How to Light a Backyard Wedding

DIY Wedding Lighting for Backyard Wedding

This is something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. In Japanese, we’d call it mendokusai—annoying, a pain in the ass. My parents’ backyard has no lighting scheme to speak of at the moment, so we’ll have to start from scratch with our DIY wedding lighting. I’ve been researching our options in terms of how to light up our wedding.

square outdoor light

Image via DelRey Party Rentals

First up is these bad boys. Big quartz lights on poles. They’d probably do the best job for a well-lit backyard at night, but I don’t want florescent, harsh lighting. I’m looking for a soft glow for our DIY wedding lighting, and I think these will provide too much light. Plus, a local rental company priced them at $40 a pop! No thanks. Next!

tiki torches

Image via Home Depot (no longer available; similar here)

Tiki torches. Fire would definitely give the wedding that charming glow we’re looking for. Coupled with paper lanterns and white string lights, I think these would adequately light up the backyard to safety standards. But the thought of an open flame makes me wary, and tiki torches don’t really flow with the aesthetics of our wedding. Still, the price is right at $40 for two poles (via Home Depot). I’ll have to think about them.

solar light

Image via For Life Products (no longer available)

I almost screamed when I found these solar-powered white string lights. As I’ve mentioned, my parents’ house doesn’t have a back door (which always freaked me out growing up—ONE fire exit?…I thought about weird things as a child), so we can’t easily run power cords into the house. We could put up wooden poles and run them overhead across our backyard a la this backyard wedding from Once Wed:

backyard wedding lighting

Image via Once Wed / Photo by Sarah Yates Photography

The solar-powered lights store up energy in their panels during the day and come on after dark. We’d conserve energy and money, as these run a mere $23. Awesome, right?

giant white balloons for wedding

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Ashley Garmon

DIY wedding lighting

Image via Jason & Anna

What Asian-inspired wedding wouldn’t be complete without paper lanterns? We’ll have them in our wedding colors of red, white, and pink (and black, but black lanterns = morbid?). One tiiiiiiny problem—my backyard doesn’t actually have any trees to hang them from. But we’ve got shrubs. Lots and lots of shrubs. So we’ll buy LED paper lanterns and stick ’em in and around the shrubs. This wedding is getting lit one way or another, and who knows, it might make them look pretty!

Last up in our list of DIY wedding lighting: Candles. Everywhere.


wedding pie bar


How are you going to light up your wedding day? Are you doing to include any DIY wedding lighting?


Mrs. Glasses

Tokyo/Los Angeles, CA
Wedding Date:
October 2010
We Heart Our Venue
Love in Bloom: Fancy Clothes Time

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  1. Member
    emielli 25 posts, Newbee @ 1:00 pm

    I’ve always wanted paper lanterns in my wedding somehow! I just love the look of them.

  2. glasses Bee
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 8:55 am

    @Jeannette: Thanks for the tip!

    @Vanessa McKellar: Oh my! I will keep that in mind. Thank you!

    @wpgkim: I’m not sure about where you can purchase them because I haven’t been able to look in stores either, but there are a plethora of options to order online if you do a google search!

    @AlmostMrsHeath: We’ll be doing that for our iPod stereo so we can have some music 😀

  3. sewing Bee
    sewing 2649 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:20 pm

    lanterns are beautiful, but for some reason i’m a big fan of tiki torches. hehehe XD

  4. Member
    r_reds 4 posts, Wannabee @ 3:59 pm

    I love the lanterns on the poles! Thats what i want too, but is theres anyway of putting uo those poles without making holes on the ground??

  5. glasses Bee
    glasses 2749 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:50 pm

    @r_reds: Eeeeek, I couldn’t figure out the pole thing so we strung lights from the roof to trees. Sorry I’m not much help!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Let There Be Light « David Tutera Wedding Blog • It’s a Bride’s Life • Real Brides Blogging til I do!, Guest @ 3:36 am

    […] Credit: Wedding Bee, Bow ties and Bliss, Lockideas #PDRTJS_2226915_post45990_msg_1 {line-height: 22px; […]

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