Handpicked | a different kind of bridal event is an annual style event — a styled-shoot-meets-bridal-show where Northeast Ohio Brides and Grooms can witness the inspirational wedding trends we all adore, right here in the Midwest while mingling with some of the area’s very best wedding professionals in a casual, low-pressure cocktail party environment.
Last week, we announced the exciting news that some of our lighting design work from last year’s Handpicked at Hines Hill Conference Center in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park was featured on Wedding Chicks — a major wedding style blog. This week, we’re thrilled to share an in-depth feature on the lighting design that set the stage for this exciting event.
First: the inspiration:
Handpicked 2014 was inspired by alfresco elegance, handspun charm, soft light, lush blooms in several varying shades of purple — plum, peony, and wisteria — complimented by whites, browns, and the rustic setting at Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Hines Hill, housed over the property’s Conference Center, Stone Cottage, Barn, and tent erected in the grassy lawn.
Next: the lighting design:
A white tent is as close to a blank slate as a lighting designer can expect to encounter.
However, the pole structure of the tent did pose some architectural challenges.
It’s a good idea to consider what type of tent you will be using, if you’re considering lighting design for your event.
For some applications, a frame style tent may offer more opportunities for mounting lighting from above, but think about how you want your tent canopy to look from the inside and what lighting design elements you like before opting for one over the other.
The structural support framework of a frame tent also breaks up the smooth lines of the open “canvas” of the roof, which we “painted” inside our pole tent with soft washes of lavender light that developed to a deeper berry purple, as the light from the sun grew dimmer.
We loved the soft, irregular style of the draped, bare bulbs in the inspiration, but — considering our pristine surroundings inside the white tent — the tangled wire canopy seemed a bit too industrial.
To preserve the texture element without the mess, we chose a cleaner arrangement style which appeared to hang in the open air. The feature included a backdrop of draped globe lights and Edison Bulbs and lined the border between the back of the “head table” and Hines Hill’s scenic pond.
Our beautiful lightscape complimented the literal landscape, too. Since our “dining tables” were tented, we created a lighting focal point along the center of the farthest end of the tent around a “head table.”
It lent a delicate, romantic glow to many of the photographs, though only directly visible in a few, and it also created a wonderful textural element for our photographers to “play” with in the background of key shots.
Across the grassy field, guests enjoyed more food and sweets inside Hines Hill’s spacious Barn.
To soften the angular entryway and lend an elegance to the facade, we draped the barn’s main sliding entry door with tall, white panels, veiling the full effect of the interior lighting design from across the field until guests were standing nearly in the doorway.
Inside, we created a two-toned effect using berry-colored uplighting contrasted by warm amber wash lighting to bring out the warm tones of the wood along with the texture of the exposed framework and rafters. The full lightscape also included globe lighting and spotlighting, as well as a lighted monogram inspired by the event’s logo/branding.
We loved the effect of the lighted monogram on the Barn’s dark, concrete floor in the low light environment — almost like a chalk-on-slate effect — made possible by a very direct angle on the beam as well as a very bright fixture.
Likewise, the purple uplighting effect provided a comfortable cocktail aesthetic, allowing us to highlight some of the featured food and decor by refocusing track spotlighting.
Night and Day
In the tent, guests really got to see how the power of the light of the sun plays as a factor in our lighting design.
Just like the mood of a party changes as the day progresses, so does lighting design in a sun-filled space.
The Handpicked tent provided the perfect spot to showcase how lighting can change over the course of an evening to compliment the mood of the event — from light and airy pastels to fun, bold colors ready for a dance party.
In this series of shots taken in the same spots at different times — by day and by night — you can see the difference the sun makes. Please note that NO changes were made to the lighting shown besides the simple setting of the sun.
As the sun set, our pinky-purple light washes “developed” over the tent roof’s peaks and gables, illuminating the party in soft warmth into the night.
Special thanks to all of our colleagues who made this event possible, especially the Vendors We Adore:
Baci Designer, Stationery and Styling
MKleinman Artistry Makeup Artist
Headline photo is by Studio Elle Photography