techniques that you might have underestimated.
A paper lantern is a lantern made of thin, brightly colored or white paper. Paper lanterns come in various shapes and sizes, and in their simplest form, they are simply a paper bag with a candle placed inside, although more complicated lanterns consist of a collapsible bamboo or metal frame of hoops covered with tough paper.
Inexpensive and beautiful, paper lanterns can be added as a complement to bistro lighting, or hung individually without and string lighting accompaniment.
Pin spotting is crucial to a successful lighting design. While it is pretty much standard, it’s important to remember why it became such a popular line item. Without pin spotting, many of the details of an event can be lost.
While they aren’t essential for daytime or brightly-lit events, pin spots should always be considered. Even if it seems like there will be enough ambient light to see, a boost from some well-placed pin spots can help decor stand out . A centerpiece washed with the same amount of light as the rest of the event space isn’t going to “pop”. Like any lighting design, it’s important that the lighting for your event is dynamic, and not just a dull wash.
Dynamic lighting leads to a dynamic event design. A subtle, single-color wash is a nice look. But, adding some pin spots, especially in a low light setting, can help keep the look of your event exciting. Ideally, you’ll want an evenly washed room that includes lighting accents to add dynamics and prevent eye fatigue.
While there are six controllable qualities of light, often in the event industry we focus focus on only four. Color, intensity, direction, and distribution are all given a lot of love. Meanwhile, the other two qualities – texture and movement – take a back seat.
Movement is an incredibly powerful tool to excite and amaze your guests. We cover the importance of movement in another article, so right now we’re focusing on the importance of texture. Texture gobos are an underutilized & affordable way of projecting texture onto any surface.
One of the best things about using gobos is that they are fairly simple for production companies to get manufactured. Along with the thousands of available designs, you can work with your production company to design your very own texture to perfectly suit your event.
There are many different materials and manufacturing processes used to create gobos. However, the two types of gobos that are most commonly used in the modern event industry steel-cut and glass. Plastic gobos are now possible with LED technology, although they are not as widely-used. With steel-cut gobos, single-color simple textures and designs are possible at an affordable price. Even custom gobos are within range for most event budgets. Glass gobos are more expensiveness than their steel counterparts, but well worth it for the range of amazing visuals they can provide for events. Glass gobos can be multiple colors, and often feature high definition images such as nebulas, photo-realistic clouds, beautiful nature scenes, star fields, and more.
Texture gobos can be used both to enhance an already beautiful space, or cover up an otherwise dull or ugly surface. Often, event designers will use texture gobos projected onto the floor from above to create amazing surface looks. That barely even dives beneath the surface of what can be done with textures.
In today’s age of LEDs, uplighting is among the most popular special event service. For your next event, keep in mind how gobos can be used to completely customize your venue, and turn a space into a magical, once-in-a-lifetime scene.
Getting to the good stuff. Special effects is a pretty broad category, so we’ll try to keep this brief. Low fog, haze, confetti, streamers, pyro, cryo, fireworks all belong on the list. These are event elements that you’ll need your venues permission for, but it’ll always be worth it
When the dust has settled and the event is over, these are the types of elements that people will remember. A confetti shot at the end of the night can leave a lasting impression. Low fog is great for reveals, entrances, and more. And a little bit of haze can go a long way.
Haze is often used at concerts to create a 3D space for lighting. Many people confuse haze with theatrical fog, but there are many differences. Both a fog and haze machine will create particulates in the air, but hazers produce a finer particulate. Haze is odorless and because it is water-based, it is not an irritant. Having particles in the air allows for an effect called “air light,” where beams from lighting instruments are visible in the air. Haze, if tastefully done, can be used for more than just concerts.
While some venues do not allow haze, it is water-based and completely harmless. Many professional haze machines are designed to not set off most types of fire alarms.
Custom Design Elements & Fabrication
One thing that event planners often don’t realize is the versatility of their local production companies. Like most event vendors, event production companies work with thousands of different clients from a wide variety of industries. Unlike many other industry companies, production companies provide completely different sets of services to different types of clients
A corporate client might have a fancy gala with uplighting and pin spotting, not unlike a wedding or special event. Or, they might need a video live stream displayed on a video wall the size of a house, and syndicated to live stream outlets such as Twich, Livestream, or Facebook live. Because of this, production companies provide services you might not expect. These might include custom set fabrication, content generation, or graphic design services related to your event.
