Good wedding lighting is right up there with flowers, food, and atmosphere when it comes to all things that can help set the mood of your wedding day. While you can illuminate your celebration with everything from romantic candles to modern Edison bulbs, one of the most popular wedding lighting options is string lights. Couples love this look for its whimsical, fairy-tale vibes—and you probably will too!
Using string lights at your wedding will ensure that your setting truly sparkles, and there are a ton of different ways to incorporate them into your big day. If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, have fairy lights cascading overhead to give off a romantic vibe. For a wintry wedding, try wrapping bare trees in glowing coils of rope lights to set the stage for your frozen wonderland. You can even fill lanterns with nests of tiny bulbs for an unexpected way to feature string lights at your wedding. Needless to say, the options are endless when it comes to taking your lighting to the next level.
Here are 35 ways to use string lights at your wedding.
A Sky Full of Stars
While a Sicilian countryside wedding is about as dreamy as it gets, this bride still managed to up the ante by ensuring guests dined under a "sky full of stars." A mixture of strands with both small and large bulbs created the breathtaking celestial array.
A Double Dose
There can never be too many lights at an outdoor twilight affair. This alfresco setting has double the illumination thanks to dazzling string lights and a table set with candles.
A Glittering Trail
More is more when it comes to a glistening canopy over a linear head table that's outfitted with a trail of greens and votives. We love how the curtained lights run parallel to the table and candles creating a stunning contrast of stark lines and a curved ceiling.
For extra character in a bare-bones reception space, rows of LED ropes, drippy wax candles, leafy wreaths, and layers of lights will definitely do the trick. We love how the elements were kept humble with a DIY aesthetic that complemented the rustic space beautifully.
Lanterns of Light
Lanterns with pillar candles and lit-up coils can serve as a unique (and handy) way to make the walk to the reception more visible. Since there are no cables to worry about, these are great for lighting up dimly-lit crevices or dark alcoves.
Use battery-operated, flameless candles to eliminate the danger of exposing the lights to an open flame. Candles and lights that can be controlled remotely or with timers will streamline the set up process.
An Illuminated Focal Point
These newlyweds said their I do's beneath the most magical ceremony setting we've ever seen. Dozens of big-bulbed string lights transformed this stately tree into an otherworldly altar to cement their union before.
A Twinkling Canopy
This Cabo San Lucas destination wedding was all aglow, thanks to never-ending yards of lights. While this wasn't a tented reception by any means, we love how the strands formed a peaked ceiling above the alfresco setting.
A Walk of Whimsy
Strings of fairy lights dangle from the ceiling of this ceremony, transforming the space into a whimsical wonderland. The combination of a glittering ceiling, candlelit aisle, and ample florals add softness and femininity to the industrial venue.
Dancing With the Stars
A combo of twinkle lights and show-stopping, flameless sparklers will have your guests convinced that they're dancing under the stars. If you want to inject some energy into the dance floor, this is definitely one way to do it.
Palms of Paradise
The palm trees at this tropical wedding venue were wrapped in rope lights for the festivities. The restrained approach allows for light décor without taking away from that million-dollar view.
A Magical Ceremony Arch
Fairy lights were absolutely not negotiable for these boho nuptials. The modern copper arch gets a serious dose of whimsy with colorful blooms, playful streamers, and vertical strands of twinkling lights.
Give It a Glow
Light up the night with a glowing altar and tea lights floating in hurricane vases along the aisle. The dark, wooden interior creates a dramatic contrast for the romantic lighting setting an unforgettable scene.
The addition of sheer fabric, as seen at the wedding of blogger Chloe Wen, can soften the look of string lights. The final results are glowing, ethereal panels that bring in texture and fill larger spaces to feel more intimate.
A Dewy Dome
With seemingly thousands of string lights adorning this clear wedding tent, the space was transformed into an enchanting nighttime scene. Like incandescent dew drops frozen in place, this lighting design was tailor-made for a frosty winter theme.
Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl used fairy lights along the wooden rafters of her reception space to create the look of a starry sky. The added shimmer not only brightens up the dark interiors, but also draws the eyes upward, highlighting the impressive height of the structure.
