7 ways to light an event and create ambiance

You have found your dream venue. Its stunning but is it perfect?

Styling will be fabulous but as the sun sets on your magical day… what happens? 

What do you or your guests see? How can you take your event to the next level. Your event should be perfect the entire evening.  Deciding to customize your lighting allows your space to transform throughout the evening.

No matter what the style of your big day is, one of these 7 ways is sure to fit your need. 

Dreamy, but it could be better


1. Chandeliers

Chandeliers will give your event a sense of luxury and bling.  Or let luxury meet country estate with our whiskey barrel chandeliers! Either way chandeliers are a sure way to make a statement.             

Classic Chandeliers 

Classic Chandeliers 

Whiskey Barrel Chandeliers 

Whiskey Barrel Chandeliers 

2.  Bistro String Lights

String lights are very popular these days and for a good reason. They’re simple and and stunning in any space. Bistro style lighting is a chic way to add the perfect layer of lovely to your space.

Bistro String Lights

Bistro String Lights

3. Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are fun.  They are a great way to add a little extra texture or color.  At NEL we have various shapes, sizes and colors- classic round, beehive, urn, stars and even beaded lanterns!  

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4. Uplights

Uplights are your paint.  Bare walls or columns are boring and add nothing to your event.  But they can have so much potential if you think of them as a blank canvas. You can choose from a huge array of colors that will make a bare space look elegant.  Plus the right colors can really compliment skin tones and make for better photos! Who doesn’t want that?

5. Ceiling or Floor Baths

Ceiling or floor bath lights are different than uplights.  If you opt for these you are deciding to see things for their potential.  Ceilings or floors are great places to include a pattern that would otherwise be visually overwhelming.  Maybe you loved the accents on your invite design.  Bathing the ceiling or floor with it is the perfect way to still incorporate it on your big day!

6. Pin Lights

Pin lights are like baby spotlights.  They are great for highlighting important details.  If you are completely in love with your florals put a pin light on them.  It adds a tasteful amount of light to your tables and it brings your guests attention to those details too. You can also have them on other key items like the cake or the head table.

7. Gobos

Gobos are the ultimate way of personalizing your wedding.  It is a customized light design that is typically the couples initials.  Since it is a projected image it can go basically anywhere.  A prime example is the dance floor!

When it comes to your event everything should be perfect.  At Nashville Event Lighting we understand that it doesn’t stop there though.  It also needs to be personal and intimate. Lighting isn’t just a necessity to enable people to see table numbers. Its the ultimate way of capturing the very essence and romance of your vision.

Are you preparing for your special day?

Reserve your date with Nashville Event Lighting and let us help you create the night of your dreams


Village Real Estate: Million Points of Light

An event hosted by Village Real Estate at the beautiful Houston Station, celebrating the 1 million dollars they have given back to the community.  The event was on Thursday February 13th, 2014 and was a major success, with a guest count of over 300, great entertainment, music, dancing, yummy food, and of course spectacular lighting!  

With the vision of the client and the assistance of Blake's lighting design, Nashville Event Lighting was able to come up with a beautiful atmosphere for the guests.  Lighting included over 40 battery powered uplights, custom exposed bulb chandeliers around existing wooden poles within Houston Station, 2 custom gobos, stage, food and bar washes and 4 of our Vari-Lights, which really pulled everything together.  

NEL also provided a total of 8 flat screen TV's all playing a slideshow and all featured our new custom TV frames, making the TV's really pop, setting them apart from just a standard TV screen.  We did the audio as well, providing 4 speakers filling the room with music and wireless mics for the MC and the entertainment. 

For the stage, to give a little bit if glimmer and shine, following the theme of the party "Million Points of Light", we added 3 of our new 8' Mirrored Chandeliers, casting light all around, almost like a mirror ball, but a bit more "classy".  

Overall, the event was a success and the client was very happy.  All evening, the guests were commenting about how amazing Houston Station looked.  And that's what we like to hear!  We arrive at 8am and finished set-up by 4, with time to spare, making everything perfecct.  

If you're interested in checking out what other chandliers we have or what other kind of FX our vari-light movers can do, pleasse contact us at info@nashvilleeventlighting.com or 615-414-4724.

Steve Wells

(NEL General Manager) 



CMT Music Awards Show After Party

As summer is coming to an end, I sit here and reflect on some of our favorite events. Every wedding and event has been unique in its own way but one stands out among the rest. We were honored to have been asked by Viacom and MTV Productions to work under Evan Alexander, event designer out of New York, to execute his vision for this country meets modern/industrial CMT Music Awards Show After Party at Marathon Music Works. Below are a few of our favorite shots sent over by Chef's Market who catered the event.

