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Event Lighting Tips From Bentley Meeker


Bentley Meeker, America’s premeire lighting design expert, shares his top five tips on lighting for weddings.

Courtesy of Bentley Meeker

From lanterns in the trees, to a dimly lit reception tent and monogram on the dance floor, event lighting can transform a venue and create the perfect atmosphere at your wedding.

According to Bentley Meeker, America’s premiere lighting designer, “Light creates the environment, and the environment creates the mood, and the mood creates the experience. Light is one singular difference between an average event and a great one.”

Meeker, who has lit weddings for Chelsea Clinton and Catherine Zeta-Jones, shares with us some important tips on how to light a great event:

1. GO DARKER: Always make your lighting just a little bit darker than you think you should. This adds the sexiness and mood that most people are looking for at their events.

2. HAVE EVERYTHING DIMMABLE: It is critical for everything to be adjustable and at your fingertips (or close by).

3. USE LED’s SPARINGLY: Be extremely selective with where you use LED’s. Technology is becoming rampant at events and is often coming at the expense of beautiful light.

4. IMPORTANCE OF SYMMETRY: With beam angles, intensity and in what’s lit where in the room, symmetry is incredibly important. Unless the lighting setup is deliberately asymmetrical, the lighting should always define a space in an even manner. Nothing looks sloppier than lighting that is inadvertently, ad-hoc asymmetrical.

5. COLOR: No matter what the color scheme is for the event, it is important to balance the lighting that the guests are actually in with something that makes them look and feel good. Read white, off white or flattering tones such as pinks and ambers.
— these colors can be ghosted in so as to manage the skin tones without affecting the overall look of the lighting in the room.

Bentley Meeker is the author of Light x Design: 20 Years of Lighting by Bentley Meeker. This new book illuminates readers with beautiful photography that showcases the artistry and strict attention to detail behind his electrifying staging work.

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