back to articles list »

Lighted Wedding Dress

Photography by Michael SinterniklaasPhotography by Michael Sinterniklaas

Aloha! I am posting from the beautiful island of Kauai today where I am celebrating the wedding of my friends Julia Howe and Dekker Dryer. Julia came to me a few months ago and asked me to design her wedding dress with one special feature, it had to light up. Of course, I jumped at the chance to make a lighed wedding dress!

Photography by Carlos Linares IIIPhotography by Carlos Linares III

Like most brides, Julia knew what she wanted. She was attracted to the conceptual idea of industrial technology, but wanted a spark of traditional elegance. She decided on an overall color scheme that centered on metallic pewter, which was complimented by hints of burgundy, powder blue, and warm off-white. These colors were in the floral arrangements and feathered hairpieces on the bridesmaids.

Photography by Michael SinterniklaasPhotography by Michael SinterniklaasPhotography by Carlos Linares IIIPhotography by Carlos Linares III

It was decided that the dress should honor the metallic look but with a vintage inspired style. To do this, I focused on creating a soft and glowing design that played with the Victorian shape of the dress. The lighting design was intended to be simple with warm and cool whites. There were no flashing bulbs or severe bright spots. The spectacle of a lighted dress is enough on its own, There was no need to over do it with intense changing colors or a blinding reflection.

Photography by Michael SinterniklaasPhotography by Michael Sinterniklaas

I used Luminex, a fiber-optic fabric imported from Italy, to give the dress a soft glowing undercoat. It has the ability to light large areas without blinding onlookers.

The final illuminated dress has a soft glowing under skirt with a splash of light on the bodice and finishes at the shoulders with feather-like tendrils. It runs on 4 AAA batteries, which are located in a hidden pocket and for easy removal the underskirt is modular. It is connected with a row of snaps to the interior of the dress so that it can be removed for the daylight ceremony when there is no need to be all-aglow.

Photography by Carlos Linares IIIPhotography by Carlos Linares III

I also created a Luminex shawl for Julia to wear to the beach bonfire after the reception.


Hi my name is sara. I am getting married Oct 12, 2013 n I already have my wedding dress but am wanting it to light up underneath. My colors r hot pink n black n white zebra print. When I do my first dance with my husband I want my dress to light up with hot pink lights. Can u please give me more information on this id greatly appreciate it.
Thank u so so much!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012 - 18:13

did yuh recieve my message?


Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 10:26

ok thank you i will do so right now


Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 20:25

Niechelle, there are many ways to light up the dress. The material I use is Luminex. Here is a link to the fabric site: My partners and I would be happy to make your lighted dreams come true. Feel free to email us directly at: thegirls {at} iheartswitch {dot} com.

Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 11:53

hi i would like to make a white wedding type dress that i have softly lit like yuh did but im not sure how is it possible to do so by just altering the dress??? And if so can yuh help me with what to do please??


Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 04:11 dress?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 00:45

On the brink of tacky, but not quite there.
Not a completely bad idea, but any dress that requires a battery would be out of my taste.

Friday, June 11, 2010 - 02:23

awesome collection you share here thanks alot i cant believe that i got bunch of good dresses .please keep updating your blog as your collection is up to the mark.i want to learn more from you.

Friday, May 21, 2010 - 01:31

I first see the light Wedding dresses, it can replace the night view, the bride looks like the dazzle Neon light,stunning design.
I donot know what is its fabric?

Monday, April 12, 2010 - 04:34

Yes, buy different colored LEDs or just purchase the fabric with blue lights in it. It is a lot of work to get those little feathered pieces out, you have to pull them out of the fabric by taking apart the weave and pulling them free.

Alison Lewis

Monday, February 8, 2010 - 23:47

So its a ribbed like fabric with lights on the outside? do you get the feather effect like on the shoulder piece? many thanks its giving me great ideas.....were having an owl and pussycat theme for our wedding as we re marrying on a boat...i want to create the image on moon shining on hoping to get some blue/green hues.....will i need to buy different coloured lights? louise

Friday, February 5, 2010 - 17:11

I want to add this fabric to my pettiskirt just on the bottom much do you think it will cost. I'm so in awe that this can be done!! I love everything that can light up. I even have a pair of sneakers that I can put glow sticks or led lights in them to have the bottoms cool would it be for my wedding dress to light up? So totally me!!
Please email me

Monday, February 1, 2010 - 23:48

Louise, you can cut and sew this fabric yourself. Make sure you have the company add the lights onto the fabric in advance before you buy it. Also get a guide from them on sewing tactics. It should not be bent or folded across the lighted optics in the dress or you'll create an unexpected bright line. When you get it, play with it a bit, its somewhat stiff and you do not want to nick or cut across the lighted wires. If you are a good sewer you should be fine!

Alison Lewis

Monday, February 1, 2010 - 13:21

hello, im interested in making some small additions to my wedding outfit...can you tell me -can you cut and sew this this fabric yourself or do you have to cmommision a design from them?

...i note they now sell it by the yard...but as there are issues with folding it..doesnt this damage it? how do you get round the problem?

thanks, Louise

Friday, January 29, 2010 - 16:40

Wow - what a fabulous dress. I've never seen anything like it! I'm sure it would be fabulous for night time photography - which would be great at this time of year as the days are so short.

I really had no idea that there was a fabric that you could get to light up like that.


Thursday, January 21, 2010 - 08:25

amazing idea to use snaps... now I'll have to try this!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 - 00:19

Congratulations on this novel use of luminex! This is the first time I've seen it used as backlighting on a dress. Love the ground effects too... I hope this look catches on in time for my own wedding :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 23:09

HI All. Thank you for the kind comments :) I purchased the Luminex directly from the corporation. To work with it, I suggest getting a sample from They had some warehousing issues recently so it may take awhile to get the fabric you want. If you know anyone that wants a dress like this, send them my way!

Alison Lewis

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 16:53

I noticed on the Luminex website that they don't sell yardage, nor do they sell anything large enough that it seems practical to deconstruct it and use the fabric. Did you contact them directly and special order this much? It's absolutely lovely!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 16:19

This is amazing and I love it. I can see this becoming a trend because it makes the dress so much more beautiful. Bravo to you for making such a lovely garment.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 10:37

utterly amazing. breath-taking.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 21:27

Alison You are such a talent and had I not been married, this would be on my body. I retweeted this and am sure everyone will be intrigued.

If you ever want a model for these, I'd give you my body any day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 15:54