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Ambient Light vs. Colorful Uplighting

Reception lighting can be tricky and it really varies from person to person and from venue to venue. We try not to use flash on anything but the party since we feel that natural ambient light provides that warm intimate feeling you want. Market lights (string lights) are your best friend, they provide a beautiful ambiance and glow that will really enhance your photos. For the most part avoid colorful uplighting on the walls of your venue. Usually it casts an unflattering vivid color tinting onto skin and will quickly turn EVERYTHING the color of the uplighting.  This can really mess up that stylish and timeless look of the wedding reception. Clustered candles, and LOTS string lights will be the best lighting for your reception photos to feel intimate and still very natural.  If you really can't get string lights and feel like you need uplighting to illuminate your reception venue, then opt in for a neutral white color.

Warm Ambient Light

Colorful Uplighting

DJ Lighting

Clearly communicate to your DJ that you only want colorful lighting during the party dancing. I strongly advise turning off colorful lighting for the first dance and special parent dances. It detracts from a very timeless moment. I don't want you to look back and think "man this could've been a great mother-son dance photo if only Brenda's face wasn't speckled with purple party lights..." Other than that though, feel free to go crazy with party lights during dancing if you want. It can really add to that playful atmosphere (and guests love it when they're busting a move.)