Lighting is a fabulous way to set the tone of your wedding reception. Along with flowers, lights are a relatively simple way to add drama and elegance. Whether you want to share the spotlight with a stunning display or make sure all eyes are on you, these 17 bright ideas will help you set the perfect scene for your big day. Lights, flowers: action!

1. Hanging String Lights: Criss-crossed string lights are perfect for a more casual fete, but can easily be amped up to suit any affair. (via Ruffled)

2. Chinese Paper Lanterns: These lanterns look beautiful strung up indoors or out. They’ll also highlight vaulted ceilings. (via Mrs. 2 Be)

3. Paper Bag Lights: Light the way to your reception with a delicate, bag-lined path. These are super simple to make when you’ve got white or colored paper bags and craft scissors. (via Style Me Pretty)

4. Wall of String Lights: Indoor reception? Don’t miss out on the light strand trend with a stunning wall display that will cast a cheerful glow over the evening. (via Snippet and Ink)

5. Carnival Marquee Letters: We “LOVE” these letter lights. They make for a great photo op and we’re willing to bet they’d be beautiful on the cake table. (via The Pretty Blog)

6. Vertical Light Strands: We love this riff on the twinkle light wrapped tree! And we’d bet that hanging the lights vertically is way simpler than wrapping them around each individual branch. (via Next Exit Photography)

7. Pillars in Hurricane Vases: We love the look of large pillar candles illuminating the floor. Square hurricane vases protect them from wind and — heaven forbid — rain. (via The Relaxed Home)

8. Twinkle Light Wrapped Trees: Natural wood (also known as tree branches) looks so enchanting when wrapped in lights no matter what time of year. Whether you wrap a large tree or a whole forest of them, trees can make a great focal point at an outdoor reception. (via Valentina Glidden Photography)

9. Metallic Wine Bottle Candles: These are the perfect decor for a winery wedding. The metallic spray paint magnifies the light from the tapers. (via Ruffled)

10. Clustered Tea Lights: Tea light candles are endlessly versatile, but we love the look of lots of them clustered together. The flickering light is perfect for an intimate evening. (via Teatime Thoughts)

11. Chandeliers: Here’s an unexpected idea: use intricate chandeliers to decorate your outdoor venue. (via Style Me Pretty)

12. Rose Gold Tablescape: Here, mismatched vases are united by a coat of rose gold paint. We love the shabby chic, DIY feel of these candles. (via Ruffled)

13. Hanging Tea Lights: Take your candle-and-flower centerpieces up a notch by pairing them with hanging tea lights. They’ll not only add some visual interest, but the ribbons they hang on will also incorporate your color scheme. (via Rock Designs)

14. Cloth Lantern Lighting: This cloth strip chandelier adds strong visual appeal and a colored glow as the evening wanes on. Plus, we bet you could DIY this one, too. (via The Wedding Chicks)

15. Succulent Tea Lights ($20): We’re big on succulents, so naturally we love these candles. Combining your flower and candle budget means twice as many, right? Not to mention, these would go perfectly with a certain flower crown. (via Terrain)

16. Floating Lanterns: Holding your reception near water? Take advantage of its tranquil beauty with floating lanterns. (via The Dazzling Details)

17. DIY Hanging Lightbulbs: This chandelier will work for so many types of brides, from those who dream about rustic barn receptions to those who are into a more urban, industrial vibe. Plus, you can make it yourself and then take it home. Hello, new dining room light fixture. (via Ruffled)

What lighting do you have planned for your special day? Whether your wedding is just around the corner or just a Pinterest board, let us know in the comments!