Other vendors that played a major role in pulling this epic event together: Visual Elements (Furniture and Draping), Music City Tents and Events (Rentals), Southern Events (Furniture), and Chef's Market for an amazing menu and perfectly styled food displays.




Custom Lighting Fixtures

We pride ourselves here at Nashville Event Lighting for coming up with custom lighting designs for your special events and weddings. Included in this are our Custom Lighting Fixtures. If you have an idea, present it to us. We're always welcoming new ideas. Here are a few photos of some of our recent fixtures being used at various events and weddings.

The Whiskey Barrel Chandelier : This idea was brought to us by Jill Cole from Southern Events. It made it's debut at A Vintage Affair held at Jamison Hall. Here is a photo of them being used at this event. We fell in love with them!

The following week we used one at King's Chapel over a vintage seating arrangement (provided by Southern Events).

The Whiskey Barrel: After the Whiskey Barrel Chandelier debuted, it got us to thinking. Why not use just the barrel with an exposed bulb inside? Here is a photo from an event we did at Houston Station with Angela Proffitt.

The next day they were used again at Houston Station for the Nashville Wedding Planners' meeting.

The Ladder: For this same event we constructed the Ladder Fixture with the exposed bulbs to go along with the theme. We have since used them over bars, head tables, and food stations.

The Exposed Bulb Chandelier: Earlier this spring myself and Clint worked on an exposed bulb chandelier. You may have seen it around town. It was originally used at the Ruby back in March. Pictured below.

We also used it for the wedding reception with Angela Proffitt at Houston Station.

We'll share more photos on our next blog about the next event but here's a sneak peak of how they were used for the CMT Awards Show After Party at Marathon Music Works. The designer, Evan Alexander, had custom shades made for them.

"Why NEL?" - Episode 2

You've probably seen through our first 2 webisodes of "Why NEL" that we here at NEL like to have fun. We're not just your average lighting company. We have compassion for what we do and the way we interact with our clients. One way we decided to express this is by giving our fans and clients an inside look at what makes us, us. Our goal is to release a new episode each month that spot lights one of our crew members or aspects of our company and explain why clients choose NEL time and time again. June's episode starred me, Abi! We took a look at my goofier side and what keeps me so focused at providing the best customer service that I possibly can. If you know me, then you know that I'm a pretty reserved person. See what happens when the cameras catch me after hours....



We're days away from Episode 3. Stay tuned!!

Money Shot Showdown Champion

CONGRATULATIONS to Fête Nashville!!! Winner of the first ever Nashville Event Lighting "Money Shot Showdown" and the grand prize of a $2,000 lighting package! Thank you so much to all the vendors who competed and to all those who voted! We wanted to shine a spotlight on Sara Fried of Fête Nashville for the event that took home the "bones"!  Fête Nashville is an award-winning event planning and design boutique specializing in luxury weddings. Other claims to fame for Sara are 2012: Winner of "Best of" Wedding Planners from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com. The ONLY winner chosen from the state of Tennessee.

Here are a few more shots from the 9/10/11 Goldberg wedding that won Fête Nashville the Money Shot Showdown.

Event Planner and Design: Fête Nashville

Venue: War Memorial Auditorium

Florals: Branches

Rentals: Music City Tents and Events & Visual Elements

Draping: Visual Elements

Stay tuned for more fun competitions and events to come in the near future, brought to you by your friends at Nashville Event Lighting!

Money Shot Showdown

Who: Nashville Event Lighting & Eight of Nashville's greatest event industry leaders Contestants Include: Belle Meade Plantation, Bridal Blueprints, Carnton Plantation, Angela Proffitt, Clean Plate Club, Fete Nashville, Southall Eden & Enchanted Florist

 What: Our first ever Money Shot Showdown! These eight contestants submitted their most unique, breathtaking and amazing event photo… that shows off work we have created together for a past event. What’s at stake… A $2,000 Lighting Package Courtesy of Nashville Event Lighting!!! The winner can use their $2,000 Lighting Package on whatever event(s) they choose… company style shoot, promotional event, or a sweet upgrade for one of your best clients!

Where: Nashville Event Lighting Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/nashvilleeventlighting/app_95936962634 

When: Voting takes place May 1st - 31st. Voters can cast 1 vote per day, so be sure to set your reminders daily. The winner will be announced announced on Monday June 4th.

