Fairy Lights; undeniably our most popular hire item for weddings for a while now, and for good reason!  As a Lighting Company owner, and also a Bride myself, I know first-hand that there are few things in our inventory than can create such a beautiful effect with such simplicity of use. 

The gentle glow in a space adds warmth and elegance, a softness that compliments not overpowers, and adds interest without pulling focus!  In how many beautiful professional shots have you seen those blurred twinkling lights helping to frame the happiness of such a day!  They are incredibly versatile too!  They will create roofs, canopies, waterfalls, wrap around bannisters, beams and columns, and that’s just inside!  Outdoors they can line (and create!) pathways to guide guests, hug trees for warmth, edge buildings- the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination will allow!

Not to mention how easy they are! Everyone has a Christmas stash- you can head to any shop and buy some and do it yourself no problem; stock up after Christmas in the sales so you don’t need a company to do it for you, right?  Simple in this age of D.I.Y, up-cycling and craft!

Well, on that last point wrong, actually.  It isn’t that easy.  If only it was!  Professional companies are just that- professional.  They have spent years perfecting their skills, they know how to use lights to their maximum effect, how to attach, position, and ultimately source the right kind!  Yes that’s right- there are A LOT of different kinds!!  They just make it look that easy!  I know it seems ridiculous to think that you can’t just place where you want to and create the perfect look- but I plan to try and explain below why this is not possible.

 1. Plugs plugs and more plugs…

When purchasing fairy lights from the shops there are things to bear in mind.  How you plan to use them for example.  To go on a Christmas tree you may need one or two sets that will work from your plug at home.  But what if you were wanting to wrap them around beams?  Or string them between to create canopy?  You will need more than one set to wrap a beam and how long is the extension of the plug to get it down to the floor?  Do you have ladders that will go that high?  If you have 4 beams and you need 3 sets (average depending on the thickness of your wrap) does the venue have 12 spare plugs to cater for that?

Professional companies like SVL Hire will use inter connectable strings, with splitter and extension adaptors to allow us to come back to one or two singular plug sockets for the same space.  We have all the appropriate equipment to come and install them safely, tying back the cables and hiding where possible the hardware for use!

2. Indoor vs Outdoor…

The next thing to take into account is if you were wanting to take these gorgeous lights outdoors.  Not all fairy lights can go outdoors and generally this is down the transformers.  You will have to have paid more and sourced specific outdoor lights, but even then the plugs will need to able to extend to the nearest power socket creating unsightly and dangerous tripping hazard’s if using for paths, gardens or to add features in trees.  They really can add so much to an event by extending the use of outdoor space into the evening, (I personally love the look of fairy lights in trees at night!  Makes me feel warm just thinking about them!).  Again, SVL Hire can supply the appropriate hardware and outdoor batteries so they can be positioned ANYWHERE!  With no need to trail a cable back to a house or make you unable to close the door because of the extension cable in the door and plug inside a plastic bag!

3. Is it actually cheaper?

The most energy efficient lighting you can use is LED technology, which is still at a premium!  Once you have worked out how many strings you will need to create the look you want and how many bulbs to make it look nice and full, (ignoring the plug thing!) the cost will be the equivalent I guarantee of not only hiring the lighting, but also hiring the knowledge and experience of a company to come along, advise and quote on the best use and amount, install and remove!  SVL Hire Limited hire our fairy lights out at the equivalent to 75p per meter plus installation and delivery, so at the very least you can ‘dry’ hire our equipment, safe in the knowledge that we have discussed and advised the right amount for your wedding!

4.  How will they stay up there?

Ok, so wrapping them around beams is simple enough as they will hold themselves, but what about the ends of the strings and the cables going up to them?  What about when creating canopies-with what will you attach to and with what?  How will you reach to where you want them to go without putting the neck of your best man literally at risk?  Again, this is where a lighting company will save you- the time working it out and the fear of losing wedding guest before it starts!

5. Time – erm, how long?

You can hire fairy lights from SVL Hire for approximately 75pence per meter, and collect and install yourself if you feel confident enough to do so.  We will always advise you on the best course of action to take to achieve the look you want, but think about the time it can take to install the lights themselves.  How long does it take you to wrap your Christmas tree in lights?  Filling the gaps and making sure coverage is even… now transfer that to your Venue.

We understand that you have many important aspects to think about on your wedding day, and as such would you rather a friend/family member was at the wedding or laying out fairy lights? It can be incredibly time consuming to wrap the lights, and even laying them in the roof time taken to secure them, make sure they are hanging evenly, and are spread across the space to create a luxurious canopy!

6. Expertise

SVL hire have been creating fairy light canopies in the roofs of marquees, barns and hotels for years.  We have learnt from our mistakes, using the most effective, efficient and venue friendly way of securing, positioning and connecting the fairy lights to be sure they will look beautiful.  There  is a good chance that a company will have done a similar thing to what you want before too, either in that Venue or one very similar, and so their knowledge is indispensable by ensuring that all you and your guests have to do is turn up on the day and be amazed at the finished look.  No staying behind on your wedding night to remove anything either!  We would have that covered!

So to summarise, yes it is possible to buy, beg, steal and borrow your own fairy lights and install them yourself.  But it could cost you in more ways than one.  Whether you are looking for simple, elegant or dramatic; beams wrapped or roofs strung with fairy lights, marquee starry skies, garden paths lined with lights or waterfalls hanging from windows, doorways or behind drapes as backdrops, please remember there are companies out there who do this for a living.  Their knowledge, expertise and professional equipment can avoid the ‘home-made, mismatched and full of plugs!’ look!

Fairy lights can make anywhere look beautiful- but remember the risks and do yourselves-as well as the lights- justice.  You only plan to do this once, get it right first time and make it magical.

Your fellow bride,

Eleanor xx

For any advice or more information on creating the right look for your wedding day, please get in touch with SVL hire Limited info@svlhire.co.uk.