5 Lighting Ideas For Outdoor Venues

If you are planning a corporate event or wedding at an outdoor venue, you'll likely be focused on the food, entertainment, and décor. An important area you don't want to overlook is lighting. While the venue may have overhead lights strategically placed, they can be very cold and austere. You don't want your party lit up like a baseball field! Here are five ideas to add relaxing and decorative lighting that will give your event an intimate and cozy glow.


Fill small lunch-bag sized paper bags with a few inches of sand to provide weight. Add a flameless, battery-operated LED candle to each bag, and line the walkways and paths. No need for boring brown paper sacks; party stores sell small bags in an assortment of colors that are sure to match your party palette. They also have bags that have die-cut designs, such as snowflakes, wedding bells, hearts, palm trees, and tiki statues, perfect for complementing your theme.

Battery-Operated Christmas Tree Lights

You can wrap these soft white lights around nearby tree trunks and bushes. You can also use them to drape from tree to tree or other tall objects, creating an overhead lighted canopy. For even more drama, hang lightweight Chinese paper lanterns from the strings. You can also hang a curtain of lights on exterior walls that adjoin your party area.


Add glow sticks to simple, inexpensive balloons before you inflate them. Tie the balloon ends to string, and hang wherever you need to add soft light to your décor. You can also tie them in a bunch and create your own faux chandeliers.

Use Mason Jars

If you are having a rustic-themed outdoor wedding, these classic canning jars will make perfect table centerpieces. Battery-operated miniature LED fairy lights are available in an assortment of colors. You simply put one set in each jar, and voila! You can also add colored glass stones to the bottom of each glass before adding the lighting, which will add more color and weight to the jar. You can even get lights that flash, like little flickering lightning bugs. Tin cans that have been decoratively drilled with holes are another rustic and inexpensive option.

Light Up Your Tables

If you are using floor-length linens on your tables, you can light up the bases with portable LED camping lanterns. If you anticipate mosquitoes, you could use real lanterns with citronella oil instead to help keeps the bugs at bay.