Category Archives: Lighting

Paris Inspiration

By | Lighting, Paris, Paris Destination Weddings, Paris Wedding Planner, pinterest, Planning, Vintage Wedding Decor | No Comments

One aspect of event production is constantly looking out for inspiration for wedding and event design. In Paris, it’s around every corner, on every block, sitting in a window planter or standing as a statue above you. I was the weirdo stopping every now and then, taking pictures in the street and Metro, so I can take home the inspiration.

There’s no doubt the vintage look has the potential to grow tired, and thank goodness for innovators Stateside who collect unique and creative elements so the motif can evolve. In Paris, the buildings themselves are vintage (read: Just plain Old), and many elements of Parisian life truly, organically, have the look.

Vintage Chairs at Penderie Cafe

Antique sewing machine outside Penderie

Wine Barrel with personalization

Every Cafe has a menu outside their doors - this was one of my favorites

The Parisians really know their twinkle lights too – made into curtains, draped into ivy – I saw them everywhere! Hard to see on my non-pro camera – but you get the gist:

Sparkle lights flow down with hanging plants

Along with collecting books and magazines on decor, architecture, and fashion; reviewing blogs and articles online; and shopping for flowers and fabrics, just taking in the world is fantastic inspiration. I’m excited to add to my image library from this year’s trip to Paris. I can smell a few Pinterest boards in the near future as well….

Wedding Planning, Hollywood-Style

By | DIY, Lighting, Planning, Venues | No Comments

I have two lovely clients getting married this fall at a large studio in Hollywood, and while it’s an amazing space, it’s truly a blank slate.  They decided on black, white and blue, perfect colors for the space.

A shot of the main portion of the studio, with the permanent lighting grid.

We scouted the space recently with their friend (the “man of honor,” actually) who is a camera op, director, and DP.  He’s hanging lights and selecting gels to wash the space in cool patterns and that bright blue, for a tongue-in-cheek 80s nightclub look.  When we scouted, there was a big event going on, but it showed us how well it accommodates social events.

In a studio space, lighting grids offer great opportunity for advanced event design, but it’s helpful to know how best to access the grids, what costs apply, and what liability waivers there are to sign or insurance to gain.  It’s essential to clear all this up before the day of, of course.  We have several months, so we’re ahead of the game.

The space comes with some furniture, so I took pics of the couches that come with the space and how best to use them.  Site photos are key to making sure you have all your cards on the table when creating a floor plan.

Yes, my Iphoto library is full of pictures of...furniture. Tres exciting, non??

In back, there’s a lovely garden area with a separate entrance off the parking.  The bride and groom will use some of the lounge furniture for VIP seating, then the rest of the attendees will stand for the brief ceremony. Sunset will fall during cocktail hour, then a reveal of the space – with lighting set, cool uplit centerpieces aglow, and music playing – will greet guests.   A fitting, dramatic reveal for the Hollywood setting.

Picture the furniture arranged in a 'v' facing left, and voila!, you have a ceremony space.

I love tackling a space like this where the possibilities are wide open, and working with the client to take their ideas from just that to reality.  And just wait till October to see the results…!

Painting With Light

By | Lighting, Park Plaza Hotel, Planning | No Comments

I went to film school a million years ago (really? Why, yes:  Digital editing was still ‘new’ and while editing, I cranked my film from reel to reel), and the way you create image on film is with light.  It wasn’t until I worked as a TV producer that I really started learning about color temps, exposures, bounce – the power of a focused glow to create atmosphere.

Now that I work weddings, I value light as the biggest bang for your buck when decorating the event space.  A simple can light can stream several feet up, a wash of light from a few hanging lights can cover the entire space with color.  Paying for lights vs paying for, say enough fabric to cover the same amount of space, is definitely more cost effective.  It doesn’t mean a whole lighting plan can be cheap, per se; but it’s so visually powerful.

Lights set a mood, create a whimsical atmosphere, like these globe lights strung across a backyard.

Picture by Shani Barel, www.dontsmilenow.com

Uplights can dramatically set off architecture – like columns, arches, or ornate detailing.  They’re relatively inexpensive, can come in LEDs (which can create a multitude of colors), and are quite versatile.  Make sure they are shielded and the wires are carefully wrangled and taped down for safety.

Take note of what your venue looks like at night with the ‘house lights’ on.  Historical sites especially have beautiful lighting accents that need just a small extra touch to complete the picture.  This photo below is at the Park Plaza Hotel, where sconces and chandeliers create supper-club ambiance, and uplights highlight the deco design on the columns.

Photo by Katie Robertson.

Lanterns have become a mainstay for outdoor events; another cost-effective solution for nightime lighting, they bring a romantic glow in an architectural structure that hits a happy medium between sweet and handsome.  This picture is from the same Park Plaza wedding, in the outdoor cocktail space.  The bride and groom’s friends volunteered to install the lights and did a magnificent job, I must say.

Photo by Katie Robertson Photography.

As wedding branding has come into vogue, clients have designed their own logos.  Thomas Pham of Prodigy DJs created this gobo based off the bride’s design; I love the slant of the letters and the angle on the dance floor – a little off center, and utterly sophisticated.

Photo by Dana Grant Photography

Don’t be intimidated by the lighting options – find a great lighting vendor who knows what they’re doing to break it down for you.  And maybe it’s the wine talking (just a little sauvignon blanc after a long day working, thank you very much), but I can’t help but say:  After you put a ring on it, shed a light on it!  (Yeaaaah….maybe that’s enough wine for tonight….)