I make an effort to make the flash as seamless as possible relative to the environment. Gels are important for an on-location shoots where you want to balance the background with the flash. You often see indoor shots where the subject in the proper white balance while the background with ambient tungsten light is orangy-red. Adding gels to unify the temperature of the light avoid weird tints in the shot.
In this situation, there’s some mixed lighting so it made it sorta difficult to match. I turned off some of the lights that weren’t needed so that I would only be working with one temperature. I used a 1/2 CTO gel for my flashes but it didn’t match the ambient perfectly. I set my WB to tungsten and the flashes still seemed a bit blue relative to the ambient lights. At the beginning of the event when there was still light coming from the outside, it was very difficult to work with since the temperatures of light had too much variety from the light coming in from the windows to the ones coming from the incandescent bulbs. Things got better and more consistent as the night went along after the sun set.
Two speedlights were placed in the main room, one in the kitchen area, and one on camera. Initially I used a piece of black foam to flag the flashes and pointed towards the ceiling, so that it would be less distracting to the guests. However, I lost a lot of light and it just wasn’t enough to light the room, so I removed the flag and just used a diffuser to bounce off the ceiling.
The shots for this event here.