Basic Indian Wedding Reception Lighting if You’re on a Budget

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

Well don’t worry. This guide is all about basic and minimal lighting for your Indian or any South Asian wedding reception.

You’ve probably talked to your friends and cousins who got married and they all said that lighting will transform the look of your ballroom, but you just don’t have the budget for it.  But you also don’t want to forego it all together so you decide to keep it minimal. I partnered with DJ Raj from Sound Nation for some tips on basic lighting to make your reception shine without completely blowing past your budget.

FYI, for most Indian weddings, couples have lighting done by their DJ. A lot of venues also offer lighting services. But you usually get greater value by going through your DJ. Additionally the vast majority of Indian wedding receptions are indoors. If you’re having an evening outdoor event consult with your lighting person, photographer and cinematographer to determine the optimal lighting, at your venue. Every venue has different outdoor environments and lighting, so your vendors will need to know that or better yet, visit the venue, so they know what lighting you’ll need as well as any prep they’ll need to do. 

  • Uplighting:  This is the standard at Indian wedding receptions. The number of lights you need will depend on the size of your room.  A room that holds 1,000 people will obviously need more uplights than a room that holds 100.  There’s usually a range of a minimum to the 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 than going below the minimum. How much lighting you’ll need is something your DJ/lighting person will be able to tell you.

PC: Global Photography
  • Sweetheart Stage Wash:  A wash is simply a highlight. It’s meant to make it stand out. And it’s not to be confused with a Sweetheart Table wash.  You want the whole stage well lit.  This will make your stage the center of attraction in the ballroom.  And don’t use colored lighting for the stage.  Instead make the stage colorful with the decor but stick to natural lighting tones, such as mmber. Geeta Randery, the principal photographer and owner at Randery Imagery agrees. See her tips on lighting best practices for your photos.


  • 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 have them change colors to give the dance floor a night club type effect.
  • Cake Lighting:  This is probably one of the least expensive line items in your lighting proposal.  You’ve spent a lot 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 is nicely lit, especially since it doesn’t cost much.

{Take Aways}

If you’re on a limited budget, focus on these lighting 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 decor to ensure your reception is magical.   

ProTip by Sound Nation, providing full service DJ, Mobile DJ, Dhol, Lighting, AV and more.


How ShaadiShop Works

Indian wedding at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, in the Rose Garden.

Search for venues by location and further filter by geography, price, capacity.

Indian wedding mandap at the Silverado Resort & Spa

Detailed venue profiles have the Indian and South Asian-specific info you need.

Indian couple standing outside The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco wearing Indian wedding attire

Fill out the form for each venue that you’re interested in and the venues will reach out to you.

ShaadiShop Indian Wedding Venues logo

The Largest Indian Wedding Venue Marketplace

About ShaadiShop

Our Partners

Hindi Classes Age 3-16
Travel Tips for South Asians