Looking for a bold and unique decorative element for your big day? Then consider transforming your wedding venue with the help of projection mapping. This new and exciting technology transports your guests to any city or landscape in the world—without them ever leaving the room. Here, two experts on projection mapping explain how to make the most of this innovative visual experience on your big day.
Know the basics.
"Projection mapping is the use of high-resolution imagery and videos that are seamlessly projected onto the walls and ceiling of virtually any event space, transforming the venue into an entirely different and unique environment," says Ariel Glassman, Creative Director at The Temple House. It can also be used to turn objects, often irregularly shaped, into display surfaces. Invented by Disney and originally used on a line of Disney wedding cakes, projection mapping creates entirely realistic images and scenes. "The term 'mapping' essentially means that complex software programs and media servers instruct pixels from multiple projectors exactly where to be projected," says Glassman. You can use mapping just on your cake, but The Temple House specializes in extending the technology to the walls and ceiling of your event space.
Customize your environment.
No matter what you want, it can be achieved immediately and affordably through projection mapping. "A couple can create a visual journey that no static wedding décor could ever achieve," says Glassman. Scenes can be changed instantaneously, unlike with traditional decorations. Once the projection mapping system is set up, guests can enjoy an entirely different theme with the push of a button. Glassman says that working with couples to determine a concept is the best part of what she does. "This is where it gets really fun, creative, and unique to every couple. To create a journey or storyboard of visuals for the entire evening is where every couple really starts to realize how amazing this technology truly is."
Consider the cost.
Projection mapping can be expensive, so it's not made for every budget. Bentley Meeker of Bentley Meeker Lighting Staging, Inc. explains that low ceilings, small rooms and a lack of rigging positions can impact how much mapping you're able to do. "Pricing can vary dramatically depending on location, complexity of set-up, intricacy of design, equipment and technology requirements, and scope of content, which can be the most cost intensive component," says Glassman. But she points out that the technology can also provide thousands of dollars in savings. Instead of covering the walls with fresh roses—which could get incredibly expensive—a couple can achieve the same effect for less with projection mapping.
Remember that less is more.
"Remember that it's a four-plus hour affair and that if all of the effects are shown at the beginning of the event, it gets tiring to see them over and over again for four hours," says Meeker. "Start subtle and slow and make sure that it unfolds uniquely as the evening progresses." With endless possibilities, it can be tempting to go crazy—but keep the overall experience in mind. According to Meeker, "all technology used in a wedding should advance the design sensibilities of the couple and their aesthetic. It's always about the vibe, and technology is only a supporting element, not the star."