One universal truth about weddings is that guests would like to see what’s happening. Even if you’re planning to hold the ceremony and reception both outdoors, you still need to think about lighting for accenting the overall decoration situation – and if you actually need to properly illuminate a space, the concerns are doubled. Here are some thoughts to get you started on choosing your lighting.

Choosing the Right Source

First thing is to take your dream wedding lighting and make sure it meshes with your venue. If you love candlelight, be sure your venue is okay with open flames, and for your own sake make sure they’re well guarded and not liable to be knocked over. If you’re a big fan of stringing up Christmas lights around the room, make sure you’ve got the outlets and budget to support it. If you want miniature chandeliers hanging from the rafters, be sure you’ve got both a chandelier source and rafters that can support them.

Find a Professional

Most venues will have lighting partners they can recommend you, or you can find your own, but it can be helpful to talk to someone about your plans and seek some guidance. Often the florist can handle lighting as well, as it goes hand-in-hand with most other decorations. Many lighting professionals do a lot of work with theater, so any connections you might have could be helpful there. The upside of getting a connection directly from your venue is that they will have specific knowledge of power restrictions and trouble spots in setting up the lights, which can save a lot of headache as the date nears.

Be Sure of the Requirements

Before coming to any final decisions on the lighting, make sure you visit the location of your ceremony and reception at the time of day you’ll be there. If the wedding hall doesn’t receive much sun in the morning, be prepared to compensate. If your outdoor reception might stretch into the late hours, be sure your guests can see each other as the sun retreats. If possible, avoid floodlights or anything fluorescent: these lights take away from all atmosphere and can give the impression of waiting in line at the DMV.