In Charlottesville, wedding lighting is more popular than it ever has been before. Adding lighting & drape to your event has become increasingly more affordable, production companies have never been more accessible to the general public. Charlottesville is filled with wonderful venues to have your wedding in. We put together some tips for you to look at as you plan your Charlottesville wedding lighting design.
Many Charlottesville brides are feeling string lights
Macaroni and cheese. Wine and cheese. Weddings and string lights.
String lighting has become the go-to for covering event spaces all over the country. Using string lighting is one of the more effective ways to cover large spaces with lighting. There’s also a big upside! String lighting is functional, it lights the space so people can see. In addition to functionality, the decor possibilities with string lighting are endless. You can’t top that charm that comes from a sunset wedding covered in string lights. The reds from the sun, the trees nodding to a lighting breeze, and classic bistro gently swinging in the wind above you event. The classic incandescent glow of Edison bulbs strung across the landscape definitely has an impact. Many Charlottesville wedding lighting designs are utilizing twinkle lights and bistro lights (also referred to as market lights, cafe lights, or Edison lights.)
All drape is not created equal, but it’s all equally AMAZING.
Drape is the workhorse of the decor department. When you’re designing your wedding, think of drape as a great way to do a great many things. It can serve as a backdrop, as a canopy, and even a sun shade. Drape can also be used to cover the ugly, or accent the beautiful. It can be translucent or opaque, and it comes in colors all over the spectrum. Typically brides will go with a white, ivory, or champagne to accent their Charlottesville event. Drape is a good look for both indoor and outdoor weddings, so don’t be afraid to use your imagination.
Chandeliers can add elegant beauty to your Charlottesville wedding lighting design.
Chandeliers continue to be one of the more popular lighting accents for a Charlottesville Wedding. Charlottesville wedding lighting designs have always been Chandelier heavy. Gorgeous Charlottesville venues and event spaces, and the beautiful countryside lend themselves to a chandelier accent. Chandeliers let you customize your event with a classic centerpiece. In addition, Chandeliers can be turned into amazing centerpieces by creating groups. Most high end lighting companies will offer a wide range of chandeliers for your to choose from, often featuing 4 main themes: Industrial, Rustic, Modern, and Classic (or Traditional.) A chandelier’s style can set the tone for the whole event, make sure you pick the right one for your event!
Uplighting. The good, the bad, and the cheap Chinese knockoffs.
Uplighting. If you’ve been researching wedding lighting at all, you’ve probably seen this term everywhere. You’re also probably familiar with what it is. For those that aren’t wise to it, follow the link under this paragraph to learn more. Uplighting is a great choice for your Charlottesville wedding, but be wary of budget services in this area. The differences between a cheap uplight that a DJ might be able to afford, and a powerful LED Par that a lighting company can field, are 3-fold.
1. Cheap uplights are not always bright enough to punch through and make a big impact on an event. If you’re looking for a small accent, this could be your solution. If you want the lighting to have impact, be wary of using a DJ for lighting.
2. Cheap uplights can have color variances. Many cheap Chinese lighting manufactures use different LED chipsets in their lights, causing color to vary from light to light. This gives your event an uneven and sometimes can cause an event to look cheap.
3. Cheap optics vary drastically. Optics are the lenses that are used to focus the light coming off of the diode, and make an even field of light. Cheap lights utilize cheap plastic optics that throws the light unevenly. Unmixed colors are often visible near the bottom of the wall, but high enough for your guest to see.
Lighting is the same as anything else. The cheap stuff works on a budget, but you’re going to notice the difference in quality.
Cutting the cord: is wireless the right solution for your rural Charlottesville event?
With wireless technology, access to lighting for areas with no power is no problem. Gone are the days when you had to bring out a generator or run hundreds of feet of power cable for a rural event. These days, having lighting, or even audio on the in a remote area is no problem. A well-equipped lighting company has the quiet-run generators needed for an event located where there may not be easy access to power. But sometimes events don’t call for all the bells and whistles, and budget is almost always a factor. Wireless, or battery-powered solutions make events with limited power options affordable. LEDs, string lighting, speakers and area lights with batteries can make your remote event run flawlessly.
