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Outdoor lighting design makes the perfect backyard wedding, family reunion or any special event

Updated on January 20, 2016

Planning that special event

As you know any wedding can turn into a family reunion with many out of town guest coming for the special occasion and many staying for days.

So whether you're the father of the bride, high school graduate or host to the family summer reunion and daddy’s little girl and or wife wants her special event to be a backyard wedding. Regardless of the event, a celebration at you home is a celebration and with numerous guests, the back yard quickly becomes a vital retreat and overflow for guest. The backyard she first learned to ride her tricycle, play softball and soccer, and broke her arm playing on the trampoline with her cousins. Where afterwards, you and she replaced the thing by building a gazebo and surrounding it with a flower garden. The special spot in your lives and hearts you will both remember for all times. Your little girl now wants to stand in the gazebo surrounded by all the beautiful flowers, when she and her husband to be exchange their wedding vows’.

The Father of the Bride

You keep telling yourself, you are not losing a little girl; rather you are gaining a son-in-law. The tricky part is you know in your heart of hearts. With all the opportunities and job offers in their futures, moving away is inevitable. This realization, makes the stresses of giving daddy’s little girl the perfect wedding and start to her new life as Mrs. my baby girl, all the more important to you and her mother.

Planning the wedding and reception

With the girls making all the wedding and reception plans, you the father of the bride have the responsibility of making the backyard your little girl’s, outdoor wedding and reception venue, the event all your family friends and relatives will remember as being the event of the season, no pressure, you’ve got this. Not to mention this will no doubt evolve into a family reunion for days and end with lots of out of town guest.

Then your baby girl and wife introduce you to the got-to-have this person, wedding planner. You immediately flash back to the seen in the movie, The Father of The Bride when actor Steve Martin meets the wedding planner played by Martin Short. The only thing you understand he says is something having to do with outdoor lighting design, everything else he says is in another language that only his assistant understands.

Father of the Bride gives her away

Outdoor lighting design sets the mood

That is OK, you got the part about the outdoor lighting design,

and you understand you simply must do something about the lack of,

and what is there being insufficient outdoor lighting for a

backyard wedding and reception.

Beautifull backyard wedding

You want to turn your backyard-wedding site from ordinary to simply unbelievably beautiful; you will most likely need to take a more illuminating approach to your backyard lighting design. Lighting creates the mood, and when designed well, lighting will make your decorations including: your wedding flowers, cake, and guests look their best. Continue reading this article to discover tips and tricks the pros use when they plan your outdoor lighting for a backyard event.

Enlist the Help of Your Pro


Lights, Camera, Action,

Lighting is Paramount to any memorable wedding. 

Lighting is a must for setting, great photo's and ambiance.

Find your lighting specialist. First, you can ask your wedding planner or florist many do their own lighting or, they have a lighting pro they work with. Do not be surprised when the lighting designers they recommend has a background in the theater, many experts use the same technology and techniques in weddings that they use creating dramatic sets for the stage

Backyard Wedding in the Gazebo

Assess Your Backyard

When you are planning an evening reception, make sure to check out your backyard at least once when it is dark outside. Look around the yard and see where the fixed lighting is focused. Lights that illuminate the yard, gazebo, and other landscape features can draw attention away from the center of attention, and you want to keep everyone's eyes on the tables, dance floor, and each other. Ask yourself if you have dimmers for the overhead lights, and if there is any fluorescent lighting at all, keep it turned off! Also, make sure there will not be any service doors kept open, which could flood the space with light and ruin the effect.

When you are hosting a backyard wedding at home,  discuss how much electricity your lighting design will need. Your band or DJ will probably have to tap into your home's power for their speakers, and you do not want to risk blowing a fuse. In the event your lighting expert is concerned that there will not be enough electrical power from your home’s electrical service to go around, then you will need to consider renting the appropriate sized sound continuwaited generator, which when ever possible should be kept well out of earshot.


Outdoor lighting design makes the perfect backyard wedding, family reunion or any special event

Which Do Your Prefer?

Which Do You Prefer an Indoor or Outdoor Wedding?

See results

Learn Lighting Terminology

The types of lighting commonly used at weddings are:

Pin spot, is a light that focuses a narrow beam of light directly onto an object for instance, a centerpiece or wedding cake, creating a highlighting effect.

Color wash, There are different types of light fixtures used to flood or create a wash of color, blanketing a wall or ceiling with a colored light.

