Unique Wedding Idea: Creative Lighting and Décor

Now here's a bright idea: lighting that not only illuminates your space but also adds plenty of decorative flourish. Check out these brilliant how-tos

Updated 09/14/11

This content originally appeared as "Glow!" in BRIDES Magazine. Prices and other information in this story were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual designers and vendors.

Turn a gazebo into an after-dark lounge with strands of twinkle lights, diaphanous drapes, and sturdy glass hurricanes.

Tip: Camouflage the setup by using a white outdoor extension cord rather than moreobtrusive orange or dark green.

Hurricanes, from $105 each, Abigails. Pillar candles, from $4 each, Design Ideas. Rental banquette, AFR Event Furnishings. Sheer custom panels, Circle Visual.

Candlelight brings a magical warmth to the ceremony site. Place votives all over for awelcoming glow, and flank the aisle and vow area with sturdy enclosed lanterns; avoid low, open flames anyplace where people may be.

Tip: If your venue doesn't allow open flames, use battery-operated tea lights—some even flicker like actual candles.

White wooden tea-light holders, $4.99 each, IKEA. White candlesticks (on mantle), from $50 each, Blissliving Home. Glass pedestal vases, $15 each, Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies. Glass cloches (inside hearth), $195 for three, Vagabond; Mothology. Large iron lanterns (lining aisle), Classic Party Rentals.

Almost any glass container can hold a candle; shop flea markets for chic vessels.

Sconces, $10 each, Lamp Glass. Rental linens, from $4 each, Nüage Designs.

Create a tableau of candles at varying heights on the entryway table; stick to one color theme for a quiet look, or mix hues for a livelier display.

Wooden candle holders, from $41 each, Lazy Susan. Antique gold-colored candle holders, from $132 each, Vagabond; Mothology. Mercury bubble vase, $24, HomArt; Areo Home. Loop candle holder, $112, Black+Blum.

A wine bottle with the bottom sliced off and sanded makes a unique hurricane.

Monogrammed wine-bottle hurricane, from $25, Word Couture. Green vases, $120 each, HomArt; Areo Home. Antique gold-colored tray, $145, Vagabond; Mothology. Wineglass, Classic Party Rentals.

Spotlight architectural details with candles and flowers.

Tip: Unlike tea lights, which last only a few hours, votives burn all night long (at least 10 hours!), making them great for a reception. (Check the packaging for the burn time.)

Pillar candle, $79, Restoration Hardware.

Welcome guests with a foliage wreath dressed up with string lights.

Tip: If you're not using battery-operated lights, hide extension cords by running them along a ledge or windowsill.

*Seeded eucalyptus wreath, $100, Beautiful Blooms. White eyelet paper-lantern string lights, $37 per strand (we used three), Cultural Intrigue; Luna Bazaar. *

Large rattan lanterns guide partygoers to the big event.

Tip: Outdoors, use extra-tall hurricanes or containers with glass chimney inserts to keep the wicks from blowing out.

$85 each, Vagabond; Mothology.

This stunning canopy was created with simple linen lampshades and light bulbs hung on extension cords; a power strip was cleverly hidden in the trellis, and metallic disk curtains added movement.

Tip: To create a romantic ambiance, use low-wattage incandescent bulbs—bright lights would kill the mood!

*Shades, $40 each, Ballard Designs. Garlands, $40 each, Dazian. Crystal teardrops, $4.50 each, Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies. *

Drop a floating candle into a bubble bowl of water, and hang it on a special plate drilled with three holes and threaded with ribbon to make a "reverse tripod."

Plate, $40, The Mad Planter. Glass globe, $4.99, Libbey. Ribbon, May Arts.

Mini vellum lampshades turn simple wineglasses and votives into elegant café lamps, enhancing the cozy feel of your fete.

Mini lampshades, $16 for three, MOMA Store. Red wineglasses, Classic Party Rentals.

Intersperse hanging votives with flower "baskets" made of metal cans. Drill holes for string, fill them with blooms, and decorate a trellis, gazebo, or window.

Hanging silver votives, $16 for six, Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies.

Scatter votives on mix-and-match cake plates and use them as centerpieces or to decorate the dessert table.

Tip: Butane candle lighters make illuminating a wedding so much simpler than it is with matches; they cost just a few bucks each and are available at your local convenience store.

Blue glass cake plate, $43, Mosser Glass. White cake stand, $115, Juliska. Blue votives, $5 for four, Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies.

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