Candle Planks at Jacob’s Pillow
I had the privilege of creating the lighting environment for this gorgeous wedding celebration at Jacob’s Pillow on a beautiful August evening. The bride was a professional dancer, and Jacob’s Pillow has special meaning for her. With its rustic and sprawling grounds nestled in a quiet corner of the Berkshires and its large, airy wooden barn theaters, the Pillow was a natural choice for her big day.
Our design team brought the leafy beauty of the outdoors into the Doris Duke Theater for the night’s dinner and dancing festivities. Florist Crocus Hale filled the space with freshly cut summer trees, and I illuminated the tables from above with gently textured amber lighting that felt as if it were sunlight filtering through a foliage canopy. The finishing touch and signature element of the lighting design was the candle planks suspended throughout the barn.
The candle planks evolved out of an idea that struck the bride during our design brainstorming session. I love to create custom lighting elements that bring a client’s very personal vision to fruition, and this bride’s inspiration provided me with just such a golden opportunity.
After considering some sketches and few prototypes that I built in my shop, we settled on an aesthetic, and I got to work. The result: A set of barnboard planks with a smooth, grey-brown weathered finish, in various lengths from four to eight feet, supporting rows of gently flickering LED pillar candles. I suspended six of the planks in an artful arrangement in front of the theater’s upstage wall, and additional planks over the bars and dessert tables around the other three sides of the room.
The result was quite magical, with the glowing candles floating in midair in the background behind the dancing guests.
Here is a closeup of an early prototype along with a closeup of a finished candle plank taken in my studio:
…And here is a shot of one of my crew members prepping the final plank for installation during our load-in.
Catering and Event Planning by Mezze Catering
Trees and flowers by Crocus Hale
Lighting Design by Julie Seitel of Seitel Lighting LLC
Tables and chairs by Classical Tents