The Perfect Outdoor Wedding


Gobos, Gobos are Circular stencils used over a light to project a design or pattern onto a wall, ceiling or other flat object. The more popular gobo designs include monograms, dates, or any other wedding motifs. The complexity of the design will affect the gobo's cost, a simple stencil stamped out of steel being the most cost effective, while a more intricate design must be laser etched out of stainless steel or a glass that can withstand high heat increasing the cost.

LED, LED is Short for light-emitting diodes, LED lights are currently popular for weddings because they use much less electricity (and do not get as hot) than regular, incandescent light bulbs. This means they can sometimes be wireless, so they are even that much more discreet. LEDs are great for color changes and vibrant colors. They are also common in strands and good for accent lighting

Setting up Outdoor Lighting

Lighting for an outdoor wedding can serve many purposes. If your site has a path or steps that people will be using throughout the night, keep it lit with luminaries or paper lanterns so that no one trips.

Consider making a bold statement with unconventional lighting fixtures. Use dramatic, sculptural lights, large orbs, or rows of vertical poles of light that look like pieces of modern art. You can also, fill your centerpieces with clear glass marbles as well as small battery-powered LED lights to set the mood.


The Best Wedding Songs of 2011

The author of this publication, Mike Teddleton owns the copyright toOutdoor lighting design makes the perfect backyard wedding, family reunion or any special event. The rights to publish this article in print or online can only be granted by contacting me the author in writing. You may use the intro and link back to the article directing the reader back to my post here at HubPages where they may find the story in its entirety


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    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      4 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks Lady Guinevere.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      4 years ago from West By God

      Wow those are really nice pictures. My daughter had an outdoor wedding on a day that it was supposed to be warm and dry. It was wet and cold. I prefer an indoor wedding and that is how I answered your poll.

      I thought that I was a follower for all this time and found that I wasn't. Hmmm I fixed that.

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Wow three daughters, you are truly blessed. Having a beautiful backyard wedding will save a ton of money in one area. However it always seams to get spent somewhere else. Honeymoon, buying their first place and on it goes.

      Best of luck, maybe the young man will be a keeper, and your other daughters will soon, be wanting to plan their own beautiful outdoor weddings in the backyard.

      Thanks for your comment, best wishes, Mike

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks for stoping by moonlake, glad you enjoyed this hub.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Absolutely beautiful! I loved the way the tents and lighting are described and the photos! I have 3 daughters - the 23 year old is in a serious relationship - who knows? I do like the guy though and if I could get them to all get married in the back yard...well that might save me a bundle! Lol

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your. The lighting ideas are so beautiful.

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Daniel, thanks for the comment. there are many shades and colors of white light to consider.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What an excellent hub. You've done a great job not only of explaining outdoor wedding lighting, but the photographs are excellent as well.

      Just a quick comment on LED lighting: White LED lights haven't been perfected yet, and don't necessarily match each other very well.

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Granny's House, yor Hub HOW TO DO A BUTTERFLY WEDDING is a great idea. Thanks for the link in your comment. I enjoy reading your hubs, they are well writen and full of useful information and ideas.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      I am also going to link it to my other weding page. ok?

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Granny's House, thanks for your comment, and linking my hub to yours. Your wedding hub has many great ideas on how to save money while planning the perfect wedding at the same time.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Great ideas. I am going to link my hub to yours.

      Thanks for stopping by my hub

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Purple cow, thanks for your comment. I am reminded every day, people do not care about what you know, until they know you care... Peace and much success...

    • profile image

      purple cow 

      8 years ago from South yorks

      Nice page.I too am involved in outdoor lighting design and installation in the uk.

      Its tough over here to sell the concept.Would appreciate any input on that topic.

      I specialise in automated lighting, check me out.

    • Teddletonmr profile imageAUTHOR

      Mike Teddleton 

      8 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks Katie, Glad you found this Wedding Guide Helpful. Thanks and Peace :)

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      WOW Outdoor Lighting Design Makes the Perfect Wedding Family Reunion or any Special Event. I love this because Weddings do turn into Family reunions and special events that last for days. The backyard haven is a must. I love the music video collection of the Top Ten All Time Favorite Wedding Songs, I had forgotten some of them but quickly they came back as wedding favorites at every beautiful wedding I've been to. Grea Wedding and or backyard Special Event. I'm having a few of these myself this year. Thanks for the great lighting tips. Peace :)


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