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Wedding Lighting Ideas: How to Transform Any Indoor Venue

We are back at it today with a hot topic: our top wedding lighting ideas!

And truly, lighting is the best way to transform any indoor venue. Here's the best part: at an indoor venue, you have full control over the lighting. Walls, ceiling, hanging, etc. are all possibilities for wedding lighting and we have seen some incredible transformations. Ready to be enlightened? Ha, see what I did there.

First, hi! We're Olio, and we are a flexible indoor loft venue in a historic theater building in downtown Peabody, 25 minutes north of Boston, Massachusetts. We built our space as a blank slate New England venue specifically so that clients could have ultimate flexibility to create the wedding of their dreams. Without any lighting, the building shines through; with additional event lighting, Olio can be transformed into any theme.

At Olio, we have installed permanent hanging pendant lights from the beams which are perfect for our day-to-day use. They are on two seperate switches (front and back of the rooms) and highly sensitive dimmers so we can adjust to exactly the right setting throughout the event. From there, couples decide whether they want to add additional lighting and you can see below the impact lighting has!

Wedding lighting ideas for bride and groom first dance with projector and chandelier
Photo by 617 Weddings at Olio showing projection lighting and chandelier lighting by Design Light

Wedding lighting can set the mood, highlight the details of the building, and even create a sense of magic. Here are a few real examples of lighting at Olio:

Uplighting Wedding Lighting Ideas

Uplighting is a great way to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. It casts a soft glow on the walls and ceiling, making the space feel more spacious and elegant. This is a popular choice for weddings because it can create a romantic and intimate atmosphere or a club-like party environment. It is also one of the most budget-friendly ways to incorporate lighting into your wedding.

New as of fall 2023: Olio now offers uplights as an add-on service for clients who wish to add them!

Wedding lighting ideas with bright red and orange uplights and bride and groom
Photo by Austin Wilder at Olio showing orange/red uplights
Wedding lighting ideas with bride and friends and uplights for dancing
Photo by Erin of Boston at Olio showing blue party uplights
Wedding lighting ideas with white uplights at dinner and string lighting
Silk City Photo at Olio with white uplights
Wedding lighting ideas with blue and green uplights and bride and groom dancing
Photo by PTaufiq Photography at Olio with blue and green uplights for dancing

String Lighting Wedding Lighting Ideas ✨

The oh-so-romantic favorite at Olio is string lights and we totally see why 😍 Give me a twinkle light overhead any day! There are different styles of string lights (holiday lights, café lights, fairy lights, and more) and they are most often strung either across or around the room to create a warm and cozy environment.

Pro tip: make sure to ask your lighting designer for dimmer switches if you have string lights over the dancing area! The lights that are perfect for dining may feel too bright for the dance party.

New as of fall 2023: Olio now offers string lighting as an add-on service for clients who wish to add it!

Wedding lighting ideas string lighting at dinner romantic
Photo by Caroline Giuliano of string lighting over dinner tables at Olio

Wedding Lighting ideas with bride and groom first dance and string lights in background
Nicole Hunt Photo at Olio with string lights
Wedding lighting ideas of christian ceremony with string lighting
Photo by Abigail Renee with ceremony string lighting
Wedding lighting ideas modern string lights over dinner tables
Photo by Jessie Felix at Olio with string lights over dinner tables

Candle Wedding Lighting Ideas🕯️

While we haven't figured out how to get candles to float around the room yet (Harry Potter reference), we do get to see couples play with candlelight as centerpiece and table décor in a big way. Candles at Olio may be real flame (enclosed in glass with the top of the flame 1+ inch below the top of the glass) or candle-like lights. They not only help to set the mood but candles throw off a fair amount of light and heat in the space. Perfect for sharing a romantic wedding meal, and especially ideal for a winter wedding!

Wedding lighting ideas candles everywhere with bride and groom
Photo by Jessie Felix at Olio with lots of candles
Wedding lighting ideas candle light on dinner tables for romance
Photo by Caroline Giuliano at Olio with candles on dinner tables

Chandelier Wedding Lighting Ideas

With 30-ft ceilings and historic wood rafters, you can absolutely take advantage of the opportunity to customize your wedding lighting with hanging chandeliers. Chandeliers typically are suspended from our beams and the height can be adjusted by the lighting designer for varying effects. Chandeliers are so fun because they come in so many styles: modern, rustic, contemporary, classic, and more.

Wedding lighting ideas hanging chandeliers modern
Photo by 617 Weddings at Olio with gold modern chandeliers
Wedding lighting ideas chandelier hanging rustic
Hanging rustic chandelier at Olio
Wedding lighting ideas gold modern chandeliers
Photo by Paul Robert Berman at Olio with gold chandeliers

Disco Ball Wedding Lighting Ideas

Of course, we absolutely must give a nod to our favorite sparkly lighting fixture: the disco ball. Disco balls can be suspended from the ceiling or mounted onto stands but one thing is for sure... they make a GIANT splash in a big room like ours. Don't believe us? Take a look for yourself!

