The owners of San Diego Events Lighting are passionate about event lighting, and it is this passion that has turned this young business into one of San Diego’s leading wedding and event lighting companies! Co-owners, Maria Harman (the technical genius), and Sharon Cole (a former wedding planner), partnered together and fused their technical and creative energies to create a company that is truly unlike other lighting companies in the San Diego area!
> How did San Diego Events Lighting get its start?
Sharon: We started in 2010. Maria was a CNC Machinist, (working with computers and robotic machines) manufacturing parts for the aerospace industry.
Due to cut backs and a very poor economy, the company she worked for had to downsize. So, Maria decided to go in a new direction and create a company of her own. Both her and I knew that lighting was up-and-coming as a major focus for brides and grooms, so we decided that this was a perfect fit for both Maria’s talents and my experience as a former wedding planner!
> What events/areas do you specialize in?
We can do lighting for any and all events and/or parties; we are open to any type of event that needs quality lighting. Wedding lighting is so special to us, because one’s wedding day is usually one of the most important days in his/her life, so we want to make sure that the lighting is beautiful. We want the lighting to have a lasting effect on the couple as well as their guests.
> Talk about wedding lighting…how do you work with a couple?
We meet with couples typically twice, once in our office and once at the venue.
In the office meeting, we go over the client’s colors and lighting designs. Some clients do their homework online, so they come into the first meeting knowing what they’re looking for. When they show us something they like, we educate them about how to achieve that look and also educate them technically about different lighting elements that will affect the mood, style and overall ambiance of their ceremony or reception space.
If a couple is not sure of what they need or want, we have a photo-book of past events, held at their venue, that can help guide them. By using this inspiration book, we can help them create a lighting design that will work for them.
Our second meeting is very important, so if it is possible, we want to meet the client at the venue. There, we walk the space with the client and take note of any architectural elements, which may add to the beauty of the space, so we know how we can illuminate them and maximize their beauty. We also want make sure that we know how many fixtures will be used to light up the space perfectly. This way we can plan accordingly.
If a couple is inquiring about outdoor lighting, we use our meeting at the venue to also walk the outdoor space. If they’re interested in string lighting, for example, we take measurements to make that happen. If there is natural foliage, we determine how to make it beautiful illuminated.
Our meeting at the venue also gives us the chance to meet with the onsite coordinator and make sure there will be enough power to run our lights without disrupting the power for other vendors, such as the DJ and/or Band. We go over logistics such as power outlets, time of day, and time of year to make sure that the lighting requested will work for them.
In the end and based on our walkthrough, we create a ”wish list” for the couple. We present them with a quote that lists everything that we discussed at the venue. Then, based on their needs, desires, and budget, the couple can then tailor their lighting package.
> What sets your company apart from your competitors?
We are dedicated 100% to lighting only. We do not offer any other services because we believe it is important to stay true to our passion: lighting. We want to advance not just our business, but the industry as well, so we actively seek out opportunities to become lighting dealers. Currently, we sell for two amazing lighting manufacturers, Blizzard Lighting and Rosco Gobo. As dealers in San Diego, we can offer other industry professionals excellent products and services.
In fact, we’re excited to announce that we recently partnered with Blizzard to create a prototype light! Staying current with trends is important to us. The idea of creating new designs and setting new trends is so interesting. It is amazing to have the newest and best lighting fixtures available to us! No cutting corners or sacrificing quality for quantity. We truly believe in nothing but the best, and that means both quality lighting and superior customer service. It is very important to us that we deliver quality to our clients because in the end, we want them happy with not only their wedding or event, but with us!
> What is your business philosophy or “mantra?”
“Bringing your lighting vision to life…” Clients have their lighting vision for their wedding, so we help bring their ideas/vision to life. We want our passion and creativity for event lighting to get our clients excited about what we can do for them.
We also believe in showing our clients we appreciate them! They are the key to our success, so we have ways to show we care. For example, if a client happens to come up with a brand new color for their LED up-lights, and it is one that we haven’t used before, we’ll name that color after the client!
> What does being a member of Weddings of Distinction mean to you?
The group is quality-driven, and we are so impressed with that. WOD members share the same philosophies we do, and that is important to us. WOD is made up of other family-owned businesses that are like-minded in their business approach. We’re all passionate about what we do and focused on quality, quality, quality.
It was an honor to have been accepted into the group, and we intend to never take it for granted. It’s an amazing support network for those in the wedding industry.
> What advice would give those planning a wedding?
Lighting can add to the ambiance of a room, just like flowers add color and texture. Lighting can also add dimension to a room/event. Therefore, proper lighting is a design element that can affect mood and beauty, visually and emotionally. It is very important for a couple to choose a color that ties into their wedding theme. Proper colors will only add to the experience their guests have.
When it comes to timing, our services, unlike other wedding vendors, do not require months or weeks of planning, so we are able to cater to tight timelines, if need be. Lighting colors can be chosen rather quickly, so we can cater to couples that are even days away from their wedding. If the couple wanted a custom gobo (projection pattern with initials, etc.), that would take little longer, so they need to plan accordingly.
For pictures and more information, visit our blog or ‘Like” us on Facebook @sandiegoeventslighting!