DIY, and cost Effective Lighting options"/>

Vintage DIY, and cost Effective Lighting options

Something very few people realise is a major budget factor is lighting the reception venue: especially for outdoor weddings, making sure your guests don’t trip over their feet while dancing the night away is an important factor!

 The internet is full of all kind of ways personalise your lighting, as well as making your budget stretch a little more easily, here are a couple of our favourites:

 Paper Bag Lanterns

These are a cheap and easy way to uniquely and simply light your venue, and are particularly lovely on tables. Another really sweet option is to have them sitting on every second stair dotting up a staircase.


 (If your venue does not allow you to have naked flames there are battery operated tea-lights– buying them in bulk can save a big part of your budget!)

 Vintage Collection Lighting

This is a really sweet idea if you have a little while until your wedding to do things slowly. It reworks the simplicity of tea-light or battery light in a quirky and unique way. The best way to decide on a theme is, first to ask around your close family members: does someone have a secret collection of vintage bowls that you can float tea-light candles in? or an obsession with turn-of-the-century vases? Borrowing the (least fragile) parts of an existing collection can save you time and hassle, and it certainly makes it easy to work out what gift to give that person as a thank you! If you can’t find a pre-existing collection to use, scouring op-shops and second-hand stores can become a weekly ritual, if you get to know the ladies that work there, you can even let them know what you are looking for so they can put it aside for you! 

Some Vintage Collection Lighting Ideas are: Vintage Teacups (hand-filled with wax, or filled with water to float tea-lights on), Mason Jars (filled with water), Vintage Vases, Glass Bottles (for the classic ‘dribbled candle’) the variations are truly Endless!! 

Book Light for the Library Lovers

Instructable​.com is an absolutely bottomless resource for the bride-on-a-budget. There you can learn how to make everything from paperclips to solar panels!  One Instructable that caught our eye is the cute and clever book lampshade. A really cute idea for the couple that read together! 


Under-The-Table Lighting

If you’re going with really complex centrepieces, a good way to get the lighting out of the way is to have under-the-table lighting under really thin tablecloths. This is an option where Vintage Collections can be really useful– as vintage lace tablecloths can be really breathtaking with this technique


 Fairy Lights

A Classic for a good reason! Fairy lights are affordable, re-useable, and can be bought in a variety of colours to match a theme/colour scheme. They come out absolutely beautifully in photographs, and can bring an air of whimsy and cheerful youthfulness to any celebration: use them at your wedding, and again for the increasingly popular first-anniversary ‘trash the dress’ photo-shoot. 


A staple favourite of DIY-ers everywhere, Ikea is an ideal way to save money on lighting, their huge range, and bulk-buy globes, means that you can deck your wedding out in chic and simple lighting, and then keep using it at your home, or keep them for special occasions like dinner-parties or outdoor barbecues!

Bottle Lamps

Another Idea we really loved was the repurposed wine-bottle lamps. These can have more than one function: they can act as table numbers, or as a wine list, and, of course, as lighting! The easiest solution to this (that we have found) is to buy these handy cork-stopper lighting kits. at just over $6 each (http://​www​.remodelista​.com/​p​r​o​d​u​c​t​s​/​c​o​r​k​-​s​t​o​p​p​e​r​-​l​a​m​p​-​kit), you can have one on every table from as little as $60.30– $180.90 (10–30 tables). This can also be an offshoot of the ‘Vintage Collection’ theme: as this lighting looks gorgeous with all kinds of bottles, from champagne magnums, to the more delicate vintage flasks. Check out our post on Norelle and Alan’s clever personalised Clean-skin Wine idea for another personalised Wine-bottle idea!

Another permutation of the wine-bottle lamp idea, (which is sure to go down really well with groomsmen), is replacing the wine bottle with long-neck beer bottles, or other beer bottles with wider necks (several boutique beer brands spring to mind) or guinness bottles.


As we do research for the coming parts in this DIY/Vintage series, we are sure to come across more cool lighting ideas, so watch this space! 

If you have any ideas, please feel free to comment below, or email us at info@​serendipityimage.​com.​au

2 Responses to “Vintage DIY, and cost Effective Lighting options”
  1. Kath 16 April 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    I too am having this problem. It is driving me mad.
    Thanks, Kath

  2. Em 12 February 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    I am having enormous trouble locating a lamp kit that is suitable for Australian plugs etc. I have the bottle and lampshade ready but am stuck! Any suggestions?
    The one you mention above is for the US.

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