Gels for a wedding reception

mbandgeek

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
North Carolina
Hi.

I need ideas for which gels to buy for a wedding reception. I am thinking light blues, greens, pinks and amber. I have never bought gels before, so where is a good reputable source to buy from?

I have approximatly a budget of around $50.

These gels are going to be in par 38 fixtures.

Thanks,
Kevin Northrup
 

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Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
Well, as far as what colors to use, ask what the wedding party is wearing/what are the colors of the wedding. Also, what the centerpieces will look like/what color is the hall for the reception. Blues/purples/pinks are your best bet. Stay away from green/red if you can. I would also go saturated as possible, its going to be dark and you will want to keep it dark.

Where to get them, call your local lighting company is a good way to go, if you don't want to do that production advantage has an online site now so you can grab whoever is paying for it credit card and just order them.
 

soundlight

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Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
Blues/purples/pinks are your best bet. Stay away from green/red if you can. I would also go saturated as possible, its going to be dark and you will want to keep it dark.
With PAR38's you can't go too saturated, because they're only 150W lamps, so you probably shouldn't use something like Congo Blue or Medium Blue...but other colors like R74 and R65 and R56 and R42 should do just fine (just flipping through my Rosco swatchbook here, those were colors that I thought might work).

And definitely ask about any theme colors that the wedding will have, as this could have a huge impact on your gel choices.
 

DarSax

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2006
Location
Bethesda MD
Especially ask about the centerpieces and bridesmaids dresses, I'd bet.
 

mbandgeek

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
North Carolina
Thanks to all for posting so far, The wedding is going to have a lot of pink, so i am looking for something to accent this, but not overbear it.

Also, what size gel frame does a par 38 have?
 

len

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland
You'll also want to find out what the color palette of the room is, because that will affect the gel colors you'll need. Most rooms I work in (and I do about 30 weddings a year) have lighter cream/white etc. walls, but some have a lot of reddish hue wood panel, so you have to compensate. Some tacky places are covered in red and/or yellow wallpaper.
 

mbandgeek

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
North Carolina
You'll also want to find out what the color palette of the room is, because that will affect the gel colors you'll need. Most rooms I work in (and I do about 30 weddings a year) have lighter cream/white etc. walls, but some have a lot of reddish hue wood panel, so you have to compensate. Some tacky places are covered in red and/or yellow wallpaper.
I think that it has regular wood paneling on the walls, White ceiling, and white floor tiles.
 

DarSax

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2006
Location
Bethesda MD
What are the ambient lights in the area going to be? Are you providing/controlling those, or are they dictated by the venue? Is there a lot of natural light, or is it very much indoors?
 

Jezza

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2005
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
I work for a company who specializes wedding lighting design.

There really are a lot of factors that could impact your color palette choices. As you mentioned, pink is big thematically. While you don't want to overbear things with too much pink in your gel colors, you also don't want to have too much of a departure from that overall theme. You can spread your spectrum out, from maybe even an orangey-peach hue to even as dark or saturated as a deep lavender -- these all seem to be reasonably with in that range of colors that might compliment and work with the pink.

As mentioned, centerpieces are usually very easy things to highlight that can bring a lot of life into a room, into the design. We will typically use a pin-spot on the floral and then a birdie or two as toplights on the table, depending. Having control of the levels by dimming these fixtures is great too -- but take into account the color shift you will get when dimming a tungsten source. We will often use a pale pink, maybe an R33 w/ hamburg to soften the pinspot, and then some silk in the birdies.

Do you need to light the dance floor? You will probably want your more saturated colors here, and could get away with some blues, deeper reads, and perhaps and deep amber here. It can be a little splashier, exciting, club-ish even, at least compared to the rest of the space.

Highlighting architecture is great too if the room presents such a thing. Many reception halls are rather plane and non-de-script. However, if the venue does have some interesting elements, lighting them is a great way bring life into the room and create some ambiance, while also creating enough bounce light to still keep the table lights at a comfortable level.

Now, I know many of these ideas won't be necessarily repeatable with your fixtures or your budget, but it gives you an idea about how some people can approach that sort of thing. Hopefully it will help make your decisions about color, but in the end, its really just up to your gut and your eyes. Go with your instincts (unless their totally wrong) -- you know what looks good and what doesn't.
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
I work for a company who specializes wedding lighting design.
There really are a lot of factors that could impact your color palette choices. As you mentioned, pink is big thematically. While you don't want to overbear things with too much pink in your gel colors, you also don't want to have too much of a departure from that overall theme. You can spread your spectrum out, from maybe even an orangey-peach hue to even as dark or saturated as a deep lavender -- these all seem to be reasonably with in that range of colors that might compliment and work with the pink.
As mentioned, centerpieces are usually very easy things to highlight that can bring a lot of life into a room, into the design. We will typically use a pin-spot on the floral and then a birdie or two as toplights on the table, depending. Having control of the levels by dimming these fixtures is great too -- but take into account the color shift you will get when dimming a tungsten source. We will often use a pale pink, maybe an R33 w/ hamburg to soften the pinspot, and then some silk in the birdies.
Do you need to light the dance floor? You will probably want your more saturated colors here, and could get away with some blues, deeper reads, and perhaps and deep amber here. It can be a little splashier, exciting, club-ish even, at least compared to the rest of the space.
Highlighting architecture is great too if the room presents such a thing. Many reception halls are rather plane and non-de-script. However, if the venue does have some interesting elements, lighting them is a great way bring life into the room and create some ambiance, while also creating enough bounce light to still keep the table lights at a comfortable level.
Now, I know many of these ideas won't be necessarily repeatable with your fixtures or your budget, but it gives you an idea about how some people can approach that sort of thing. Hopefully it will help make your decisions about color, but in the end, its really just up to your gut and your eyes. Go with your instincts (unless their totally wrong) -- you know what looks good and what doesn't.
Deeper reads? Like War and Peace?

<Sorry, I had to!>
 

mbandgeek

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
North Carolina
What are the ambient lights in the area going to be? Are you providing/controlling those, or are they dictated by the venue? Is there a lot of natural light, or is it very much indoors?
I will be providing the "fill light" I am not sure of the proper terminogly, but I am using some homemade par cans. Not to worry about the electrical or heat side these have been time tested. It is indoors and at night, I have an idea in my head of what i want it to look like, and i am absolutely positive that i can do it.
 

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Location
Milwaukee, WI
also if you get a chance talk to the photographer before hand. give them a heads up on the colors and how dim the room will be. try to have atleast one whiter colored light pointed at the ceiling just to give them something to work with.
 

Diarmuid

Active Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Location
Cornwall, UK
Also, what size gel frame does a par 38 have?
I dunno, whether you are still searching for the answer to this question, I've poked around on the internet and the measurements I've got have all been between 6 and 7 inches. It depends on the make of the Par 38 you are using, the Thomas engineering ones, are 6 inches, with some of the cheaper ones having frame sizes of 7 inches... At the end of the day, I doubt it makes that much difference.

Which, I think means that you can get 12 gels out of a Lee Sheet, and 6 out of a Rosco one, but you might want to check that... (if that was your reason for wanting to know the size!)

Hope some of that was helpful:)
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
The R40 cans I've used, which also take the PAR38, use 7.5"x7.5", but as Diarmuid said, each manufacturer is different. Hopefully yours are square. Round frames, as on some PAR46 fixtures among others, are a pain in the neck. I've seen PAR64 cans, polished aluminum, retrofitted to take a PAR38, wired four to a bar and terminating in a single Edison 5-15 PBU plug. Not much light output but the "look" is good.