One of my favorite moments during the wedding day is a reception room reveal! It gives the couple a chance to see how their venue has been transformed for their guests. At Debbie and Adam’s wedding we couldn’t wait to see everything come together – from flowers to the cake – and one of the best parts – was the lighting! The Hilton’s Hall of Mirrors room is a great room. But dim the lights and add some color and it becomes breathtaking! Goodwin Lighting has to be one of my favorite companies to see at an event. They truly are artists!
When did you first realize you wanted to work with weddings?
In 1988 when I was an intern for a company that sold lighting products and rented equipment. I became involved with a variety of special events. My background as a designer was in live performance, theatre, dance and opera. The exposure to the special events industry opened up a whole new avenue for me.
What is your training or background?
I have a BA in Theatre Design and an MFA in Theatrical Design; covering scenic, costumes and lighting design. I also have additional advanced training in rigging and power distribution.
How long have you been in business? Where are you located?
After 7 years in the special event industry, I started my own company 1995, based in Lakeside Park, Northern Kentucky and servicing the Tri-State area.
Why did you start your business?
After 7 years working for someone else, it was time. I wanted to concentrate on one thing only – lighting design. I felt the event industry would be a unique avenue to explore.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Seeing the final result of all the design elements coming together. In theatre design, all the designers work together for a common goal, and pool resources to ensure the curtain goes up on time. This is why we are so aware of all the design elements from linens to florals, or power for entertainment to catering. We care about how the whole event looks and comes together.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Photos, mother nature, trade or interior design magazines and seeing what other designers are contributing to the event such as the cake, flowers and linens. The architectural elements in the event space can be very inspirational.
What are your favorite upcoming trends?
Color and style are always key, so seeing what is new in home magazines often dictate what is trending. On the technology side, it is LED’s, color and video.
Do you have any new favorite products?
LED’s are a great tool, but not the only one in the tool box. We utilize magnetic battery pinspots now which have proved to be ideal for working in older spaces where we could not pinspot before due to power or structural limitations.
What is one thing you wish brides knew while planning a wedding?
It is my job to choose the right tools for the job. Sometimes that is an LED fixture, sometimes it is not. Too often brides hear a buzz word like "LED up lights" and think they have to have them. But they are not always appropriate for all applications. You also cannot treat lighting like a grocery list of parts. It is not about the total number of lights, but rather, the proper amount of lights in the best locations to satisfy the design scope.
The lighting design process is more than just a DJ offering ten complimentary LEDs in locations or a color which do not enhance the atmosphere. In the end, you get what you pay for and is it really worth saving $100.00 at the risk of the room not looking right?
Anything else you want to share with us?
We love working with the whole design community in Cincinnati. There are so many talented people here. I just wish that there was a better sense of budget. Too often our clients see photographs of elaborate weddings, and do not truly understand the costs involved. Event professionals should not undervalue their services just to secure business. Great designs need a healthy budget to become a reality, and it is the responsibility of all special event professionals to educate their clients accordingly.