Why: NEL has the opportunity to work with so many amazing wedding professionals in Middle Tennessee, which is the part of our work that we love the most.  We got to thinking and realized we wanted to do something for all the vendors that make our jobs worth doing.

"Why NEL?" - Episode 1

Nashville Event Lighting Owner Blake Chaffin, takes you behind the scenes to reveal the secret of what it is that makes NEL's production team the best at what they do! An exclusive one-on-one sit down interview with NEL's Production Manager, Clint Pilkinton, gets a little heated when he is asked personal questions about his secret to always remaining cool, calm and collected in the most chaotic event-world situations. We warn you, what you're about to watch.....just might disturb you!


Bling-tastic Chandeliers

Last week I covered the trend of paper lanterns. This week I wanted to cover the latest event trend of chandeliers. If you're looking for a way to add a little bling to your event decor, chandeliers are the perfect solution. Over the last year we've booked our chandeliers in so many venues and numerous arrangements. We're excited to see where they end up in 2012. Here are just a few ways that we used our chandeliers.

Over  Dance Floors - We like to do more than just 1. Why not make a statement with 7?

Over Head Tables - Set your table apart by adding some embellishments with chandeliers!

Over Bars and Lounge Seating

  Over Chuppas

Over Cakes

Over Sweethearts

If you have any unique ideas of how to add a little bling to your event, give us a call. Chandeliers have become quite popular this year and are booking fast!

Homage to the Paper Lantern

Like all other vendors in the event industry, we are continuously increasing our inventory to stay up with the latest trends. 6 years ago we saw an influx in paper lanterns. Our stock of paper lanterns ranges in over 40 different color choices and various shapes and sizes. We have round, square, beehive, urn, stars, and even beaded paper lanterns. We've built our stock up so much that we've tried to come up with clever ways to utilize them. At christmas time we stacked the various sizes to create snowmen in our warehouse. For birthdays we like to seal up the bottom and fill them with candy as our own makeshift pinatas. For the Lady Gaga concert we wore them as outfits and headdresses. Over the last year we've seen this trend decrease in usage. Last fall we moved our lantern inventory from there shelves in the warehouse to our loft above our office. We needed the shelf space downstairs for the next big thing, chandeliers. I'm not saying the paper lantern is a dying trend in the event world, but it does seem to be taking a mini vacation from the public eye. Brides and party planners are thinking outside of the box a little more these days and infusing other decor elements. Posted below are a few of our favorite paper lantern events.

Nashville Fashion Week Part III

Day 4 - April 2, 2011 - War Memorial

Did you know that the Grand Ole Opry once took residence in Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium before it set up shop in the Ryman Auditorium? This is just one of the many events War Memorial played host to. On Day 4 of our Nashville Fashion Week experience, War Memorial Auditorium was the perfect setting for the "X" shaped runway positioned in the center of the auditorium. Guests arrived to cocktails outside in the Plaza before making their way inside.

Day 5 - April 3, 2011 - Pinnacle

Our epic week with NFW came to an end back where it all began on the 21st Floor of the Pinnacle. NFW went out with a bang hosting a killer after party. Big Events and Visual Elements did not hold back on the decor to create the vibrant lounge that we infused with LEDs washing the entire space with blues, pinks, and purples.

I hope you've enjoyed our cell phone photo diary of our experience. We're so excited to be a part of 2012's Nashville Fashion Week. I can't believe it's just 1 month away. For more information on how you can experience this year's NFW, check out their website at www.nashvillefashionweek.com or follow them on Facebook.

Nashville Fashion Week - Part II

Day 2 - March 30, 2011 - The Arcade

Like many local Nashvillians, I've taken countless strolls down our local Arcade and found myself lost in its timeless ambience. This gem is tucked away between 4th & 5th Ave. Its the one place I've found in Nashville that you can buy a dozen roses, wander through the art galleries, eat an amazing slice of pizza, and mail a parcel through the post office. Who knew that the team from Nashville Fashion Week sponsored by Lexus had a different vision for this glass covered ally. See how it was turned into a high fashion runway right before our eyes!

Day 3 - March 31, 2012 - Crystal Fountain Church

I've seen sermons, baptismals, weddings, funerals, and Christmas Cantata's in the House of the Lord but never a fashion show. I have to hand it to the crew of Nashville Fashion Week on getting creative with their venue choices and runway layouts. On the 3rd day of our journey, our crew could be found at Crystal Fountain Church located on Russell Street in Historic East Nashville. We walked into a blank slate. A standard church with white walls, drop ceiling, aisles of pews, and an upper balcony. By 7 PM, the aisles were turned into a catwalk.


