We’ve lit wedding receptions at mansions, medieval castles and manor houses – actually not yet a castle, but we’re always keen! – but a town or village hall poses a particular problem. How do you take a largely plain and open function room and turn it into a more intimate and inviting space? While some event companies might tempt you with an indoor tent or truss and all manner of ugly props from the corporate world, we prefer a more minimalist approach to indulge your guests. May I present to you: the colourful ribbon canopy wedding!
We wanted a ribbon canopy, but didn’t know if this would be possible with our venue. We approached Ben and Dan who agreed to take on the project and after viewing the venue, they explained their plan to us fully, including lighting options. The final result was even better than we ever imagined. – K & D
Although this goes beyond the realm of lighting, working in events has taught us how to adapt our skills to achieve the same results, namely to influence the mood and experience of the crowd. For this particular wedding, we were approached for advice on how to transform a bare venue into a beautiful space for the wedding party and their guests to enjoy. They wished to inject vibrant colour and warmth into the reception venue, and had a limited budget for how to achieve this. We also had limits on how we could use the village hall, such as not fixing anything to the walls or ceiling since it had recently been redecorated.
Given the size of the hall, a self supporting system would have involved installing a lot of bulky and unattractive infrastructure. Instead, to create the ribbon canopy we devised an ultra-lightweight system that could be rigged from the existing building supports. A few calculations later we knew what materials were required.
The soon to be married couple chose to source their own ribbon, which was in fact created by slicing up large sheets of material into thick lengths. We attached lightweight bamboo canes to cord and created two channels running parallel down the full length of the hall. On top of this we sat the colourful lengths of ribbon and fixed three lines of warm white globe lights, which we had previously modified to the required lengths, to zigzag between each channel above the ribbon. With the help of a number of excited volunteers, we raised it into the air in stages and secured it a few metres below the ceiling of the hall. To finish, we tied off the trailing ribbon in bunches at the sides. As an extra bonus we rigged a few LED parcans on to lighting bars and focused them towards the ceiling, projecting extra colour on to the ribbon during the first dance and into the evening.
Note: Sadly this isn’t a product or service that we currently offer. We might one day establish a solution that can be taken to many venues, but for now this is just a little bit *too* custom!