Indian wedding reception ballroom at Hotel Irvine

Everything You Need To Know About Lighting Costs For Indian Weddings


As a company focused on helping couples find their venue, lighting design is part of that decision. Our team at ShaadiShop wanted to get more insight into Indian wedding reception ballroom lighting.
So we partnered with Naveen Sharma, the Founder of Naveen Productions. His company specializes in DJ, MC, Lighting and Photo booth services for Indian and all South Asian weddings.

We got to talk in depth about lighting issues that matter to busy brides and grooms who need to get to the heart of the info quickly and accurately.


{What Are The Different Types of Lights Typically Used in a South Asian Wedding?}

​Naveen: The main lights we use at South Asian weddings are up-lights that are placed around the perimeter of the ballroom. Additionally lights to light up the dance floor lighting for the floor, and patterns or wash lights for the walls.  
Patterns lights are exactly what they sound like lights the project a pattern. Whereas wash lights offer a wash of color(s).

Indian wedding reception ballroom at Hotel Irvine
In this photo you can see the swirly patterned lights around the perimeter of the room and the blue up-lights, as well. Photo: Yogi Patel – Global Photography.

{How Does Lighting Change Throughout The Reception?}

When the doors open I dim the room’s lights so the up-lights give that WOW factor as guests arrive.  During dinner, my team and I will often change the color of the lights to set the mood. And during open dancing, all the lights change color and even pulse to the music to create a fun dancing environment.
During the grand entrances/introductions, we often strobe the lights as the couple enters the room, but we always ask them first.  
Also, during open dancing, some couples do not want the lights to change color, so we keep them one color – it just depends on each client’s preferences. 
Sometimes DJs and lighting designers do what they think looks best, without first checking with the couple. We recommend working with a lighting design and sound company that defaults to the client, rather than the other way around.
During the program, we focus on setting the mood via music, but we don’t alter the lighting during the program.

{Lighting Tradeoffs: Atmosphere vs. Photo/Video}

During the introductions, I dim the room lights. But that impacts their photo quality.  Clients spend a significant portion of their wedding budget on photography and cinematography so we always try to be cognizant and balance creating the atmosphere in the moment with the image quality.
The experienced photography and cinematography companies are aware of these shifts in lighting throughout the reception and also come prepared. 
During the program there’s sufficient lighting for this not to be a factor. And once dancing starts, the photography and cinematography companies will typically use additional flashes and gear to capture the moments beautifully. 

{What Factors Determine How Many Lights You Need?}

​Naveen: This is a GREAT question! Many companies sell  lighting based on number of lights within the client’s budget. However often times it’s not enough.
At our company, we charge a flat rate, and clients trust to design the room. We have a vested interest in producing quality events as those events are our best marketing channel. 
People have a great time dancing and are impressed with the lighting and look and that is how we build our reputation and new business.
The average South Asian wedding, with 350 guests in a hotel ballroom, gets about 40 lights. 
ProTip: Ask your lighting designer about battery-operated lights – no ugly cords, no wires, no worries about lights overheating — kid-friendly. We exclusively use battery-operated lights and it’s been a game changer for our business. Clients and guests love it. 

{What You Can Expect to Spend on Indian Wedding Reception Lighting}

Minimal wedding reception lighting is perimeter up-lighting and you can expect to spend between $1000 and $1500. ​
Going “big” with lighting includes moving heads, spot lights, pattern wash, and up lighting, and you can expect to spend between $2000-$3000, and even more if you add pin spotting per table. 


{Take Aways}

For some wedding reception lighting is a bit of an enigma. So we hope we were able to shed some light (pun intended!) on this topic for you. As you can see you’ll want to budget anywhere from $1000-$5000 for lighting. 

Costs vary based on what lighting you choose and some companies charge based on number of lights.

We also wanted to make you aware of some of the tradeoffs with regards to lighting and photography and cinematograph. As you know, lighting has a major impact on both. And it’s always great if your vendors can work together and/or discuss to ensure everyone’s success.

{Thank you To Naveen Sharma of Naveen Productions!}

A big thank you to Naveen Sharma for sharing these super useful insights. Naveen Productions specializes in South Asian weddings offering DJ, lighting, MC, and photobooth services. Visit them on the web, Facebook, and Instagram.

3dcropped (1)



I hope this article has been helpful to you. We wrote this because the $100k, 300-350 guest Indian wedding is pretty common. If you have comments, questions or stories you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments below. Follow ShaadiShop on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles for venue sales and catering teams.

Samta Varia Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues





“Shaadishop helped me not only find venues but also understand how they work, the fees, and tips that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Definitely a need service in the desi community. “ Hinna S., Bride

“Cannot say enough good things about the service from Samta and ShaadiShop who helped us research venues for our wedding this year. We wanted a non-hotel venue, and to get married within 6 months. ShaadiShop immediately found us venues, contacted them and educated us about all the things we needed to think about while selecting a venue. They put all the info together in a fabulous, super impressive, spreadsheet that helped us compare venues – seriously amazing and such a great help. Working with them made the whole stressful process MUCH easier and I can’t believe it was all free! ShaadiShop’s website is fantastic and such a great service for South Asians – so glad I found them!”Anjli S., Bride

“We’re so glad we used ShaadiShop to book our venue. The info on the website is amazing and then they gave us such personalized attention! They were such a valuable resource for selecting venues, helping us understand policies and logistics. Their suggestions saved us a lot money too! They really understood us, what we wanted and helped us get it. AND it’s free! So glad there’s a service like this for South Asians. Awesome that there’s something like this for South Asians!” Janki K, Bride

“I worked with ShaadiShop to find a venue for my daughter’s wedding. The website is easy to use and has so much useful information. ShaadiShop made everything easy for me – getting quotes, suggesting venues, explaining fees and policies. Most importantly, my daughter and son-in-law are happy with the venue. ShaadiShop is a great and service for our community. I’m so glad I found them!”Charu S., Bride’s Mother


Cover Photo: Yogi Patel – Global Photography.