Do we need it? Unless you’re talking about the ring or the marriage license – the answer’s probably “no.” But if you want a wedding that’s a little more than merely functional… what services are musts?

Uplighting is a simple decorative technique that involves shining beams of colored light up the walls of your room to set a mood or highlight the architecture. It’s exploded in popularity in Chicago over the last few years, due in part to the fact that it’s creates a dramatic effect on the look of your reception room for a relatively low investment. My company has offered uplighting services to our DJ clients since 2011, and we’re big fans. But it’s not for everybody.

So is uplighting for you? Here’s how to tell.

3 reasons you want uplighting

1. Your wedding’s in a beautiful space.

If you’re getting married in a remarkable old hotel, a modern gem or a building with some history, lighting will often highlight the beauty in an already impressive space. Architectural features like columns and windows can be lit for effect, and materials like unfinished brick and plaster really catch the eye when they’re lit right. If you’re planning on wearing makeup on your wedding day, you already understand this principle – it’s about making a good thing look its best!

2. Your wedding’s in an ugly space.

There, I said it. Some venues have amazing food, the right philosophy, a perfect ceremony spot – but there’s a wall in that main ballroom that’s a little underwhelming. Uplighting can do wonders for a bland slab of drywall or an unimpressive corner, dressing it up so it ties into the rest of your party instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

3. Your wedding’s in a familiar space.

Getting married at your parents’ home, or at a theater you love? Renting an “alternative” space like a greenhouse or barn and transforming it to the event space of your dreams? Uplighting adds more than a dash of the dramatic, making something familiar into something extraordinary with the flip of a switch.

3 reasons you don’t want uplighting

1. You’rDoes My Wedding Need Uplighting?e cutting corners.

Let’s admit it – no one can afford it ALL. And while it’s true that the first bite is with the eyes, I’d take a killer party in a ho-hum space over a ho-hum party in a killer space any weekend. When we meet with clients about DJ, jazz and string services, we encourage them to find the right music first – then add uplighting if the budget still allows. Sometimes it won’t, and that’s ok.

2. Your venue does uplighting.

It’s far from standard – but some Chicago wedding venues include uplighting themselves, or offer it as an add-on. If that’s the case, explore this option first. Make sure you understand the extra cost, if there is one. Make sure you understand the quality of lighting provided (bright, modern LED lights or dull, older incandescents that can burn guests who touch them?). And make sure you understand the quantity too – some venues have lighting on hand, but only for a small area. (At Backthird, we’ve even worked with venues to supplement their lighting.)

3. Your wedding’s during daylight hours.

Like vampires and the bat signal, uplighting looks its best at night. Is your cocktail hour more “Bloody Mary” than “vodka martini”? If so, skip the lighting and embrace that daytime vibe.

Still not sure what’s right for you? At Backthird Entertainment, we provide uplighting only for Chicago brides and grooms using our DJ services for their wedding. Contact us now for an appointment to discuss the entire package – it’s the easiest way to sort through all your entertainment needs at once. And if you’re meeting your DJ at our studio, we can set up a light and show you exactly what it’ll look like.