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We Love Beach Wedding Season! Wedding Lighting and Sound

Beach Wedding Lighting & Sound

With so many beautiful beaches here in North Carolina, It is no wonder we do so many weddings at the lovely beach homes and venues! There is a lot of vacation homes in the area that do a lot of weddings every Spring and Fall. We see a lot of Edison Lighting go out to these homes for their decks and patio, as well at the undercarriage which can be a great rain option.

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Along with having your reception at the beach, there is a lot that also utilize that beach front for their ceremony as well! We cater to this market with our beach ceremony system which has been working flawless for us, even with 30+ MPH winds. Of course you will hear your officiant, but with the wind and waves... no one else will. We Mic up your officiant or the groom to make sure even your 3rd cousin twice removed in the back will year every word.

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With Fall Wedding season coming in strong these past few weeks with no end in sight, expact a lot more photos to come!

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Ceremony Sound!

I believe every part of a wedding day is important to our clients. That being said, the ceremony is by far my favorite part. As an AV company, a lot rests on our shoulders to make sure the music is correct, everyone can hear the officiant AND musician AND Vows. So we are very demanding of our equipment. We rely on rock solid components and simplification plus redundancy to ensure everything goes smoothly, In the past, that means a generator, power distribution, data to the speakers, microphone receivers and a mixer. It looks a little like the picture below! 

It is a bit of a mess, but every piece is solid and put together, we achieve fantastic results! Well, We are going one step further and upgrading to a new system that is COMPLETELY wireless. What is the drawback? Nothing! We get to use the same amazing Sennheiser microphones which always get compliments on clarity, and we will be using Sennheiser speakers that can run indefinitely on internal battery power and the entire unit can get wrapped in white to blend in! 

We can now handle the ceremony music, microphones, exporting audio to photographers for Crystal clear ceremony sound and of course allowing all of your guests to hear every word! We are geeking out a bit about this because it will make our lives so much easier and make your wedding that much better! Contact us to find out about availability for your special day! 

 

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Wedding Lighting 2017

Trending Wedding Lighting Styles

Floral design by Design Perfect, Tent from L&L

Floral design by Design Perfect, Tent from L&L

With 2017 Wedding season in full swing! It is pretty easy to see Edison Lighting is still VERY popular (especially in the rustic venues). But we are also starting to see an upwards trend in break up patterns and in our elegant up lighting options!

We use break up patterns (Gobos) to transform tents, walls, floors and ceiling to really enhance the venue! It is quite the sight to see!

White/Amber Up Lighting

Rentals from Design Perfection

Rentals from Design Perfection

As I am always happy to share, Our up lights have built in white and amber! This gives us some more lighting options and tools to create different looks! These colors/hues go really well with the Greenery look that has been sweeping this area recently! Of course Edison lights and pendants have been SUPER popular to go along with the greenery!

Edison Pendant Bulbs

The Wedding above was recently featured with Style Me Pretty , All the floral design was with Eco Chic Blossum who was wonderful to work with!

I can't wait to show you what we have in store for the rest of the year!

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The Complete Package!

Let Us Take Care Of Everything!

       I have had a goal in mind since the day I did my first event lighting, (provide the best service with the best product at the best price). Sounds simple huh? The service part is easy, I spent the better part of my life working in Food & Beverage and hospitality. Each event is special to those involved and we are very lucky to be a part of it. That is why I don't care if it is a 20 person wedding or 300+ because these events are once in a life time! We only have one shot to make everything perfect for our clients.

Soft White Up Light

Soft White Up Light

5K Glow Run

5K Glow Run

      What do the top two pictures have in common? They are using the same lighting fixture! We invest in the best equipment on the market, this allows us to use our equipment for a lot of different uses which means we can charge less per event to cover our costs. AKA, You save money on your event AND get the best product on the market, making the exact color/look that you want!