Wedding lighting ideas disco ball first dance bride and groom
Photo by Jay Robin at Olio with disco ball by James Biller/Boston Event Lighting

Wedding lighting ideas disco ball multicolor
Photo by Abigail Jean at Olio with multicolored reflection ball

Neon Wedding Lighting Ideas

If you are looking for a way to make a statement at your wedding with lighting, neon wedding lights are a great option! These can be suspended on an archway or frame or may be hung from the wall, depending on the look you are going for. Some couples choose to purchase a custom wedding neon (your name or a special date or phrase) and some choose a standard neon sign that can be found in a retail setting. Either way, you can consider reusing the neon sign at your home after the wedding if you have a great spot for it!

Pro tip: neon (which is now made out of LED lights) needs to be plugged in to operate, or you can purchase a battery pack to have ultimate flexibility for placement.

Wedding lighting ideas neon grooms
Photo by Amanda Macchia at Olio with neon wedding light
Wedding lighting ideas neon with bride and groom cutting cake
Photo by Nicole Hunt of neon at Olio
Wedding lighting ideas of neon sign with pumpkins for fall wedding
Photo by With Love of neon sign at Olio

Large Letters Wedding Lighting Ideas

So simple and such a statement piece! Guests will love to take a photo with giant light up letters or numbers that are significant to you. Most couples rent these but we have had clients buy or build their own to save and reuse after the big day too!

Wedding lighting ideas with large light-up letters for LOVE and bride and groom
Photo by Granite Stag with letter lights LOVE

Wedding lighting ideas with large light-up letters for AMOR
Mariel O Photo at Olio with light up letters
Wedding lighting ideas large letters
Photo by Angelina Rose of large A letter at Olio

Gobo Wedding Lighting Ideas

Gobos are a specific type of projection using a stencil to create patterns or images on walls or ceilings. It can be used to add a touch of creativity and personality to your wedding. Many couples choose to project their names or wedding date onto the walls or dance floor. This is perfect for the dark, textured walls at Olio!

Wedding lighting ideas gobo names and date on wall
Photo by Alanna Hogan with gobo projection

Gobo wedding lighting with two grooms toast on their wedding day
Vivid Life Experience at Olio

Gobo wedding lighting for two grooms near Boston
Vivid Life Experience at Olio

Projection Wedding Lighting Ideas

If you are looking to make a real splash 💦 consider a professional projection. You can create any pattern or environment on Olio's historic 17ft walls and it can be static or involve movement. Another great use for a wedding projector is to share a favorite video. We had a client elope and then project their wedding video and dance underneath it. Another couple expressed their love of video games by projecting their Nintendo 64 right on the wall and giving guests a chance to play.

Wedding lighting ideas projection above bride and groom
Photo by Angelina Rose at Olio of projection

Miscellaneous Wedding Lighting Ideas

Lastly, a few amazing wedding lighting ideas that simply can't be put in a box. Lasers? We've seen them. Neon table lights? Yup, so fun. Hanging lanterns and wall lighting? We love it.

Wedding lighting ideas with LED tubes
Photo by Kataram at Olio of LED tube lights by Retonica

Wedding lighting ideas LED tubes in white
Photo by Elizabeth LaDuca of white LED tubes

Wedding lighting ideas laser and haze party
Photo by Elizabeth LaDuca of haze and laser at Olio

Wedding lighting ideas for on wall with light balls globes
Photo by BKB at Olio with light globes

A few extra tips to consider as you are researching wedding lighting ideas:

  • Many couples combine multiple lighting techniques to set the mood in the room or in different parts of the room.

  • With the current status of LED lighting, any color is possible! When you hire an event lighting designer, ask if they have an onsite tech throughout the event who will be changing the colors as the evening goes on.

  • Most couples work with a professional wedding lighting company. This is highly recommend as they are the experts! In addition, there are opportunities for lighting (especially uplights and candles) that can be done by the client or decorator.

  • Pro tip: Anything suspended from beams or hooks at Olio must be approved in advance in writing so that we can evaluate the weight/attachment for structural integrity.

  • Pro tip: overhead lighting (like string lights or chandeliers) typically must be completed before other vendors arrive and removed after other vendors depart. Make sure to budget for extra time at the venue, if needed!

At Olio, we truly embrace couples' unique visions and wedding lighting is a brilliant way to do that.

And now that we've shared some examples of things that have been done here before, we can't wait to see what YOU come up with!

Ready to tour? Time to inquire! Or read more about our love of weddings.

Shine brightly,

Sarah Narcus,

Owner, Olio


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