Coffee with Caitlin: Caitlyn, Blue Steel Lighting

Choosing wedding vendors who fit the style and budget of your wedding day can be difficult, but getting to know the people behind the business often makes that decision much easier. In this series, Coffee with Caitlin, I want to introduce some of my favorite wedding vendor friends… or friendors as we call them.

Today’s interview is with Caitlyn, the office manager and go to gal at Blue Steel Lighting Design. The folks at Blue Steel are an insanely talented bunch. I mean, all you need it a look at the before and after from this year’s Crystal Clear Vision Event to see just how much they can do with a space! Whether a couple is looking for some rose colored uplighting around the reception room, a customized gobo for their dance floor, a beautifully draped room, or something completely custom, the Blue Steel team can make those wedding dreams happen! And keep your eyes out for more posts of their beautiful work from the Crystal Clear Event in the weeks to come!

Photo: Tara Liebeck Photography

Photo: Tara Liebeck Photography

What’s in your coffee cup/mug this morning? 
-Coffee- Black! Only half a cup since I am preggers.

What does a normal day-in-the-life look like for you? 
-Every day is a little bit different depending on the season we are in. If we are in engagement season you will find me and the Blue Steel Crew meeting with couples, drawing up sketches and designs, and prepping for any events we might have coming up. If we are in the thick of wedding season we do all of that but amp it up! Add in site visits, production meetings, gear list, gathering timelines/diagrams, and so much more!!

What is something non-wedding related you’ve been loving lately?
-I have been loving the warmer weather. I am definitely not made for the cold, so feeling that hot and humid air is amazing!!
Can you tell that Caitlyn and I did our interview previous to this week? We had to turn our heat back on two days ago! Brrrrr!

What is one thing you wish brides knew about lighting?
-It is worth the investment!! Looking at pictures of venues with lighting vs. no lighting you can completely see the difference in the ambiance. Even simple amber uplighting can create such a warmth in the space that it really just enhances everything else in the room/tent.

If you could give brides one piece of advice about another wedding vendor, what would it be? 
-Make sure you are comfortable with them. I think it is important to meet with them and see how your interaction is. If you can carry a conversation and talk about non-wedding things, I think you are on the right track!

If you could give brides one piece of advice about their first year of marriage, what would it be? 
-Enjoy getting to know one another on a deeper level. So many people say cliché things like "the first year is the hardest" when, yes you are getting adjusted to living with someone else and all of their imperfections, but it is also a great time to get to know each other and really focus on the relationship. It has its challenges, but remembering why you got married in the first place and taking it one day at a time is most important.

What was a favorite Blue Steel detail you saw at a wedding this past year? 
-I particularly love mixing textures, when done properly. So mixing rustic pieces with a crystal chandelier. We did a wedding where we brought the “woodsy” feel to a tent, while also incorporating princess pieces like large crystal chandeliers with some draping. It was pulled together flawlessly!

What was a favorite detail you saw at a wedding this year from another vendor? 
-I have really loved the incorporation of florals surrounding different lighting pieces. Anything that looks super lush, but can stand out as a focal point.
Yes! Wrought iron chandeliers dripping with greenery are a current favorite of mine too!
What is your favorite lighting element or other rental that you offer? 
-I love chandeliers!  I have always been a girly girl and a crystal chandelier just adds that extra sparkle and sass you are looking for. Plus there are SO many to chose from that go with all style types/personalities. 

Describe your ideal wedding: 
-Oh man! Well I have been married for almost 3 years, and not to be biased, but my wedding was probably the most fun one I have been to! Something that is a black tie affair with a dance floor packed the whole night, and really good wine. 

What’s your current favorite color palette for weddings?
-My favorite color palette changes daily. I constantly look at Pinterest for different lighting inspiration and fall in love with new colors everyday! But I do love the classic black and white with a pop of an accent color. 

What are three words that describe your ideal couple? 
-Innovative, Open to ideas, and Loving

What is something you’d love to see become a wedding trend? 
-Hmmm! This is a tough one, but I would love to see couples use different things to make their wedding personalized. We have a couple doing a “pre-ception” which is happening before their ceremony which is such a fun idea! Or changing up the normal timeline of the night and making it their own. Not one trend in particular but having couples think of creative ways to bring out their personalities on their special days!

What is something Blue Steel is known for that sets you apart from others? 
-We serve each client as an individual. It is not about meeting a certain quota or how many weddings we can do on a weekend. It is about making each individual event as special as the next. We take pride in getting to know our clients and want them to feel comfortable working with us, so that they have complete trust in us that their event will look flawless. 

Find Blue Steel on social media:
Facebook and Instagram (@bluesteellighting)

Meet more of my favorite vendors:
Chelsea, Tidewater and Tulle
Missy, Antonia Christianson Events
Evelyn, Letterlyn Studio
Caitlyn, Blue Steel Lighting Design
Kristina, Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Dhalia Edwards, Makeup Artist
Adrienne, Heart's Content Events and Design
Becky, Roost Flowers