        We like to call ourselves the one stop shop for pretty much any lighting/audio/entertainment and more! We can sit down with you go over every detail. Let us ensure everything will be perfect from start to finish on your big day. We cover your ceremony microphone so that all of your guest can hear your vows, as well as one of our gorgeous photo booths and one of our amazing resident DJ's to keep you and your guests moving until the last song, and of course a lighting design for your reception that will make you say wow! There is no cutting corners here at Event Excellence, we go out of our way to make even the most minor detail perfect. Click thru the links below to check out more information on our new DJ packages as well as all of our light design we have done recently!

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Wedding Up Lighting!

From bland to beautiful!

Up Lighting is one of the most popular lighting options in recent years. Our fixtures go out almost every weekend all year long transforming venues making them romantic and elegant or colorful and vibrant! When I get asked about lighting a venue, there are a few things I look for when making a recommendation on what kind of lighting to use.

1) I first look at the wall texture, if it is brick or masonry of some sort, that is a GREAT medium to put up lighting on. It takes the light and gives it amazing shadows and makes the venue look 100x more interesting to the eye.

Focus on the masonry wall to the left and how beautiful it is!

Focus on the masonry wall to the left and how beautiful it is!

2) do the walls have moulding or other mill work?  Some venues have amazing woodwork and moulding which gets accentuated by the up lighting showing off your venues details. This also applies to pillars which usually have great details and light very well. 

Cape Fear Country Club

Cape Fear Country Club

Landfall Country Club

Landfall Country Club

3) Lastly, What if you HATE your walls but you want up lighting to give it that extra touch? That isn't a problem at all! We can just cover it up and give it the look you want! We offer pipe and drape from 7ft - 14ft and even higher! Draping gives off beautiful colors and details that you can use to hide areas or even use it as an accent wall!

I hope all that information helps you decide whether up lighting is the right choice or not! But when in doubt, just give me a call and I will gladly come offer up my opinion, or maybe I have already done up lighting in your venue before! check out our portfolio and see! With our fixtures offering every color you could imagine, even black light (UV) and Real White LED, as well as being wireless, we can lighting up your space any way that you like in record time!

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Four Ways To Transform a Tent

Break Up Pattern

Break Up Pattern

With the beautiful surroundings of coastal North Carolina, it isn't a mystery why there is so many outdoor tent weddings! We love tents because they are just like big blank canvases to work with. Each tent could be exactly the same but with our help they can take on any sort of look/design you could want! This post will showcase a few of our favorite looks but if you have an idea for your wedding, lets make it happen!

Using our LED spot lights with an overlapping pattern turns your tent into a gorgeous back drop for your wedding. Giving off a nice soft white look along with being dim-able to match the mood for the evening. Lets play around with some color now!

Using our full color LED Spot lights as well as up lighting the perimeter will give your tent an even color that is also fun and sets the mood for the evening! You can also use traditional spot lights to highlight areas such as stages/important tables! Did I mention that they can change colors? so how about soft white during dinner and a color of your choice once the dancing starts! 

We do Edison Lighting and LOTS of it! With thousands and thousands of feet in our inventory, there is no shortage of them! This style of lighting is a favorite in this area for sure! We put them on patios, in tents, around tents and even inside! We have a wedding booked for later this year that is using close to 3000ft of edison lighting to light 3 tents, a cocktail area and 600ft of them from the parking area to the tent site! phew.... I am tired just thinking about that!

And LASTLY! Par Lighting in a tent, I am bias to this look because it is what I did for my wedding! I like this option because of the even and dramatic look it offers! Just like the first options, everything is controllable, dim-able and can change to what ever color you would like when you want it! I have quite a few weddings using this look this year and I can't wait to WOW their guests!

All of these styles give a completely different look and feel to a tent wedding. I am sure if you reach out to us we can come up with a style that fits your event!

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Lighting Up Your Dance Floor!

Break up pattern with custom Gobo

Break up pattern with custom Gobo

Let me ask you a quick question, Where would you like everyone to be during your Wedding? Maybe at the bar hanging out? or sitting at their tables? I believe the dance floor is the heartbeat your wedding night. It doesn't mean that it has to have lasers zooming overhead or obnoxious strobe lights flashing away constantly. I simply want to give your dance floor area some love and attention! There are plenty of ways to do this without having to sacrifice your look/design. In fact you can theme your dance floor to be elegant or fun and colorful to bring your entire venue together! 

