Basic Reception Lighting if You’re on a Budget

Is this you?…”I need lighting but I don’t have enough in my budget”

You hear it time and time again, lighting will transform the look of your ballroom, but you just don’t have the budget for it.  You don’t want to forego it all together so you decide to keep it minimal. Here are some ideas to make your ballroom shine without completely blowing past your budget. 

  • Uplighting:  This is the standard at every event these days.  The number of lights you need will depends on the size of your room.  A room that holds 1000 people will obviously need more uplights than a room that holds 100.  There’s usually a range of minimum to maximum number of lights which will work in your ballroom.  Don’t go below the minimum!  You’ll end up with spotty lighting in your room that will detract from the overall look – you’re better off doing nothing.

PC: Global Photography
  • Sweetheart Stage Wash:  Not to be confused with a Sweetheart Table Highlight.  Make sure your entire stage is well lit including your table.  This will make your stage the center of attraction in the ballroom.  Don’t use colors here.  Stick to natural tones, such as Amber.

  • Dance Floor Lights:  Usually you need two types of lights for the dance floor, but since we are short on budget here, just go with “programmed” LED washes.  Make sure you ask your lighting professional to have powerful LED lights for the dance floor.  With the “programmed” function you can also use them create a white color during your first dance, speeches, or performances and then for dancing you can use them to change colors to give the dance floor a night club type effect.

  • Cake Lighting:  Probably one of the least expensive line items in your lighting proposal.  You’ve spent hundreds on your beautiful cake and you’re going to have a cake cutting ceremony, so you might as well make sure your cake table or stage nicely lit, especially since it doesn’t cost much.

If you’re on a limited budget, focus on these items which will make the most important pieces of your venue’s ballroom look fantastic.  Hire an experienced lighting professional who can put these pieces together with the rest of your décor to ensure your reception is magical.   


ProTip by Sound Nation, providing full service DJ, Mobile DJ, Dhol, Lighting, AV and more. Check back with us every week on #ThoughtfulThursday for Sound Nation’s one-of-a-kind tips for South Asian weddings!


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