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  • Writer's pictureDylan Adams

Complete Guide To Wedding Lighting Cost

Updated: Mar 9

How much does wedding lighting cost?

Most vendors are familiar with similar questions, and for good reason too. Because of the custom nature of wedding services, it can often be hard for wedding lighting companies to offer a default price tag. Couples will find that lighting companies offering “package pricing” often don’t have packages suited for their wedding or wedding venue.

That’s why we decided to create a comprehensive guide to help you better understand the pricing associated with wedding lighting and how to prioritize those costs. Upon concluding this article, you’ll have a more definitive answer to the question, “How much will my  wedding lighting cost?"

Let’s pause for a moment before we get too deep into wedding lighting costs. Since the point of this article is to give you the tools to choose which lighting and decor services are right for you, it's imperative that you understand the services that these prices are attached to. Let’s break down a few of the essentials.

What will your wedding lighting cost? It depends on the scope of your wedding!

Wedding lighting cost

Marquee LOVE letters and bistro lighting add an essential touch to an outdoor tent wedding

Lighting is essential to setting the ambiance.

Lighting changes everything. It can take a drab room and turn it into a romantic and intimate setting for your wedding reception. It impacts your space in a way that nothing else can. The flowers, linens, and drapes are all important elements to add detail and flair to your reception, but lighting can change how your venue feels. Without the proper lighting, the details you spent months planning, may be lost. For indoor receptions, most couples opt for a low-light setting. This creates an intimate and romantic feel.  In a dimly lit wedding venue, the exquisite details of your centerpieces may be difficult to see without the proper pin-spotting.

Most weddings can benefit from adding lighting

Many weddings, especially daytime events, don’t require lighting. But you will want to consider hiring a lighting company for most weddings that extend into the evening. This applies to outdoor events as well. Many rental and tent companies will offer string lighting options. However, the same crew that sets up the tent will string the lighting. This means fewer options and the lack of a designer touch on your lighting elements.

A traditional bistro look can go a long way in a tent wedding. Pole-support string lighting can be an affordable and aesthetic option for covering large, outdoor areas. 

When deciding on your lighting budget, you’ll want to get an idea of what you’re looking for first. Uplighting is great in most settings, as it can be used to hide the wall color. This is a good option if the color doesn’t match your theme, or if you don’t like the color! If you want to cover something completely, your lighting and decor company can do that too! Free-standing pipe and drape is a practical and elegant way to combat ugly art and unsightly walls.

Wedding Lighting cost guide pin spots example

Pin spots bring out the detail in florals and decor.

Our portfolio has images from Virginia’s most popular wedding venues. Explore the beautiful photo galleries to get an idea of how our wedding lighting and decor services can benefit your wedding reception.

Like any other wedding service, lighting scales with your event. Decor for larger weddings will require a more significant budget.

Deciding on your  lighting and decor budget

The best way to find out your lighting cost is to get a quote from one of our designers. We know many couples are looking for a number to get on with the wedding planning, so we’ll get back to you quickly. If we can get all the details from you quickly and are familiar with the venue, we can turn around a quote in no time.

What does wedding lighting cost?

  1. Uplighting for a ballroom (Depends on size): $700-$2000

  2. Monogram Gobo Light: $200-300

  3. Pin-spot lighting: $25-$35

  4. Texture lighting: $50-$75 per light fixture/pattern

  5. Cake spotlight: $30-$100

  6. Chandeliers: $150 – $500

  7. Pipe and drape: $7.50 – $15 per linear foot (10 ft sections)

  8. Bistro Lighting: $3-5 per linear foot

  9. Pendants: $15 – $25 per 

  10. Drape Canopy: $3-5 per linear feet of drape used.

  11. Mini-light Canopy: $0.50 – $0.75 per foot

  1. Lift Rentals: ~$600 ; Lifts are needed to reach higher than 15′. You can expect a lift charge if you’re getting a drape or string lighting canopy in a taller venue or tent.