Breakup Pattern

Breakup Pattern

A nice simple elegant look. We use 1 or 2 lighting fixtures with a pattern and shine them on your dance floor, we set them out of focus to give a nice even look without have any harsh lines that would show up in pictures. We already have the fixtures made so there is no extra charge which makes them a more affordable option that a monogram in most cases.

Colorful Dance Floor

Colorful Dance Floor

How about adding some color to your dance floor?? Better yet, how about we use some of our intelligent lighting options to make them elegant whites and fun colors that change to the music! We will have a lighting tech on site to ensure everything looks amazing thru out the evening while making your dance floor as fun as possible!

How about a simple monogram or a spot light?? we have that covered as well!

Custom Gobo

Custom Gobo

This makes the dance floor yours evening! it even has your name on it! This custom design is made in house and cut out of steel (which you get to keep of course), the fixturecan be dimmed so they don't have to be on all night long, just when you want them to be!

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Event Lighting Defined!

When speaking with lighting designers or wedding planners you may come across some terms and styles you may not have heard or understood completely. Some of these being 'gobo', 'spot' or 'wash'; well let me go into a bit of detail and put these words into some context! That way when you give us a call to talk about lighting you can use your new found vocabulary and really impress us as we plan your dream event together!

Uplighting

Uplighting

Wall washing or uplighting, as its name suggests, is a type of lighting that projects an upward-facing beam. This service is the most frequently used and offers the best bang for your buck, as it can completely change the look of your venue. This type of lighting is the best place to start when building your event design, and is often considered the base coat of the design.

The fixtures used for this type of lighting are called pars, we use LED versions of these fixtures. Our fixtures can be programmed to project any single color light beam, or they can be programmed to cycle through various colors throughout the event. Our Pars have white housing to blend well into your room and are battery powered so there is no need to extensions cords to trip people up or get in your pictures.

Dance floor washes

Dance floor washes

Dance floor washes illuminate the dance floor in a rich amber or pink and project a softly-focused pattern to break up the harsh beams. Projecting the pattern slightly out-of-focus ensures no rigid beams are projected onto you or your guests, and blends into the floor more beautifully than in-focus patterns. Using 2 fixtures, we are able to adequately cover the entire dance floor and provide light coverage from 2 different angles. Dance floor washes look great on any color floor, but they truly transform dark wood or concrete floors to a more inviting place for your guests to enjoy.

We use high powered LED fixtures that feature ‘shutters’ that can be adjusted to frame the light, as well as a slot to accept a gobo. Gobos are sheets of steel or glass that are cut into a certain pattern or image, such as your initials, company logo, or autumn foliage. We also equip these fixtures with dimmers so that the atmosphere can be controlled throughout the evening.

Wall breakup patterns

Wall breakup patterns

Using the same fixtures as all other wash lighting techniques, we are able to project a special pattern onto a wall, such as polka dots, clouds, paisley, or even snowflakes. These patterns will be in-focus since they do not come in direct contact with your guests, and can be displayed in any color desired.

Ceiling washes

Ceiling washes

Using the same light fixture as a dance floor wash, we project an in-focus pattern onto the ceiling of your venue. The number of fixtures required is dependent on the space, but this style of lighting typically requires at least 4 fixtures. Ceiling washes can feature any colors, but for dark venues or venues with very high ceilings, lighter colors tend to work best.

Now that you know all of your terms, its time for the test! just joking. I hope this post was informative and helps you with your design process! shoot us an email or give us a call if you would like us to apply these designs to your next event.

