Hi AmandaRyan —
I’m not 100% sure on the terminology, but I’ve heard them referred to as "par cans" or "can lights" — they look like this:
(Source: Accel Party Rentals)
and are fairly lightweight. My woooonderful daddy, after a considerable amount of badgering, designed and constructed some bamboo pole structures on which we hung the battery lanterns and two of these, per structure. They are relatively inexpensive, but do require electrical cords. A rentals company or lighting designer can help you. They also come w/ gels, so you can change the color to suit your color scheme. We went w/ plain "white" so there was a golden glow, and they made the paper lanterns seem brighter.
I really didn’t want cords, but couldn’t get around it. (We were in an outdoor garden and I didn’t want anyone tripping, plus cords are ugly.) But, if you are hanging them from the ceiling (these can lights are MADE to be hung) you might have some options on hiding the cords. Maybe w/ some tulle swag? (Just be careful that you don’t touch fabric to the can housing — could start a fire! Again, the rentals person should be able to help you.)
If you still can’t accomodate these, try looking for battery operated Christmas lights (you can bunch up the cord and make a "ball" of light, but depending on what you put it into, it could cast an ugly shadow), or look for the "industrial glow sticks" — there are some that I saw (Google it) that are specifically designed for industrial/safety purposes, and they burn a lot brighter and last longer. They are, of course, more expensive. I’m also not sure if they come in plain white, and so you might get that sickly flourescent yellow glow, not a nice golden glow.
Finally, another option to consider: camping lanterns. There are some basic, silver or black/glass ones that can be gussied up to look prettier. They take, like 4-6 C or D batteries, tho’, so the price starts to ratchet up after you’ve bought a bunch of lanterns and batteries… or you could go with enclosed lanterns with candles in ’em, but depending on where you set them up and your other decorations, it could be a fire hazard.
HTH and Good Luck!
PS – for anyone looking for outdoors options, DO NOT buy those solar powered stake-’em-in-the-ground lights — they suck. Not very bright, and they don’t always work. There *are* ones that you can stake into the ground and bury the cord, but you need a big ol’ power source to jack ’em into.
PPS – Can you tell I did some serious research on this? We had an outdoor wedding, had to power EVERYTHING off of only two outlets and one small generator, including all the lighting and the DJ’s equipment, and had a modest budget to work with. There *are* a lot of options out there, but our budget did not allow for us to utilize many of them.