I recently sat down with Philip Bucknell, the Creative Director at Frost Productions in New York City. Philip shed some light on the idea of lighting at your wedding and shared great nuggets with me. I hope you enjoy it and get some useful tips and ideas from this interview.
Cool Trends in The Wedding Industry:
People are starting to want more out of their event design. Really great things that people can integrate now are video walls, projection or digital mapping into an event space. The reason for that is it adds really beautiful movement into a room without it necessarily being distracting and can also transform and evolve a space throughout the evening. For instance, if you’ve got entertainment on for the evening and they have a really big WOW band moment we can transition whatever that content is that runs on that screen or digital projected surface to support that act to make it look and feel bigger. We can also change the intimacy of the room and create a really beautiful ambient moment where the bride and groom might enter a room or vice versa. That’s something we would typically see in the corporate world or experimental marketing but it’s definitely something that starting to emerge into the wedding market.
What I’m excited about in the wedding market:
we are almost at the next incarnation of design and the reason for that is that I think we’ve seen in the past 5 or 6 years this very rustic kind of approach to events a lot of that stuff being done outdoors and this idea of sustainability but I think now we are at this next kind of crossroads and we are at the next evolution of weddings. We went from something very classical into something very boho sheik and now we are moving back into the idea of more of a customized design and customized wedding that really integrates this idea of technology and creativity coming together. Which I think is a really beautiful thing and it’s a great way to add dimension to a space without necessarily having it to be decor like a centerpiece or a suspended installation within the space. A lot of things that are also coming back into fashion are this idea of pendant lighting and this idea of customized design elements which are is suspended from the ceiling which is a beautiful way to create an intimate environment by reducing the ceiling height and adding your touch to the space.
Do couples need a lighting company?
The issue with lights at a venue is that you can only switch lights on and off and the issue with that is that you don’t get the depth or the ability to transform a space and that’s where a lighting company comes in and we have a team that specializes in lighting design and temperature coloring and the other thing that you have to think about when you walk into a space it’s not just decorative. I think the best way to break down lighting is i ot three areas 1.Functionality: When you walk into a space where is the path, where are people walking, how can they see. That’s basic fundamentals of walking into a space we need to show we are in line with their facility policy so nobody falls with a beautiful gown or suit. 2.Decorative: In NY there are so many amazing venues here so the idea is to enhance the architectural features by using uplighting or gobo but the way we can change that up is not to use things like LED strips which gives us the ability to transition the space quickly the possibilities are endless. 3.Engagement Pieces: Something like digital walling or digital mapping. So say a bride comes to us and says her entire concept is around this idea of diamonds, we can turn an entire wall into a sea of diamonds by simply building projection mapping and imagery which is, essentially a projection that is designed to sit within a certain space so we map it out architecturally and linearly. We can also run multiple content, so if a bride wants to put her seating chart when guests walk in we can literally project onto a wall the seating menu. As soon as guests sit down it can then transition into something else it could go to a plain color, it could have the bride and grooms names on there or change to a slow moving backdrop.
What are Ideal Lighting Colors?
When looking at lighting the most popular colors are the ambers and the flesh tone colors because it tends to give a beautiful and neutral tone. Also, it’s great for people’s complexion and blemishes, it really makes everyone look very beautiful and pretty. The thing to consider is the different lighting looks and that’s going to depend on whether or not you’ve employed a lighting technician that runs throughout the entire event. The first thing to consider is the walk in look when people are trying to sit at their tables find their seating chart numbers what’s the best way for that look to take place. The second thing is obviously when you are eating your dinner you don’t really want because you don’t want blue or green light projected onto your food because it’s going to look like slime or some kind of alien type food and it does make it look very unattractive so looking at nice warm lighting throughout the space. Other things to consider are a dance look if you have a band or DJ how do we create a really dynamic look for and create a moment in the evening that everyone is partying that and it’s really essential to make sure we hit all three of those things.
Lighting the Ceremony:
It’s important to make sure that the couple is achieving the look they want which is the most pivotal point of the entire evening. The use of floodlights can become problematic for videographers or the celebrant to actually see. I think it’s about finding a balance and working with the videographer and photographer to make sure sight lines are visible and that we are working together to achieve a customized look that works for everyone.
1. always have transparency with all of the vendors you are working with because it’s really important for people to understand your vision and try to get as many reference images as you can together so we can try to interpret where that vision is going and the best way for us to try and achieve it.
2. Get all of the suppliers together and have a meeting simultaneously so that way we can bounce ideas off of each other and have a very cohesive conversation.
3. If you have a top three venue preference I would take a production company down there just to explain to you the realistic possibilities within that venue and also to provide you with a realistic budget because, if a client comes to us and says we want to create all this stuff and make it absolutely beautiful that’s great, but they may not have the money to achieve that and of course we want to make sure we are able to achieve as much of that vision as possible.
4. Deciding what the most imperative design installations are and what those key moments are for you so that you can ensure those throughout the night those things are achieved and that we are making sure we’re able to light those things in particular and make sure we are creating different moods and evolving throughout the evening.
All Photos Courtesy of Frost Productions
Edward Neary is the founder of Joseph Edwards Films. His passion for filming weddings flows through the films he creates. He has 20+ years experience in the wedding industry and loves helping engaged couples with practical advice on planning their wedding.
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