Nashville Fashion Week - Part I

2011 has been the year that NEL took over the Nashville runway! Who knew that black t-shirts with a simple logo would make such a statement!?!? We started the year off with the Pink Bridal Show runway in January. By March we were initiated into the grand-daddy of all the fashion shows in Music City, Nashville Fashion Week. This was a 5 day citywide fashion event on March 29th through April 2nd sponsored by Lexus. Proceeds from the event went to the Nashville Fashion Forward Fund . Each night was showcased in different venue. The week was kicked off at the Pinnacle downtown, followed by to the historic Arcade, the Crystal Fountain Church, War Memorial, and wrapped up back at the Pinnacle. The next few post I hope to give you a glimpse into our amazing experience with everyone involved in this epic event.

 Day 1- March 29th, 2011 - The Pinnacle

The skyline of Music City was changed for one night, as we added a blue stripe of color on the 22nd floor of the Pinnacle building.

The models walked an "L" shaped runway that went with the perimeter of the room, giving a perfect backdrop of the city lights below.

The Press were snapping photos as fast as their cameras would allow to capture every moment.

A view from the back row. Camera flashes, runway lights, killer tunes, and an electric blue vibe!

Day 2 , The Arcade.....

Up Lighting & Color

Are you having a hard time choosing what color up lighting you want to use for your reception? The trend that most brides go with is amber or a soft pink. These colors are always my go to colors. They look great in photos and on skin tones. They also blend well with just about any color scheme.
When Toni O'Reggio came into our office with her planner Latrice Cushenberry from Opulent Couturier, she knew she wanted color, but which color exactly, had yet to be determined. Her colors were Carnation Pink and Tiffany Blue. Both great options. My suggestion to her was to use LED's. The guests arrived to the Sheraton Music City to a reception painted in Tiffany Blue. As the night went on, we changed the entire room to a vibrant pink. Toni and Ugo's reception is a perfect example of how LED's can help solve the dilemma of "What color do I go with?"
Planner: Latrice Cushenberry - Opulent Couturier
Florals : Brocade Design
Thanks for stopping by our blog! - Abi

Audio Visual

Hope you're having a great week, and thanks for stopping by our Blog.

Did you know that we can handle all of your Audio Visual requirements, as well as lighting?
We actually have projectors, screens, podiums, sound systems, etc..
Whether you need a flatscreen, a small concert sound system, a ceremony sound system for a wedding, or even a couple great sounding speakers with an iPod hook up for a back yard party, we got ya covered!
Please call Abi today at 615.414.6724 if you have any Audio Visual needs!

Giving Thanks

Here at NEL we can't believe Thanksgiving is Thursday! This means that we made it through another crazy wedding season. For most wedding and event vendors here in Nashville, September and October have become months of pure mayheim. On August 31st, we kiss our family and friends goodbye, buckle up, and hold on for nine weeks solid. Now that we are able to catch a breath and look back at what we experienced, we'd like to say "Thanks from the bottom of our hearts" to all of our fellow vendors, planners, venues, and crew.
To our planners, you are the glue that keeps us all together. You make all of our lives easier. To our fellow vendors, thank you for the camaraderie you all provide on site and referring us to your clients. To our venues, thank you for trusting us with your clients, the early morning load ins, and late night pick ups. To our crew, you're the best in town! We all appreciate your attention to detail, your positive attitude, and work ethic. We could not have made it without you. Now, if we could only figure out a way to clone you....
Here are just a few of the things we are thankful for. I hope you enjoy these candid shots of our crew in action!
We worked hard for 5 days straight for Nashville Fashion Week to create runway shows at different venues each night. So grateful to be a part of its first year ever.
Clint's Guns!
Destination Nashville for allowing us to turn not only ourselves but the Opry Plaza blue for Deltek.
Sunday - Funday! This is what happens when you try to make the crew get up at 8am to go to the lake after a night full of events.
Blake and I were thankful for casters on road cases. We thought we would try a new marketing campaign and stroll through downtown Nashville from War Memorial to the Convention Center. Why not?
We're thankful for Sarah Ashley who recently joined our team as a full time employee.
Booties on white carpet.
Misty, who not only keeps our office together but isn't afraid to pitch in on site.
We can't forget about Daniel Brimer. Daniel has joined NEL this year as our General Manager.