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  • Writer's pictureCitadel Manager

Deciphering the Wedding Lighting Lingo

You’ve made it to the venue and you’re on your tour. You love the venue but they start going through packages and start using all sorts of words that you have no idea about. You’re nodding like you know but inside you’re like, “What the heck is an up-light?!”

We are here to Help! There are a few different types of lights to consider when you are planning your big day. Of course, the venue that you choose will have lights, some that are

possibly dimmable (you want that!), but often you want something more when especially for dancing or to create the ambiance you are going for.

Here we’ll let you in on industry lingo and how to best use the different types of lighting.


Up-Lighting: Up-lights are a small unit of light that is placed on the ground. The light shines any color of the rainbow onto the walls in an upward fashion. This type of lighting is best for when your dance floor opens. Most venues have white lights in their fixtures, which work for day-to-day activities, but are great for when it’s time to bust a move. The lights here gave this wedding pink and green hues to match their colorful theme! To check out some examples of how up-lights can really enhance and accentuate the room – click here!

These up-lights made the purple in this wedding really come alive!


Gobo Lighting: Gobo, what a funny word- right?! This type of lighting is a stencil that is placed in a lighting fixture. The stencil can be anything that you would like, we usually see brides do their initials or their first names with their wedding date! This is cute for Instagramable moments. Gobo lighting can also be used to add some flare to your dance floor. Instead of putting down a hard dance floor, if your venue does not require one (like us – given our pristine, white Italian Marble floors!) you can use Gobo lighting to create a design on the dance floor. Check more examples of gobo lighting at our Wedding Gallery page - click here!


String Lights: String lights are typically seen outdoors. The lights are lights on a string, like

Christmas lights! These lights are a must if you plan on doing any part of your wedding day

outside. There are a few different kinds of string lights that you can use. Some have smaller lights, literally the lights you use at Christmas, that you can wrap around trees like seen in the first photo from Dukessa, our sister property. Or you can get Market string lights that have a larger bulb and give off a more romantic vibe. You can see those hanging from the balcony and higher up spaces in the photos below. They really transform the space from just the outdoors to a romantic getaway. Our sister property – Dukessa –– is the Queen of string lit Courtyards in our opinion (not like we’re biased or anything – See below!!)

Lighting can be a game changer for the mood and ambiance of your event. Whether you plan to get all of the lights above or pick and choose, you can’t go wrong with any of the options above.

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