Kate and Phil’s Sparkling Celebration

Sparkling elements from Kate and Phil's wedding
A beautiful, bright spring day in the Berkshires set the stage for this sparkling celebration of the marriage of Kate and Phil at Stonover Farm. Dappled sunlight made the bride, groom, and their wedding party radiant for their afternoon ceremony. As Kate’s lighting designer I aimed to carry this natural radiance and dazzle forward throughout the evening, with stage lighting taking the place of sunlight as night fell.

Scenes from Kate and Phil's ceremony

After the ceremony Kate and Phil’s guests gathered for cocktails under the majestic weeping willow tree by the pond, and then convened in a tent in Stonover’s large grassy field for dinner, with toasts and well-wishes given by parents and friends.

Guests enjoy cocktails under the weeping willow tree by the pondGuests convene for dinner

Kate's mother welcomes the guests
I used two of my vintage Mole Richardson film fresnels on tripod stands to illuminate the speakers.

While there is still some daylight, the most valuable aspect of the added sidelight is the enhancement of the speakers’ beauty and stage presence: Notice how Kate’s mother looks radiant against the distant foliage.

As the daylight falls away, the stage lighting becomes increasingly more vital for reasons of pure visibility. Kate’s maid of honor spoke at twilight, and when it was her father’s turn, full darkness had set in.

Kate's maid of honor gives her toastKate's maid of honor raises a glassKate's Dad is lit with specials as he speaks to dinner guests after nightfall

Guests carried sparklers to light the way as they walked from the dinner tent to the barn, which the design team transformed into a sleek hideaway of inviting blue darkness pierced by a crystal chandelier and swaths of glowing white fabric.

Crystal chandelier and swaths of fabric in Stonover BarnGuests light their way with sparklersCrystal chandelier surrounded by swaths of pink fabricA closeup of the Seitel Lighting crystal chandelier

The draping was designed by florist Crocus Hale, and she and I installed it together using my scissorlift. Small Par-16 lighting fixtures mounted on the barn’s columns and beams illuminated the fabric in blues and pinks, which I varied throughout the evening to suit the mood. Colorchanging LED Pars bathed the dance floor in blues and purples.

Crocus designed lovely minimalist art deco floral arrangements for cocktail tables arranged throughout the barn, which I lit boldly with spotlights. Abundant use of mirrors in the floral design reflected light and color into the surrounding darkness. The wedding cake was also brightly lit, showing off its elaborately textured frosting and cascade of white and pink roses.

Minimalist art deco flowers lit with a spotlightKate's wedding cakeAnother view of Kate's cake
Kate and Phil enjoy their first dance together, followed by the traditional hora dance.

Kate and Phil's first dance is lit with LED ParsKate enjoying the Hora dance

The brilliant Ashley O’Dell, Kate and Phil’s photographer, did an absolutely beautiful job capturing the details. One of my favorites is this quiet little image showing one of the barn’s industrial-style fixtures casting an amber glow on the draped fabric, with the crystal chandelier sparkling in the soft focus background. Now that is a beautiful lighting moment.


My favorite photo of an industrial light fixture, glowing fabric, and sparkling chandelier in the background


Kate and Phil, you were just wonderful to work with. Take care and fly high!

Lighting Design: Julie Seitel, Seitel Lighting LLC

Flowers and Draping: Crocus Hale, Crocus Hale Flowers

Catering: Mezze Catering

Photography: Ashley O’Dell, Ashley O’Dell Photography

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