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Do I need uplighting?

April 25, 2011

“Do I need uplighting?” Many brides and grooms are unaware of what uplighting is, while other couples have heard of it but may have not seen it in action at their wedding venue. Today I arrived early for a client meeting, and luckily I was able to join them on a walk through of their wedding reception rooms. The Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel dates back to 1912, rich with history and old Boston glamour. As the sister hotel to the famed Plaza Hotel New York, Copley Plaza’s Renaissance decor is recognizable in movies such as Bride Wars, The Firm, Blown Away, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. We got a good feel for the layout as we toured the St. James, Singleton, and Copley rooms. Soaring leather ceilings, mahogany walls, and adjoining fireplaces set the perfect tone for a winter wedding. Even without adding additional uplighting, the room will take your breath away. Since its already so beautiful, I don’t my clients had considered lighting for the event space. A lighting designer happened to be in the room, prepping for another event. I definitely saw some jaws dropping as they witnessed transformation of the room when he turned on the lights. With all the expenses of planning a wedding though, upgrades and add-ons have to be carefully considered. Reviewing photography from previous weddings in the same or similar ballrooms may help you in figuring out if the atmosphere that lighting design offers is a priority or unnecessary extra. In addition to some of the extravagant lighting designs you might find in wedding magazines, there may be other lighting options as well. Below are some sample pictures of what a richly appointed ballroom looks like both with and without up-lighting. In this first photo, you can see a ballroom lit with existing chandeliers and no uplighting.

Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel St James Room as a wedding venue in Back Bay Boston

In the next photo, the dark mahogany wood is highlighted with a warm amber tint from the LED uplighting. This warm hue compliments the red, natural tones in the wooden walls.

Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel wedding venue in Back Bay Boston

Purple uplighting changes the atmosphere completely, as seen below:

boston cambridge uplightingBoston uplighting in historic hotel wedding venue

One of the reasons I love my job as a wedding photographer is that even if I am hired to photograph in the same wedding venue on more than one occasion, each bride and groom choose what is important to them and personalize their wedding in a way that is their own. I have certainly seen it all.

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