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Fall and Winter Lighting Inspiration for Your Events

It’s summer and that can only mean one thing: fall and winter are just around the corner! In all seriousness, this year has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and we’ll likely be diving into our ‘new normal’ as fall approaches. What the industry will look like is still playing out, but it will likely mean shorter guest lists, socially distanced floor plans, and even a change in the order of events.

Still, some event aspects will remain the same, like floral arrangements, lighting, A/V, décor, and other details that create the overall design. If anything, these pieces will feel even more important as we attempt to embrace some semblance of normalness in a post-pandemic landscape. Here are some lighting ideas that can brighten up your clients’ fall and winter events, no matter the size.

Elaborate hanging installations

For many, a shorter guest list means more space in the budget to devote to a stunning event design. Expect clients to be more willing to splurge on décor features, including hanging installations. We’ve seen these show up in many ways, from ornate crystal chandeliers to Edison bulbs hung from wrought-iron pipe fixtures. Paired with a creative floral arrangement, these hanging installations are enough to wow guests from the moment they walk in the door.

Photo courtesy Kevin Dennis.

Since many clients may be opting for smaller venues to accommodate their lower headcount, they can still opt for elaborate lighting fixtures without breaking the bank—it may be as simple as one statement piece over the dance floor with pin lights and candles to complement.

Remote lighting solutions

Technology continues to make remote lighting control more and more accessible and this will be even more important as we reenter the market in the fall and winter. The ability to operate lighting from remote positions will help support social distancing guidelines, allowing lighting professionals to adjust the intensity and color from anywhere on the property.

Photo courtesy Danielle Poff Photography

This will especially be important as post-pandemic events will likely incorporate a lot of video displays as guests around the world join virtually. Thus, lighting needs will have to be considered alongside the use of video projection to ensure clarity and stream quality for everyone tuning in.

Flashback fun

The pandemic gave many of us an opportunity to revisit old favorites: long-forgotten TV shows, childhood comfort foods, and throwback music to get us through the weeks. This plays well into a trend that was already on the rise at the start of the year: 90s inspiration! It started with the resurgence of neon lighting and evolved into a funky display of bold patterns and old-school relics. Neon lighting has been classed-up for special events and we’re seeing it used to spell out names and statement words, as well as in off-the-wall lighting features that make for one-of-a-kind selfies (goodbye flower wall, hello neon wall!). 

Photo courtesy Stephanie Yonce Photography

Although many of us may still be waiting for the go-ahead to proceed with our events, there is still plenty we can do in the way of researching trends and planning around them. Rest assured, fall will be here before you know it and we’ll be right back to our old ways – just with a few adjustments. 


Kevin Dennis

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.