Inspired by the fabulous work of LA-based event design Flite, I examined how to best use silk lanterns in a garden party to get a stunning effect. It starts with the superb Vietnamese silk lanterns, which are a lot more sophisticated than Chinese paper lanterns.
When you are hanging lanterns, mix the shapes and alternate colors. Pumpkin, diamond, teardrop, balloon, cocoon shapes work well together. I encourage you to mix solids and patterns within a hue family. A two-color palette is more elegant. For the garden wedding in violets, you can broaden the scheme by adding a few pink lanterns. I think this installation was really successful.
Since you will need a large number of lanterns to make a statement, it is often best to rent them. Plus, they will do the installation for you, including doing the wiring if your party continues after dark. An event design studio with a remarkable portfolio is Flite located in Los Angeles, California. Looking at their portfolio is a treat.
If you wish to do it yourself, you can find sources online. Vi Gallery sells 4 shapes of Hoi An Silk Lanterns in two sizes (medium $20 USD large $30 USD) in an array of colors. For a larger selection, check Asia2you, a retailer based in Wisconsin that ships everywhere. This is where I found these beautiful parasol lanterns.
+ Silk Lanterns by Flite - Photo credits for my first collage: top left photo by Cat Gwynn and Ben Hoffman, top right photo by Louis Felix, second row photos by Mark Carolin
+ Orange pattern prosperity lantern on sale at $33.95 USD
+ Solid Orange prosperity lantern on sale at $31.15 USD