The Lighting & Sound Co. provides Charlottesville wedding lighting, audio, video, and drape.
About The Lighting & Sound Co.
The Lighting & Sound Company provides high-end wedding lights in the Charlottesville area. We’re here to help make sure it’s perfect. With an extensive portfolio of beautiful events, we serve events of all sizes. From small weddings with a touch of bistro lighting and sheer drape, to extravagant weddings and more. We offer a very large selection of options and want to help make your special day as easy as possible. Lighting, drape, uplighting, gobos, projections, audio, string lighting and marquee letters are just a few of our wedding lighting services.
The Lighting & Sound Co. offers many custom design solutions for weddings and events, such as custom drape backdrops and chandelier displays. Take a look at our portfolio and give us a call to start designing your wedding lighting. Featuring a 5 minute quote process, and easy online payment options. Our knowledgeable and friendly designers that will walk you through the process. Our extended office hours mean you can reach us at almost any time of day.
Explore the Top 5 Rustic Wedding Lighting Looks of 2018
Rustic & barn weddings have never been more popular. You want your decor to stand out and there are almost endless possibilities with rustic wedding lighting. We put together this short-list of wedding lighting & draping options for your rustic feel.
1. Bistro Lighting
Bistro lighting tops the list, and for good reason. Not only do most rustic weddings have bistro lighting, most outdoor or tent weddings do too. Some of the reasons may be less obvious than you think. Obviously, bistro looks amazing when done right. It also fits into most themes, and you can set it up in almost any venue. Bistro lighting is also one of the easiest and most aesthetic ways to cover large areas. Because bistro lighting is strung overhead, it doesn’t get in the way of festivities.
Bistro light provides a warm, incandescent glow that makes it one of the best rustic wedding lighting options available.
Chandeliers are #2 in the rustic wedding lighting category. With a little help from the florals, the possibilities are endless. Chandeliers come in all shapes and sizes, so there is a suitable match for any theme. You can use chandeliers at your wedding to add accent and drama. Decorate with a single chandelier, group chandeliers, or hang them from distinguished areas such as tents, arches or gazebos. You can also suspend chandeliers from trees to create a look of enchantment and sophistication.
Pendants are those classy old school Edison bulbs hanging from above, and you just may need them for your rustic look to be complete. It’s hard to top the vintage charm of this effect, and because of that, it is number 3 on our list. With dozens of classic bulb options available, pendants can fit any kind of rustic or vintage wedding. Pendants are great over bars, head tables, and buffets. They can add a subtle accent to a bistro look, or stand alone for an intimate low-light look.
4. Marquee Letters
There is no better way to light up your dance floor than a set of full-sized marquee “LOVE” letters. The warm incandescent glow creates a perfect center piece for your dance floor. Marquee letters are a good fit in both indoor and outdoor venues.
Last but not least, drape is a fantastic way to add to your rustic theme. Canvas drop clothes can cover up ugly barn walls, and sheer waterfall curtains serve as awesome backdrops for your head table. Custom drape displays are a great way to have a unique look and feel.
Wedding lighting cost can vary dramatically and the reasons for this can be a bit confusing. We set out to make this guide to give you a general idea of what you’ll be paying for your wedding lighting. Because prices for lighting vary between A/V vendors, we’ve made this guide with price ranges based off of industry averages. Understanding pricing for your wedding decor can help you use your budget efficiently. You want to get the best bang for your buck!
Before we dive into how much wedding lighting costs, let’s take a step back for a second. In order to understand prices, you need to understand the services they’re attached to. If you’ve been doing your research and know what you want, continue on! If you don’t know the difference between uplighting and pin-spotting, take a look at our wedding lighting services page. There, you can learn about the fantastic options available to light your wedding.
How much does wedding lighting cost? It depends on the scope of your wedding!
Lighting it up!
