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Nothing at your special event should be a “second thought,” especially the lighting! Gone are the days when whatever the venue had hanging from the ceiling — or maybe even a few wall sconces — was good enough. 

Creative lighting truly sets the tone and is an absolute must for outdoor events, and for those that span day into dusk, and twilight into night. Lighting is one of the most versatile options and its impact is huge. It can be captivating, bold, modern, demure, soft and so much more.

We spoke with Colleen Munoz, co-owner of Lumos Co., first and foremost because she’s a pro, but also because she “loves bringing your vision to life; we delight in opportunities to create absolute magic.” 

You had us at “magic”!…

Lumos Co. offers full-service design and installation. Tell us why you choose to use only union-trained electricians.

Colleen Munoz: They’re the most trained! They engage in four to five years of schooling and apprenticeship before they achieve certification. It’s the most comprehensive education and training available, and that means we can offer our clients the highest level of service possible. Our work is thoughtful and always beautifully designed, and our installation is safe and seamless. 

Given the myriad of trends, how do you deliver “captivating lighting design for the bold and modern-minded”?

I’m also a florist, so the design aspect of lighting is what drew me to help build Lumos to what we are today. We like to look at lighting not just as a means to see, but rather as an artistic aspect that’s setting the tone and feel you want your guests to experience at your wedding. It’s meant to captivate, no matter what you select!

Photo by Traverse the Tides

How did that core value help you and your couples navigate 2020 — and beyond?

We remained “human.” No one could have imagined 2020 playing out the way it did. We really are in this with our couples, and at the end of the day we just want them to be happy. So, we emphasized flexibility and did everything we could to be there for our couples, wherever and however the needed us. We continue to hold that philosophy as the pandemic drags on into 2021; we’re all in.

What’s trending right now and into 2021?

For what’s trending right now, I’m seeing a lot of boho vibes, wickerpendants, in both tan and black shades, and on the other end of the spectrum, a lot of ethereal inspiration: whimsical designs with soft crystalchandeliers.

Photo by We Laugh We Love

Are there certain styles that work better outdoors? In tents? Indoors?

Outdoors will always lean towardmarketor bistro lighting. It’s easy to dress up any outdoor space without breaking the bank! Tents can be tricky, based on the kind you choose. That’s especially important to consider when you want an overhead installation. A sailcloth tent, for example, doesn’t leave many areas for lighting professionals to connect to, which can then require more advancedrigging materials and [it will] up the cost. If you select a frame tent with exposed supports, then rigging can be much simpler — and, the cost a bit lower.Another item to note when getting an overhead installation is exposed cords. If you want your lights “on,” there needs to be electric running through, which means, cords, wires, etc. Cord management is something we work very diligently on to make sure they are as hidden as possible, but they still need to be there. So, working with your florist or planner and your lighting professional to add draping, florals or greenery to hide some wires can go a long way! When it comes to lighting, or any installation you’re investing in, it’s important for it to be impactful. I often advise my couples to direct their funds on something with a major “wow” factor instead of spreading it out across a bunch of little pieces.

Photo by Adrienne Matz Photography

Do certain lighting styles work better for different areas around the event, such as the bar, dance floor, sweetheart table, etc.?

In my opinion,nothing is impossible! Our team has backgrounds in audio production, TV production, interior design, event management, stage management (including stagehands!), so whatever our couples want, we’ll put our heads together and make it happen.

What does lighting for a special event cost?

Everything we do is a la cart! We encourage couples and planners to come with a budget in mind. Once we send a proposal, we welcome the chance to further discuss options and pricing.Some examples: We price ourstring and market lighting by the foot, so depending on the space you want to cover and the density you are going for, we are able to work with any budget.Pendant lights andEdison bulbs are priced each, depending on the light. There are also line items in all our proposals for labor and rigging, if necessary. 

How do you work with the Robert Ryan Catering & Design team to pull everything together?

TheRobert Ryan team has always been so helpful with providing all the necessary information we need: room dimensions, sharing the electrical availability that will be specifically set aside for lighting, and flexible install and breakdown times. Flexibility’s a huge help for our small business of two people plus our amazing contractors! 

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We know that 2020 made life stressful, especially for those who had to postpone the big day. We’re here for you to put your plans in motion in 2021 and beyond. We’re in this together! Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers when you’re ready to find your place or to reschedule your special event. 


Robert Ryan Catering & Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a 5-star rating on WeddingWire, and has received WeddingWire’s Couples’ Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venues. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news, and recipes from our executive chef.

Nina Malone

Featured photo by ASYA Photography