Lighting Designer Tip: Should you use a venue’s uplighting package?

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Back in 2014, I finished setting up equipment for a wedding I was entertaining and rushed over to a different venue where another DJ needed my assistance setting up lighting décor, which most venues refer to as uplighting.

When I first meet with a bride and groom, we discuss all details about their day including setting the right shade of color to match their wedding colors with our machines called “uplights” (fancy wording, I know haha).

Now this particular bride and groom requested a shade of pink that was a light blush pink. We programmed the colors into the machines and wrote down the specific color coding Red, Green, Blue (RGB). The bride was surprised how detailed we were and relieved she could trust a professional to make her vision a reality.

Fast forward to when I walked into the room at the venue. The setup was the venue’s uplights were placed behind the head table and our uplights were on the opposite end of the room to complement theirs. As we turned on our lights, we noticed the venue’s lights were a hot/dark pink, not the light blush pink the couple had chosen.

Once the bride walked into the room and looked at the venue’s lighting. She instantly turned into bridezilla mode. Then she looked at our uplighting and said, “Those are it!! What happened to the venue’s lighting?! Why are they different?!” She got so stressed and within two minutes stormed out the room yelling at people.

Now, it is my job as a professional to fix any situation at hand to make their day perfect. I immediately contacted the manager of the venue and received her blessing to change the color coding of their uplights to match ours. It just so happened that as I finished programming the last light, the bride walked back in the room and you won’t believe the look on her face. It went from stressed to calm in two seconds! Her shoulders relaxed, she took a deep breath, and gave me and the other DJ a big hug for resolving the issue.

This story is not meant to scare anyone! I share it with you to enlighten you that some of us DJs have many other jobs besides just playing music. We are a wedding coordinator, an IT technician, a fun motivator, an organizer, a lighting designer, and have many other responsibilities to ensure your day goes off without a hitch!

So… should you use a venue’s uplighting package? The answer is all up to you! Would you rather trust a venue that will simply plug in a light and turn it to what color you want with no training experience with these machines… or would you trust a professional lighting designer to make that dream look into a reality.

The choice is yours.

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