Q & A Session on Venue Lighting with Brides of Austin

Lindsey Craig

For over six years, Altared Weddings and Events has pursued innovation and excellence in the events industry by continually finding the best and most cutting edge ways to entertain and stun crowds. Specializing in DJs and venue lighting, Altared creates an atmosphere of entertainment with lights, sound and personalities that create memorable and lasting impressions on your guests. We learned so much chatting with them about what sets their company apart from your average DJ, so we sat down again with these wedding pros to get the scoop on all things event lighting:

Q. Why is lighting an important element in my event’s design?

A. It is all about creating an atmosphere that cues people in to knowing that things are about to happen! For your cocktail hour, maybe some soft amber tones that emulate candlelight will set the mood you are looking for. Eventually, as the night progresses, you will want something that is more representative of the high energy dance party you have been looking forward to! Lighting is an incredibly economical way to transform spaces. Changes in the lighting can help with the transitions you will be doing from cocktail hour, to dinner, first dances and an open dance floor.

Q. Why is it important to have a comprehensive lighting design?

A. A comprehensive plan is about delivering a “look.” Some lighting you want to be very impactful, while other lights you actually don’t want to notice at all; they are there to bring attention to all those details you have planned so carefully. A comprehensive approach is also customized to you, your design, your venue and your objectives. It is very easy to bring in personal touches with some lighting staples like gobos, but there is a lot of emerging technology that is bringing experiential lighting into private events.

Q. How is venue lighting different from what the venue already has or what my DJ will provide?

A. Most venues are going to have lighting that serves a fairly pragmatic purpose. While they may have chandeliers that are dramatic and stunning, they are generally hard wired to the venue and are only on dimmers. Dance floor lighting and uplighting, is a standard part of what most DJs can provide, but they are typically used to enhance the area around the dance floor. We want to minimize the pragmatic venue lighting to create a unique and custom look through your entire space, and also allow your DJ to focus his lighting to the dancefloor. Our goal is to utilize the elements of the space and the crowd’s energy to create a dynamic experience for your guests.

Q. Are most venues flexible with outside lighting vendors?

A. Yes. While some venues have contracts that only allow them to recommend one vendor, they are usually fine with you bringing in other reputable companies that carry proper insurance and have adequate personnel. It is worth your time to explore a few options to see which one is the best fit for you. If in doubt, ask!

Q. What questions should I be asking lighting designers and installers?

A. You want to make sure that your lighting vendors are committed to listening to your ideas and finding ways to make them happen. You should feel comfortable handing over a layout and bouncing ideas off. You also want to make sure that you have a dedicate tech that is managing the look of your room throughout the evening. Also be sure to ask about wireless options. Most of your standard lighting elements can be run wirelessly, including chandeliers, and it can make planning your event much easier. At Altared, when you book multiple services we can also tether your lighting effects to your DJ so that everything work in tandem smoothly.