-Michael

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Why I LOVE Designers & Planners

Design A Dream Events

Design A Dream Events

         A post from a lighting designers perspective. When a bride reaches out to me and tells me what she is interested in, it is usually because they have seen a picture of what they want. This is totally fine, I just price out what they asked for. However, other times the couple isn't sure what they want and they can't really tell me what kind of look they are going for. Do they want fun and colorful? Or maybe rustic and elegant? These are important questions to me because it will dictate what looks perfect or what seems out of place. Planning a perfect wedding takes experience which most couples won't have.

       Designers do dozens of weddings a year! They get to try every kind of linen pattern and flower arrangement. They go to professional conferences on planning and design! Do you know those magazines that show off beautiful weddings that you want to recreate? That could be one of the professionals in this area! Designers oversee EVERYTHING, that means they know what color and style of the linens, flowers, and everything else to do with your particular wedding. So when lighting is added they know what needs to be lit, and what style works with the overall design. I trust all the designers I work with every weekend to know what works where and also to do and try new things that will really make an event space look completely different and amazing.

       A great example of this is a wedding I had just last month! A bride reached out wanting A LOT of Edison lighting (1200ft) and had some great pictures from other events (at different venues) she wanted to incorporate. I was kind of worried because from a lighting stand point, I didn't know any other details about the wedding and if one look would work better than another. The Bride went on to tell me she hired the design company Knot Too Shabby Events . I immediately reached out to them and had a meeting to sorted thru all the different possibilities. We discussed room layout, decor and the overall look we were able to work together to create exactly what the couple wanted from a lighting stand point! how do I know it was perfect? Because the couple gave me a huge huge hug at 10pm after I had worked an 18 hour day! Some pictures of this wedding from my phone are below!

 

So if you are planning a wedding and you want to make sure everything is going to be absolutely perfect, Please consider one of the many amazing designers in town. They really make the process enjoyable and effortless, not only for the couple but for all the behinds the scenes people like myself who really care about the final look of the wedding when the bride walks in and says WOW!

 

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LED Lighting, the good, the bad and the ugly.

LED Wedding Lighting 

Why should ANY Wedding planner, designer, bride or groom care about LED Lighting? I would say 90% of lighting vendor who have LED lighting do NOT want to spend more than they have to when it comes to their inventory. Or, their inventory is outdated and they don't want to update it because it still works for them.

RGB LED

Most LED fixture from 5ish years ago only had Red, Green, Blue (RGB) Led's built in. You mix these colors to get other colors. You turn them all on and you get "White", But it isn't white, it is a strange blue tinted white which when added to walls in the case of up lights, gives it a horrible color. This is what I have seen a lot of and it always makes me sad when I see an elegant wedding with this weird blue color up light. 

RGBAWuV

Red,Green,Blue,Amber, White, Ultra Violet, This is what we have in our STANDARD up lights, no up charge for the best of the best. These will give you soft whites, pastels, even super bright vibrant colors, The image below is an example of a nice soft white that is possible when you have Amber and White LED's built in, oh and of course the fixtures are wireless, but that is a different blog post.

 

RGBW

Even our large format outdoor fixtures have built in White LED's, It cost us more money up front to get the White LED's built in, but when it comes to color control and being able to provide what designers/brides want, it makes it so worth it.

We will continue to offer the best product in Eastern NC at the best price! 

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Outdoor Lighting and Audio

Lighting The Great Outdoors

500ft Pier at Events at Watermark Marina

     Living in the beautiful Wilmington Area means that there is no shortage of wonderful outdoor event spaces. Whether that be the beach, tent, pier, barn, field, or even a parking lot. With all of these different venue locations there are questions I have to ask such as is there power, what if it rains and how long with the equipment be exposed for.

     These different questions determine the price of an event. You will always find outdoor events costing more. We either have to bring out generators, IP rated fixtures, or have long power runs. I try to provide the best products that suit our coastal surroundings. If it rains out I don't want the lights going out and interrupting the party. If that means the price per fixture is a little more, than that is something I need to explain to the client.

     At the end of the day, It is everything going off without a hitch that matters most, even if I have to put in extra time protecting fixtures, or taking an extra trip out to make sure everything is ready for an impending storm.

