An Unexpected Surprise for the Minks

When I originally told her that I was totally against bringing lighting into our venue, a friend asked me what I had against lighting. Thinking about it, I felt a little silly. After all, we follow a band whose lighting guy is deemed the fifth member of the band. People actually shoot video of him working at shows. Having stood under his lights quite a few times in my life, unable to blink for fear of missing a second of the show, I think it’s safe to say that I’m a fan of lights.

Unfortunately, when I think of lights at weddings, my Jersey roots come out and I picture ballrooms with bold hues reaching every single corner. The rooms are literally washed in purple or pink or blue. The feel is almost theatrical.


From DJ Zone Magazine

That’s fine for a hotel or banquet hall, but it seems totally out of step with a vineyard wedding.

In my mind, the vineyard wedding should play up the environment. I don’t think of strong, harsh lighting when I envision our wedding. Somehow, vineyards don’t feel like venues that call for structured beams of light racing from the floor to the top of the wall.


Photo by The Wedding Central

I would probably coo over the lighting schemes above if I saw them at a concert, but I can’t fathom them at our wedding. I’d like to embrace our space and its surroundings, not throw up sheets of lights to cover what is there.


This reminded me of concerts we love where people throw glow sticks into the air during instrumental parts of songs / From Off the Chart Entertainment & Event Production

A good friend who worked for a local event company for years convinced me that lighting could be done tastefully. He said he could create a lighting design that would complement the room instead of take it over. Though he moved away a few years ago to work in a larger market, he’s coming back to Charlottesville to light our wedding.

I never even put lighting on our “to do” list because I was convinced we wouldn’t have it. This is a total surprise!

Did you have anyone surprise you with a service when you were wedding planning?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
The Dish Ran Away with the Spoon
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  1. Member
    MrsKeAloha 1044 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:45 am

    Oh I can’t wait to see what its like. I would love a surprise like that.
    My only surprises have been the total at the end of the contracts 🙂

  2. mink Bee
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:50 am

    @Miss Ke Aloha: EEk! I’m dreading one of those surprises!

  3. Member
    ddavila2001 611 posts, Busy bee @ 12:09 pm

    That is the Westmount Country Club isn’t it? I completely agree with you in regards to lighting. I have no desire for purple or blue or green lighting, to me it reminds me of the ground effects people put on their iRoc’s in the 80’s- (I’m also from the tri-state area). I also have no desire for wacky effect lighting, that includes gobo lights or monogram lighting. I happen to work in the events planning industry and I can understand the need for pinspot lighting or uplighting – IF NECESSARY and never in color. The wedding industry is a straight up racket, people are the business to create things to make you think you “need” them and then charge you three times the amount. Most of the estimates I put out there when I mention the word “wedding” come up 3x higher than they would if I were booking for a corporate or launch event.

  4. mink Bee
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:17 pm

    @ddavila2001: That IS Westmount! You have me wondering if we grew up in the same period! iRocs! Ha!

    Thank you so much for your comment. I was hoping I wasn’t alone in wanting some simple lighting that wasn’t over the top.

  5. Member
    ddavila2001 611 posts, Busy bee @ 12:29 pm

    You know and the Westmount is a lovely venue! It’s so funny because I met with a potential photographer who was showing me her portfolio and I saw THAT telltale lighting “concept”- it was literally ONLY the ceiling, the bride & groom were being lifted on chairs and I was like “is that the Westmount Country Club?” and she was like “HOW did you know?” well… Listen, I think it will be worth a meeting, right? You need to take your venue into consideration and what the lighting might be already. Tri-state hard *fist pumps*!

  6. coyote Bee
    coyote 2051 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:52 pm

    That’s so great!! We are going back and forth with the lighting. Our venue actually offers it at the no extra charge, but living in Westchester has made me fear that Jersey ballroom look!

  7. Member
    kamiie 116 posts, Blushing bee @ 3:34 pm

    Yay for lighting!!! I decided on lighting at the last minute (2 weeks before) for my Country Club wedding and I’m so glad I did…it does SO MUCH for pictures! You won’t regret it. The only time I don’t recommend it is for outdoor weddings…

  8. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 4:35 pm

    What a great surprise! I really liked having lighting at our wedding, even though it was a hassle getting it.

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