Twinkling aspen trees set the scene for a mountaintop celebration in the Rockies. These stunning branches are just the right decorative touch for the alpine aesthetic that may have otherwise been muddled in a sea of florals.
Such a lush and verdant tropical landscape needs little else in terms of décor. These vertical light-string vines incorporate just enough fantasy while still remaining sympathetic to the surrounding natural beauty.
A Beaming Accent Wall
Want to create a focal point? Light it up! All this industrial space needed was an accent wall of string lights to match the eclectic vibe.
A Whimsical Wonder
This playful chandelier may be the star of the show here, but we think the string lights deserve a shoutout for their supporting role. Following the undulating lines of the tented ceiling, the glimmering design leads everyone's attention straight to the focal point.
Light Up a Lounge
This lounge area x photo booth setting fully encapsulates the industrial edginess of the loft space, but with a romantic lens. While fairy lights would have just gotten lost in the masculinity, these bistro lights are strong enough to stand on their own.
Draping lights just above a sitting area, regardless of the actual height of the room, can give the illusion of a cozier space and lowered faux ceiling. The same room would seem much draftier and impersonal without them.
French provincial charm goes hand in hand with scattered candlelight and simple strands of twinkle lights. The modest lighting design harmonizes beautifully with the earthy setting and rustic chandeliers.
Water features innately call for candlelight and glittering ceilings as they reflect their warm glow, amplifying the magic. This pool adds so much enchantment to the setting by bathing the scene in the illusion of its incandescence.
Who knew icicle lights were more than just holiday décor? This funky set up totally brought the dance floor to life.
Traditional string lights get a sweet makeover when encased in pink paper lanterns. This candy-colored glow is all the airy décor the minimalist beach setting needs.
Keep It Casual
String lights aren't just for nighttime soirees. These bistro lights pull together the casual dining aesthetic of this charming, color-coordinated barbecue.
A Dramatic Backdrop
Serve up some serious drama by combining string lights and translucent paneling. The results create beautiful partitions, memorable accent walls, or a breathtakingly backlit backdrop for silhouetted portraits.
A Hanging Installation
This ultra-cool nuptial celebration took place under a bridge and came with industrial features to spare. The abundant design of vertical string lights and 300-feet of greenery garlands considerably softened the setting and buffered the soaring heights.
A Glamorous Glow
Glamour that glistens is all sorts of nuptial chic. This canopy of twinkle lights floods into an elegant wall of diaphanous fabric, highlighting the matching tablescapes. We love the linear set up and straight lines of the display providing some contrast to the overt femininity of the scene.
A Twinkling Pergola
These tiny bulbs may not provide much illumination to the daytime celebration, but what they lack in size they certainly make up for in cuteness. The masculine iron pergola gets a little touch of fairy dust to lighten up the meal.
X Marks the Spot
Enveloped in the warm glow of countless pillar candles, an outdoor fireplace, and strands of market lights, this winter wedding was anything but cold. The floral chuppah was precisely placed just under the intersection of two perpendicular strings of festoon lights to adequately illuminate the nuptial proceedings and cast the newlyweds in their glow.
A Luminous Arbour
This fantasy aisle of enchanting arbors and runway of white delphiniums and larkspur is storybook perfection. All that was needed were a few floating orbs of mystical light to complete the fairy-tale vision.
A Tropical Take
Rattan lanterns make for a tropical pairing to a sky full of quirky lights. The combination provides a fun take on illumination while still allowing the verdant landscape to shine.
A Seriously Lit Bar
Concentrate lights in one section, rather than pulling them across entire expanses, to highlight key spaces. This mixture of strung Edison bulbs and greenery definitely lights up the bar area.
A Dazzling Display
This intimate setting is all aglow in the gilded light of twilight, candle flames, and twinkle lights. The draped canopy of fairy lights in various styles provides the dreamiest of displays.
Contemporary string lights wrapped in garlands of greenery pair perfectly with the minimal, modern décor of this museum venue. The lighting not only brightens up the reception but also creates a faux pergola beneath the large skylight of the indoor/outdoor space.