A simple item (that is probably wadded up in a box in your garage) could make your wedding reception photos look fantastic.

      A string of twinkle lights. Well, the more, the better.

      Palm Door event space // Elissa R Photography

      Your wedding venue (be it a backyard, or a rustic barn, or a warehouse, or a hotel) could always use some mood enhancement. And while hiring a bonafide lighting pro is a great idea, if you’re more interested in DIY-ing it yourself, adding strings of Christmas lights or globe lights can really make your reception photos look prettier. They add a warm light, they are so versatile to use as background in photos, and (bonus) if your wedding is in a really dark space it can help your guests see where they’re dancing!

      I like to shoot with a pretty shallow depth-of-field most of the day. This means that the plane of focus on your reception photos is going to be thin — that’s why stuff is blurred out in the background. Notice how you can see the pointy tips of the Christmas lights close to David and Nola, but they turn into fuzzy blobs in the distance? It’s called bokeh and I love the effect.

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      Another example. The centerpiece arrangement here is offset nicely by these pretty lights in the back:

      reception setup in kali kate pavilion texas

      And these cupcakes look amazing, but they look even better with a little bit of texture behind them (rather than just the blurry roof of the venue).

      outdoor wedding at kali kate in buda

      I like using the strings of lights as compositional elements. Such as in this mother-son dance — the string of light cutting diagonally across the image separates the negative space and makes it more pleasing to the eye:


      And I framed Hollye and Carter with lights in this shot:

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      But mostly, it’s a nice way to make your wedding a little brighter, a little happier. This canopy of lights over Michelle and Rocky’s first dance is so lovely.

      twinkle lights and big trees

      Globe lights (installed by Intelligent Lighting Design) illuminate the cigar-smoking guests in this shot…

      bobalu cigar company wedding photos

      Out in a field of wildflowers, this tent looks like something out of a magical world with its edges lined in tiny lights…

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      And used in the foreground and background of photos, twinkle lights wrapped around trees can make for some more unique and pretty photos.

      allan house wedding dance

      I hope that this inspires some of you out there to include some twinkle lights in your wedding!



      Excellent tip! I love the way all these look and it’s such an easy way to add light and prettiness to every setting!

      YES!!!! I wish all weddings had market lights! So pretty and so romantic! Love these shots!