Wedding Lighting Labor Costs

Typically, labor costs range from $400 to $800, but if your scope is large, more techs will need to be added. Things like drape canopies and mini light canopies can take a lot of time and skill to set up, requiring more techs. Delivery locally is usually between $50 and $150, depending on mileage. 100-200 miles away will cost around $250 in delivery charges.

A bit of decor can go a long way.

What do most people pay for wedding lighting & decor?

Some couples discover the benefit of lighting and decor when they first start planning. For these folks, the cost can seem a bit prohibitive at first. The important thing to remember is that many of the other elements you’ve committed to: the cake, florals, linens, even the catering, rely on lighting to stand out.  Multiple lighting features aren’t required to make your wedding shine.  If the budget is tight, a single, well-designed service can go the distance.

Typically, single-service lighting designs are either uplighting or string lighting. These services add incredible ambiance and provide the lighting required to control the ambiance. We typically advise clients to budget $1200-$1400 for a small, one-feature wedding. If your wedding fits inside a 40 x 60 tent outside, a simple bistro lighting hang will do the trick. You should budget between $1800-$5000 for a mid-sized, multi-feature wedding. Most weddings fit into this category. Large and multi-day events vary widely. If this sounds like your wedding, go ahead and give us a call and talk to one of our designers to get an idea of what you should be budgeting. 

Pin spots add to a wedding lighting design by drawing attention to centerpieces, while not disturbing the rest of the lighting design.

Wedding lighting cost uplighting example image

Professional uplights have the power to reach heights that others can’t.

Getting more out of your budget

Some venues and DJs will offer simple uplighting options to couples at what appear to be competitive prices. While pricing on these services are often attractive, there are a few things you need to understand. There are many lights that can be purchased for cheap by venues & DJs, who turn around and rent to couples for $800-$1200. Often, you’ll end up paying only slightly less for a product that has a fraction of the quality. There are a number of problems with this low-quality lighting. Often, the Red/Green/Blue LEDs within the lights that are used for mixing to different colors are not purchased from the same place. This causes the lights to have slightly different colors. Many venues will show pictures of lighting that a professional company did and claim that as their lighting package. Others will heavily edit the photos they show you so the lighting looks more impressive. 

Unfortunately, by the time you realize the difference in quality, it’s too late.

Professional lighting companies not only have higher quality equipment, they often have specialized lighting for different applications. Do your research before accepting uplighting from a DJ or Venue; more often than not, they are charging you for an inferior product. These businesses normally don’t have the justification to field the upfront cost of professional, “touring grade” lighting equipment.  Think of it like this: You can get affordable catering from your local fast-food restaurant. You can even get your wedding cake from Walmart. Technically, that and what you’d get from a high-end caterer or bakery are both foods, but they have large differences in the level of quality. 

Wedding lighting and your venue

Lighting can be the most affordable way transform your event space. It’s also one of the best ways to accent the finer details of your venue. Remember, lighting is what makes your wedding feel special.

Lighting affects everything from the cake to your dress, even your guests. A well-executed lighting design will totally transform your venue, instantly enhance the reception decor, and create amazing photo ops for you and your guests. Lighting is not only a decor item itself; it’s an upgrade to every single element of your wedding.

Wedding lighting cost guide drape and uplighting photo

One service lighting service can make a big difference, but combining services will make your wedding stand out.

Hiring a pro

The Wedding Lighting Company is a wedding-specific design company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide event production services, including lighting, decor, and drape services, for weddings of all sizes and a diverse range of clients. Our no-hassle pricing, straightforward quotes process will get you a price right away, with no meeting required. This will help you know costs fast, and help you budget for your wedding accordingly. We are the only wedding-specific lighting and decor company in Virginia, with an inventory and designers dedicated to ensuring your wedding shines bright in your memories.

Lighting changes everything. Let’s design something beautiful together.

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