Timing and Trusses


apryl ann photography beyond lighting

Photo courtesy of Apryl Ann Photography

We’ve been showing you lots of options for how to hang more of your decor and draw the eye upward over the past month, but now it’s time to look at the logistics!  There are two big considerations when you’re thinking about hanging items in or around your venue – what will we hang things from, and how long do we have to hang them?


Whether you’re looking at hanging lighting elements, decor pieces, or floral installations, you have to know your rigging points before the day of the wedding.  Some venues may allow you to use existing structures (like rafters) to hang your pieces.  Some won’t.  Some venues may not have built in hooks or hanging points, but will allow you to add them.  Some venues may not allow you to use building elements for hanging, but have no problem with you utilizing natural elements in place (like big tree branches).  So your first stop should be your venue contract to see what is allowed and what isn’t!

If you can’t use the bones that are already in place, then you may need to bring in extra freestanding structures, like trusses or lighting posts, to create the rigging points you need.  When you reach this point, we strongly suggest that you use a professional lighting or decor company to do the heavy lifting!  They can help you figure out exactly what you need to create the effect you want, as well as supplying the staff needed to make sure everything gets done quickly and safely within the allotted time.


Timing is a little more tricky.  If you’re hanging things yourself, leave extra time!  Also, measure ahead of time to make sure that your ladders are tall enough to reach where you need to be.  If you have pros coming in to set it up, they should be able to work within a set time span.  Most lighting takes anywhere from 1 to 4 hours to set up, depending on what you’ve got.  If you have access, lighting companies will often jump at the opportunity to set up the day before your wedding, so as to give themselves extra time in case something isn’t quite right.  Decor and floral generally takes less time to actually hang, but requires prep and building time on site to ensure everything looks fresh and clean.

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