By Simon Miller, Simphonic Events
We always welcome the challenge when asked to create something innovative for candle lighting. More and more families are growing tired of the traditional candle lighting ceremony, feeling that it wastes time and bores guests.
When the Brett family came to me looking for something new and different to fit in with their son Jake’s urban graffiti theme, the wheels started turning immediately. Having already done a photo shoot in the city with Jake, I could see his affinity for the city and graffiti artwork and wanted to create something that would put a new spin on his candle lighting and would be a great keepsake for years to come.
In keeping with the urban theme I decided to enlarge a black and white image of the New York City skyline. I would then outline each of the 13 buildings with miniature white lights allowing Jake to illuminate each building individually, corresponding with his 13 candles. The 14th good luck candle would be illustrated by constellations in the sky and colored lights atop each building.
The image was printed (3ft by 6ft) on glossy photo paper and mounted on 1/2 inch foam board. The foam board would keep the printed image rigid and would help to secure the lights in place. We decided to use white holiday lights to illuminate the buildings. Finding these lights mid spring proved to be a challenge as the item is typically only sold during the holidays.
We began by poking small holes around the perimeter of each building. The foam board turned out to be the perfect thickness to hold the lights in place allowing only the glass tip of the light to poke through. We then carefully embedded the lights from behind the image using a separate strand of lights for each building. This would allow us to put each building on a different switch so they could be lit one at a time.
Many hours, rolls of tape, and strands of lights later, we had completed the minefield of wires and were ready to power it up. We custom ordered rack mountable power strips that would provide a switch for each outlet. The wired image was place in a custom wood frame with a 2″ deep molding that would allow us to cleanly affix the wiring to the inside of the frame.
Once the piece was wired we began flipping switches and were amazed that the outcome was actually cooler than we had imagined. Each building would light up in sequence, and the last candle adorned each building with a colored beacon and illuminated stars above the skyline. We couldn’t wait for the party to come so we could surprise Jake and his friends and family.
Jake’s party was a blast and I was deeply proud to see the skyline shining bright over the dance floor. We hope this inspires you to think outside of the box and come up with your own creative candle lighting.
To learn more about Simphonic Events and all their Mitzvah services, visit their extended profile page in our Vendor Directory. Look for a complete Brett Mitzvah Family Spotlight soon!
For more alternative candle lighting ideas, click here.