Paper lanterns have always served cultural and aesthetic purposes throughout history. They have started out as cheap paper lanterns but now, they come in all shapes, sizes, and materials possible. They now range from simple paper bags to complex bamboo frames covered in more resilient paper. Usually, these cheap paper lanterns also have light fixtures attached inside—with the light sources often in the form of candles and light bulbs.
Paper lanterns are often associated with East Asian traditions, particularly that of China and Japan. Cheap paper lanterns are often hung outside of business establishments as they are believed to attract more customers. Another variant of these cheap paper lanterns are the sky lanterns. These airborne lanterns are made of lightweight paper and are lighted on the inside. They are released into the night to enhance the festivities’ aesthetic appeal.
In the Western culture, small paper bags with candles or tea lights inside called luminarias line up the streets of most Hispanic communities in celebration of Christmas. It is believed that the light emanating from these lanterns will guide the spirit of Christ the child into their homes. Recently, these cheap paper lanterns are now set up mainly for aesthetic purposes, much like Christmas lights, and are now gaining popularity in the United States.
In more recent times, inexpensive paper lanterns are now being marketed as embellishments in more intimate celebrations like weddings and birthday parties. They might be simple but when they are put together, they can set up the mood of the celebration. But still, before you go on buying paper lanterns, you should keep these few notes in mind:
1. Consider the space where you are going to put your lanterns. First and foremost, determine the dimension of your site. If you are using a wide space, it might be pretty pointless for you to buy just ten lanterns: they won’t even add up for impact. On the other hand, if you are going to have your celebration in a small room, it might not be practical for you to buy a hundred lanterns or so. Also, consider the height of the place.
2. Mix and match the sizes and colors of the lanterns to create an illusion of depth and dimension. To give your event some striking appeal, buy different sized lanterns of the same pattern and hang them at different heights. Another option that you have is buy cheap paper lanterns of complementary colors to add some kind of flair. However, if you can’t decide on a color, going with white paper lanterns is probably the safest option that you have. After all, it makes a room look cleaner and more elegant.
3. Consider your budget. Maybe those set of lanterns are the best fit for your wedding’s theme, but if you really can’t afford it then don’t push it. But if you insist, you can opt to do either one of these alternative options: compromise your budget for some of the other elements in your event to make way for your lanterns or settle for low cost paper lanterns. If you are to get your creative juices flowing, you’ll be able to adorn your lanterns all by yourself without the unnecessary expenditures.
4. Ask first if the light fixtures come with the lantern set. If you need to light up your lanterns, ask the seller first if they are selling the fixtures together with the lantern kit. More often than not, light fixtures are sold separately and they come at a really costly price. But if you know how to set up and improvise, you can buy the light fixtures at a separate store and set them up along with your cheap paper lanterns all by yourself.