-Michael

 

  

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Custom Wedding Projections

Projecting Initials and Designs 

Going thru the process of projecting custom images and designs. 

Design and Production

The first thing to ask your client is what they would like projected and where. Let us just say they want their initials project, similar to what is in the picture above. You can either get the image printed in a printer (if your fixture runs cool enough), cut out of steel, printed with cool-ink or printed on glass. Each of these has pluses and negatives, I will go over them later. To begin, you must make your design and save it at super high resolution and save it as a PNG. This format seems to work the best for gobo's. At this point you either print it yourself or have it sent away to be made. 

Printing it yourself -You may find the image to be not as clean when projected long distances, can only be used in low wattage fixtures 25 watts or less, and they do not hold up well over time. 

Steel Cut - most common form, runs under $100, holds up well to high heat, holds up over repeated uses. can't project color unless you have a gel in front of the fixture. 

cool ink - Can be printed in any color needed, runs around $100, can only be used in low wattage fixtures. Can be used repeatedly. 

Glass Gobo - Very expensive, can be any color needed, any wattage fixture and holds up well over time if taken care of.

Gobo Projectors 

Battery powered projectors - only about 10 watts, but can be used if needed in areas without power or tight spaces. bonus - good for disco ball lights! 

Small fixtures <25 - Can be good in dark rooms, don't use on super dark or reflective surfaces (such as dance floors). You can use any style gobo you would like

Large fixtures >25 - These can be used for any need, but can only use steel or glass gobo's, so make sure you charge accordingly. Some fixtures have built in rotation (I don't find it useful) or built in color wheels which is something I use regularly. 

Digital projectors - Make sure it is above 4000 Lumens. You can make your designs without getting them cut or printed. Mounting options are kind of limited but you can get around this limitation with special brackets or stands. 

Projector Placement 

If you need to project onto a dance floor, you need the projector high enough up to not distort the image. If it is projected on a wall, you need to find a location opposite of it to put a stand high enough to not get disturbed or blocked by foot traffic. Make sure to put some scrim on your stand so it isn't an eye sore. If you are far from your projection placement, make sure you have enough zoom in your fixture so the image doesn't end up HUGE. 

Summary 

Always have a bright enough fixture to be able to back it off if needed rather than be left wanting more and making excuses to angry brides. Know your space and where you can mount things. Again, you don't want to explain why the image so larger than the wall, or unreadable on the dance floor. Get things created ahead of time to make sure you are prepared. Make sure you cover yourself cost wise. 

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All About Flexibility

wedding lighting Flexibility 

They may not look pretty in this picture as there is a mess of wires. However, I would rather have this mess now before the event than during the event.

As you can see, it offers a very clean look with no wires for power and can be controlled with its built in wireless network.

I love being able to set up quickly and adapt if needed. I also use wireless pin spots so if the cake table has to move, fine, I will more with it at a moments notice. They also have built in white LED's so there isn't that harsh blue tint with older RGB fixtures.

Lastly, I have a wireless power system which is completely silent and can run everything from ceremony audio on the beach to lighting in a park. It is on wheels and can be moved around as needed!

If someone asks me to do something, I don't ever want to say no to them. I want to say yes of course and proceed as quickly as I can!

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What if the power goes out?

having confidence in your product 

Everyone worries about rain on their wedding day. But what if the power goes out? Odds are slim to none that this would ever be an issue but it happened this past weekend.
After reaching out to the electrical company, we were informed it may be a few hours. Luckily the lighting fixtures we had on site (Chauvet Freedom Hex 4) are battery powered and will run for up to 20 hours.

I hurried around the building placing the fixtures in the darkest areas to light them up. This made the restrooms use-able, the kitchens safe to prep in and the design team to keep setting up. Eventually when the power came back on (2 1/2 hours later)  the kitchen wasn't to far behind and the venue looks beautiful.

I purchased this line of fixtures to ensure ease of set up and to remove all wires from cluttering the venue. But having them as a back up emergency light worked quite well! What an added bonus!

-Michael

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