Floating Lights

    For most people, a well-put-together event looks amazing. A smart combination of the right chairs, table layout, linens, lighting, dishware, and other event accents combine to give you something that looks beautiful. But if you asked an event professional for their personal and honest opinion, they would tell you that while it does look really nice, they are not wowed. They’ve probably seen it before, or it just isn’t anything THAT special. Their honest opinion would probably be, “nice, but nothing spectacular”.

    The other night we designed an event based on a concept that the wedding coordinator came up based on a website image the bride had seen. This is a very good place to remind readers that you can ask us if we can replicate something you’ve seen online. In this case, we thought we could. And we did.

    Everything about the event was going to be nice. The venue chosen, Lanikuhonua, is one of the top wedding destinations in Hawaii. The actual wedding location, the forest grove area in Phase II, is a fairly underutilized space for the reception, but if your headcount is small enough, it gives this amazing, magic forest sort of feel, but with the ocean in the background. The product used was well-chosen. Chandeliers in the trees over beautiful white lounge furniture. A custom-built bar housed in a clear tent draped with fabric. The dj in a solid wood hut, fronting a dance floor made pure white again with a Holowalls topper. But the focal point of the event was a floating canopy of lights.

    Now, most people would install a tent frame, to create a structure, and then hang lights on it. This particular client was adamant about having as minimal of a structure as possible. So on our site visit, I knew I had to look for one thing and one thing only: hang points to attach steel cables. We wired steel cables as a top line so it could bear the load of the weight of the lights, about 13′ in the air. We used much thinner line attached to upright bamboo stained a dark color on the left and right edges about 8′ high to give the structure. Each of these elements was designed to disappear and be hidden as much as possible against the night sky. We wanted the twinkle lights to stand out and appear to be floating in mid-air.

    I wasn’t there personally that night, but I started getting texts from a wedding coordinator who was on site, and also the property manager who lives on site, telling me that they really liked the lights tonight and that they looked wonderful. Now, when you get event people calling out of the blue to say something looks wonderful or that they really liked the look, it must be something special.

    Then they sent some photos:



    Keep in mind, of course, that these are photos taken by someone on their cell phone, so not professional at all. And I always tell people that lighting images, unless they are touched up by photoshop, never convey the same beauty over a photo as they do in real life. So a bit of imagination is needed to add to the grandeur and romantic mood lighting these must have cast. But if you’ve ever been in a candlelit restaurant, you’ll know how the glimmer of light dances off of peoples eyes and creates this beautiful soft mood. That’s what those pictures told me.

    It is amazing to see, or better said, to NOT see, a tent frame holding up these lights. It’s a bit of a feat of engineering and concept to design something that will work that way, and I’m just really glad it all worked out for the client. The night sky was beautiful, and they got to dine underneath their own canopy of stars. THAT was an amazing event.