outdoor lighting

Hi!  I'm Meghan, writing from Seattle, WA.  I'm new to this group, getting married in August of 2010.  We've reserved a ranch in Eastern Washington for three days, and we're really excited! 


I'm wondering what you are doing for lighting, particularly if you are having a sunset or evening wedding.  Is anyone doing DIY lighting, specifically DIY string lighting?  We would love to run strings of cafe lights, but we're trying to figure out logistics since there are not really any trees around the seating area (so we would need to come up with some kind of lighting stand system...).


 


Any help is appreciated- thanks much!!!

Posted on February 9, 2010 at 9:31 am
meggyski
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08/22/2010
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Lallysgirl
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10/10/2010
Lallysgirl

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Hi Meghan.. I am Kerrie from Oregon..I am getting married in October. There is a website that will tell you when sunset is the day of your wedding. That helped me decide when to start the wedding, when to ask the photgrapher to show up.. and how much we will depend on outdoor lighting. My dear mother, went to several stores after christmas sale and picked up a huge amount of clear and frosted lights. We will have some built in yard lights in the landscaping and we will add some outdoor tikki torches for some of the far away zones on the property, if people want to wander and of course weather will permit the tikki's  I will be using some japanese ball lanterns with lights and lots of candles in clear votive cups, but it is not enough for use as primary lighting only for "Mood"  Oh.. we are renting a large tent for the property so that is where most of the lighting will take place. it will be great if it is not raining, but you know weather in the NW.. . Where in Eastern Washington is the ranch??

Posted on February 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm
BEAN23
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We were going to do all DIY stringed lighting, but once we went to the rental company we figured out there was a lot of logistical problems with doing it ourselves.  For one, shorting out the farmhouse... Although we are holding the reception outside we were planning on using the porch to the farmhouse for the cocktail hour and an area adjacent to the porch for the recption.  We were going to just run extention cords from the farmhouse to the reception area, but now we realize that this could be a hazard without those plastic covers on them (the ones you can walk on).  Does the ranch have a generator you could use?  Another issue was that the farmhouse would not let us nail or staple anything to the structure.


Since we are not having a tent we finally decided to have the rental company stick 6 poles in the ground to criss-cross in an asterisk shape across the recption area.  Each pole will have par-can lighting (big spot lights) at the top for more lighting for the dance floor and the wedding party table.   I was so amazed at how much I didn't know about lighting.  I thought stringing lights was going to be easy, so if you do decide to DIY make sure you have a diagram of your venue to see where you will place the extension cords!  Good luck and let us know how it goes!!!

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 5:43 am
meggyski
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08/22/2010
meggyski

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Hi Kerry,


 


Thanks for reply!  Sounds like you have some great ideas for lighting. I think the tikis are an especially great idea.  Thanks, also, for the info about sunsets- I'll definitely look that up, as it will be key!


We're thinking of a mix of candles on tables as well as cafe lights strung overhead. I also am kind of enamoured with the idea of using a bunch of vintage oil lanterns I've been finding at Goodwill for about $1 each.  Using them for lighting may be more of a challenge than I am up for, so I may just use those to plant herbs in or something (but I'm at least going to pick some up to see how they work).


We thought about a tent, but the ranch is in the Methow Valley, which is as dry (and hot!) as can be in August so we're going to risk it and go without the tent. We have a large group- probably 180-200- and finding a reasonably-priced tent for that many has been troublesome.  We were going to do a wedding near Mt. Rainier, and in that case I would have definitely planned on a tent. 



Where is your wedding going to be?  Good luck in planning!

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 6:08 am
Lallysgirl
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My wedding is in a very large private yard that is beautifully landscaped already. my wedding is small. 60-75 people, the tent is 40' square and costs 749.00 without sides. It will just be big enough to keep us all under cover if it rains. Electricity should not be an issue as this is a very modern home, with many outdoor built in sockets to plug into as needs. If someone breaks a leg.. it will be because they drank too much beer and too a midnight stroll to the creek! My first wedding 26 yrs ago... someone fell and broke their thumb!! champagne and rice on the ground don't mix!

Posted on February 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm
meggyski
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meggyski

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Bean23, thanks for the advice!  These are some of the logistical difficulties I'm worried about- sounds like next steps are to talk to the rental company and also the venue to find out about power. 



Your par-can solution sounds good- we may have to go that route if string lights turn out to be too logistically challenging.  Thanks also for the hint about the extension cord covers, I wouldn't have thought about that.


I'll let you ladies know what happens, and make sure to keep track of hints if we do wind up doing DIY lighting. 


Lallysgirl, sounds like you made a good choice in the venue.  Ours is very inexpensive, but the flip-side is that we have to figure out all of these logistical questions on our own.... oh well!

Posted on February 11, 2010 at 4:16 am
Lallysgirl
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My venue.. is free! wahoo! it is my sisters home! Happens to be on a couple acres. I am so lucky..

Posted on February 13, 2010 at 4:05 pm
heartsetfreebylove
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heartsetfreebylove

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We line the lake side with tiki torches, had candles on all tables, and battery operated paper lanterns over the dance floor.
Posted on March 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm

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