A Simple Guide to Using Paper Lantern Lights as Wedding Decor

So, you’re preparing for your big day and doing your homework on all the various décor elements you can include. When it comes to adding a pop of colour and some romantic light at the same time – paper lanterns are a great option. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and colours which makes them easy to match with any décor scheme. Plus, they are one of those rare décor elements that can transform themselves. From large festive orbs of colour during the day to soft, romantic lighting fixtures during the night that create a more intimate atmosphere – paper lanterns have the ability to influence the mood. So, if paper lanterns are definitely a part of your dream wedding, here’s what to consider.

What Type of Lanterns To Choose?

As I’ve said, lanterns come in many shapes. If you’re hosting a wedding with a traditional theme, opt for some classic décor options such as round paper lanterns, eyelet lanterns or honeycomb balls. On the other hand, if you’ve decided to go for a more playful or eclectic theme, you can spice things up with some pompoms, stars, or accordion paper lanterns. However, know that you may have trouble fitting lights into irregular shapes like these.


Which Colours Work Best?

The colour of the decor is an important factor on your big day. You want to be surrounded with hues that create the right mood and also flatter you so that you’ll look even more stunning in person and in pictures. So, by now you’ve probably already decided on a colour palette which means you only need to pick paper lantern lights in hues that complement it.

You can go two ways – you can either stick to your existing colour palette or add a small touch of variety with lanterns in a different colour. Some future brides like to match paper lanterns with some other details, like for instance the floral arrangements on the table or the chair décor. Just make sure that the space isn’t overpowered by the same colour as the overall effect can be either too overwhelming or too boring, depending on the colour of your choice. A great tip is to opt for the same colour but in a different hue.

On the other hand, if you want to select a different colour, turn to colour theory to help you make the right choice. For instance, if your scheme consists of a single colour, you can pick lanterns in a complimentary one in order to make them stand out more. For instance, if blue decor is dominating the venue, peach lanterns can be a great option to add tasteful variety.

It’s important to note that the final look of the lanterns will greatly depend on the luminosity of the venue as well as whether you opt to use them with lights. When the lights in the lanterns are turned on, the colour can change depending on the thickness and texture of the paper.

If your hesitating about colour, you can always stick to white – an option that works with all themes and complements all colours. Plus, white paper lanterns do not have to be boring. You can decorate them additionally with some foliage. The result will be unique and elegant at the same time.


How to Light Paper Lanterns?

Even though paper lanterns look charming on their own, it is when you light them that they become one of the most captivating décor elements in the venue. For that reason, many prefer to use them as lighting fixtures. When it comes to lighting paper lanterns, the best way is to use string lights. You can take a strand of lights and hang as many lanterns as you like on it. C3, C5 and C6 bulbs are small enough to fit most paper lanterns so make sure you pick one of these options and avoid larger ones such as C7 or C9. You can also opt for mini battery-operated LED lights of maximum 40W.


How to Hang Paper Lanterns with Lights

There are several ways you can hang paper lantern lights to create the desired effect. Usually, the lanterns will have a small metallic insert, hook or string that you can use to hang them on a line. You will need to carefully examine the wedding venue in order to choose which way to hang your lanterns.

One of the most common ways is to create a net of lines over the whole venue and hang the paper lanterns at different heights. If you’re having your reception in a wedding tent, you can hang the lanterns directly on the metallic structure of the ceiling. The overall effect will be a paper lantern sky that will dominate the venue. If you think that this is too much or may exceed your budget, you can use the same technique of hanging the lanterns on the ceiling but only over specific spaces (i.e. the bride and groom’s table or the dance floor).

You can also group several lanterns around specific features of the venue, like for instance columns, staircases, a balcony or the windows. If you’re hosting the wedding outdoors, you can even use tree branches as an unconventional way to hang your paper lanterns. Concentrating the paper decorations around specific features helps create a dramatic effect.

And finally, if you’re going to have a photo corner or want to accentuate your dessert table, you can use paper lanterns as a colourful backdrop. Just tape them on a big piece of cardboard and you’re going to have a super festive backdrop.