Lighting can completely transform your venue. It impacts your space in a way that nothing else can. The flowers, linens, and drape can make the room look nice, but lighting can change the way your venue feels. Without the proper lighting, your guests are going to miss out on the details. In a dimly-lit reception space, the details of a beautiful centerpiece can be lost without the proper pin-spotting. Some weddings, especially daytime events, don’t require lighting. For a large majority of weddings that extend into the evening, you are going to want to consider lighting. This applies to outdoor events as well, as most tents don’t come with very aesthetic lighting. A traditional bistro look can go a long way in a tent wedding. Free-standing bistro is great for covering large, uncovered, outdoor affairs.
When you’re deciding on your lighting budget, make sure you know what you want. Uplighting is great in almost all scenarios, but it can be used to hide the wall color. This is great if the color doesn’t match your theme, or if you just hate the color! If you want to cover something up completely, pipe and drape is a practical and elegant defense against ugly art and unsightly rooms.
Like any other service, lighting scales with your event. Larger weddings mean more wedding lighting.
Budgeting for Wedding Lighting
The quickest way to find out what your wedding lighting cost will be is to get a quote from one of our designers. It won’t take long- our designers get back really quickly! To get a general idea of what you will be paying, we’ve provided some industry average numbers below.
How much does wedding lighting cost?
Uplighting for the Entire Ballroom: $700-$2000
Monogram Gobo Light: $200-300
Texture Lighting: $50-$75 per light fixture/pattern
Cake Spotlight: $30-$100
Pipe & Drape: $7.50 – $25 per linear foot (10 ft sections)
Pin-spot Lighting: $25-$45 per light/table
Bistro Lighting: $3-5 per linear foot
Chandeliers: $150 – $500 ea
Pendants: $15 – $25 ea
Low Fog: $200 – $300
Note that these prices don’t include labor or delivery. Typically, labor costs $300 – 600, but if your scope is large, more techs will need to be added. Delivery locally is usually between $50 and $150, depending on distance.
A little bit of drape goes a long way.
What do most people pay for wedding lighting?
To those who have never heard of wedding lighting before they start planning, wedding lighting costs can look prohibitive. Is it worth it? If you are spending any kind of money on your venue, your flowers, or even your name cards, lighting is a must. You don’t always need multiple lighting features. If budget is tight, a single feature such as uplighting, or bistro is probably the way to go. It will add a gorgeous ambiance, and provide the lighting your guests need to see. We typically advise clients to budget $1100-$1300 for a small, one feature wedding. If your wedding fits inside a 40 x 60 tent outside, a simple bistro lighting hang will do the trick. For a mid-sized, multi-feature wedding, you should budget between $1500-$3500. Most weddings fit into this category. Large and multi-day events vary widely so we suggest getting a rough quote during the early stages of planning.
Pin spots add to a wedding lighting design by pulling attention towards your beautiful centerpieces.
Getting the most out of your wedding budget
Many venues and DJs will offer lighting to couples at competitive prices. While these prices are often attractive, there are a few things you should understand. There are many lights available at very low prices for venues & DJs to purchase and rent to couples for $800-$1200. Often, you’ll end up paying only slightly less for a product that has a fraction of the quality. There are a number of problems with this low-quality lighting. Often, the Red/Green/Blue LEDs within the lights that are used for mixing to different colors are not purchased from the same place. This causes the lights to have slightly different colors. Many venues will show pictures of lighting that a professional company did and claim that as their lighting package. Others will heavily edit the photos they show you so the lighting looks more impressive.
Professional lighting companies not only have higher quality equipment, they often have specialized gear for different situations. Do your research before accepting uplighting from a DJ or Venue- more often than not they are charging you for an inferior product. You wouldn’t shop for your catering this way; there is no reason to think lighting is any different. Look at it this way: You can get really affordable catering from your local fast food restaurant. Technically, that and what you’d get from a high-end caterer are both food, but they have large differences in the level of quality.
Wedding lighting and your venue
Wedding lighting is one of the most affordable ways to transform your event space. It’s also one of the best ways to enhance the finer parts of your venue. Remember, lighting is what makes your event feel special. Everything from the cake to your dress will be affected by lighting. Good lighting can completely transform your venue, instantly enhance the reception décor, and create amazing photo ops for you and your guests.
Hiring a pro
The Lighting & Sound Co is a national design and production company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide event production services, including lighting, live sound, video, and drape services for events of all sizes, and a diverse range of clients. Our quote process is quick and easy, you can get started right now.