Saturday, March 26, 2011

Latest wedding craze: $10,000 light bulbs

Would you pay someone to light your wedding? 
(Think Stock Photos)
Would you pay someone to light your wedding?

We knew Chelsea Clinton's wedding wasn't cheap, but a lighting designer? According to The New York Times, the latest addition to big spender weddings is expensive lighting. Clinton had her own personal bulb-man, Bentley Meeker bask her guests in a flattering light. (In fairness she did have international press chomping at the bit for pictures of her high-profile crowd.) But Meeker, who also lit a Grammy party and several HBO premiere events, was brought on to cultivate the perfect vibe for Clinton's big day. “It’s not illumination for visibility; it’s illumination for atmosphere,” he told the Times.

Some designers double as planners and florists, others are called in by planners to "art-direct" the event.
One couple had their lighting expert ship a 500 pound crystal chandelier to their reception tent on a Hawaiian Island. Others have paid bank for color changing lighting–a la Broadway theatrics— as the evening unfolds. All told, the cost to bathe your guests in a healthy glow can run up to $10,000. But the Times also mention a couple who did their own lighting design with the help of $100 worth of LED lights and candles from Target. It was a little more work, a whole lot cheaper, and just as effective.
Either way, if you're planning a wedding, prepare to be convinced by your prep team you 'have' to have custom lighting. “If guests feel like they look good, they’ll stick around and have fun,” Mr. Meeker added. Is that what keeps people around, or is it the open bar?


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