Does your idea of the perfect wedding theme involve drama, glamour and unparalleled romance? If yes, you will love the idea of a night wedding.
Night weddings may be a relatively new thing, but it is certainly gaining popularity. After all, a ceremony under a starry moonlit sky is simply lovely. Not only is it an intimate affair, it is also a whole new experience that your guests will not easily forget.
Not yet convinced? Here are some factors that are exclusive to night-time affairs.
The sunset and night hours create a magnificent backdrop
Imagine how beautiful it is if you had purple skies speckled with scatterings of sparkle from twinkling stars as your backdrop. The beautiful colors of the setting sun and magical sounds will be your background. Need I say more about how dramatic nature is at this time of day? Take a look at this post on the Budget savvy bride for some breathtaking photos that will have you excited about this plan.
Beautiful lighting can transform any space into a haven
At night, you have ample options to create a dramatic and impressive venue. It is very different from when your venue is flooded with natural light and you must work with the available colors and details of the space. Different types of lighting will yield different settings, giving you a plethora of options to work with and create a beautiful ambiance.
You have plenty of time to get ready, and so do your guests
This factor makes it just awesome to have a Friday evening wedding. Your guests can return from work, take their time to get dressed and then travel to your venue. You can also avoid an early-morning hair and makeup session, and instead take things at a relaxed pace.
I hope you get the idea now!
Planning an evening wedding is rather different from a day-time celebration. Here is what you should know about getting this plan on the road.
Important factors to consider when planning a night time wedding
How your venue looks at night
A venue will look entirely different by night than it does during the day. So, you should check it out at night time to ensure it meets your expectations. This is in addition to all the other factors you should consider when booking a venue, as is mentioned here on the Huff Post. Pay attention to whether the ceremony and reception areas are well-lit and there are provisions to illuminate it as per your idea. Also, ensure that the areas that connect from one part to another or pathways leading indoors are well-lit. If there are really dark spaces, find out whether these areas can be lit up to improve the ambiance.
For outdoor venues, check for bugs and insects
Pesky little creatures tend to become active at night. This can be a nightmare for your guests. Find whether the area you pick is particularly problematic in the venue and area you choose before you commit to the paperwork.
Find out how cold it will be
The weather will be colder and windy in the evening. So, consider this factor when planning your wedding. Ensure the area isn’t too windy, or bring in heaters to keep your guests comfortable if necessary. You can also have a small fire pit or serve warm wine to warm up your guests if the weather gets too chilly.
Night time weddings can be just as expensive as weddings in the day. When working out your budget, consider factors like extra illumination, vendors working overtime and transportation costs. Ensure you can afford the extras because of the late hours at which your wedding is. Read all about the different pros and cons of planning a nighttime wedding in terms of cost, at the Confetti UK website.
Plan the wedding timeline appropriately
Although you may have a late start to the ceremony, be considerate of the needs of your guests. Not all of them may enjoy an all-night party, especially if there are older guests or young children attending. It is a good idea to finish off the important events like the cake cutting early, so they can retire from the function when they feel tired.
Check for local rules and regulations
In certain localities, you may have to conform to noise restrictions after certain hours. If you intend to have your party late into the night, find out if this is an issue. Ask the venue manager about noise curfews if any. It is also a good idea to have the party hours put down on paper, so there is no confusion later.
Make the dress code clear
Since nighttime events are still a novelty, your guests may be unsure of how to dress for your wedding. Rather than assuming that they will turn up in formal attires or automatically realize it is a casual evening, specifically address it in your invitation. Set out the dress code as part of your invitation, to rule out confusion and more importantly, not embarrassing your guests.
Discuss your photo shoots
Inform your photographer that you have your heart set for a night time wedding, right when you book his services. This will allow him to plan the shoot accordingly. The lighting requirements will be different when the event has to be captured in artificial lighting. So, a heads-up will allow your photographer to plan his work for the day appropriately. You may also like to find the best-lit areas of your venue, so you can have the staged photographs clicked there.
Make arrangements for guest rooms or return transportation
A late night party will leave at least some of your guests too tired to drive back home. Don’t rule out the chances of their being too inebriated to make the trip. Keep this factor in mind, and book at least few rooms for your guests to spend the night at, should they need it. Ensure your venue has this facility, so your guests have a place to stay at, should it become necessary. You can also arrange for return transportation for your guests, so they can enjoy drinks at your party.
Use warm lights for better photography
Harsh, white lights will not work in your favor, as it spoils the effect of the romantic black starry night. Instead use the glow of warm candles, dancing fairy lights and pretty chandelier bulbs to create a soft glow. This will flatter the complexions of everyone in the photographs while making the entire effect soft and cozy.
Be careful when using candles, fireworks and other accessories that use fire
Candles and lanterns are essential wedding accessories for most nighttime weddings. However, when using these items, exercise caution so you avoid accidents. Make sure they are contained in suitable candle holders and votives. Also, place them at safe distance from anything flammable. If you plan to use sparklers or fireworks for added drama, think it through to ensure there are no untoward accidents as a result of carelessness.
Now that we’ve covered the important factors to consider when planning a night time event, here are some ideas to make it a fantastic and memorable affair.
Ideas to make your Nighttime wedding a splendid affair
Make the most of the natural starry night
A starry night is a luxury item where wedding décor is concerned. Make the most of the natural environment by having your ceremony or hosting part of your reception outdoors. Let the beauty of the natural surroundings truly shine through with soft lighting that compliments the outdoor setting. If it is impossible to plan an outdoor event, mimic the effect of the night sky with a lavish starry night ceiling. Achieve this effect with dark drapes that extend all the way to the ceiling and twinkling lights attached to it.
Use star lanterns to celebrate the theme
Star lanterns made from paper are inexpensive décor that will bring your theme alive. Suspend it from the ceiling at regular intervals and complete the effect with beautiful twinkling strings of light to set the right ambiance for the event. You can also add disco balls of different sizes to add more visual appeal to the starry sky you create indoors.
Embrace the power of metals to create the effect of bling
Sparkling sequin table linen, napkins, and even drapes will enhance the glamour of your setting. Choose it in metallic hues of gold or silver for an elegant vibe. Alternately, go with colorful sequin fabrics if you have a specific color theme or prefer a casual look. Sequined charger plates will also look pretty in your dinner table arrangement. Other ideas are to have your different direction boards, seating arrangement chart and similar accessories trimmed with metallic borders.
Choose a wedding dress with the right touch of sparkle
Nighttime weddings create the ideal background for glamorous bridal looks. So, choose a wedding dress with plenty of sparkles to look gorgeous on your special day. Silhouettes like the ball gown, mermaid and sheath will look splendid in such settings. Also, include beautiful bridal accessories with crystal and diamond embellishments to complete your look. Sparkling hair accessories like headbands, hairpins, and combs are lovely additions to your ensemble. Since it is a nighttime affair, add color to your bridal look through deep dark nail polish, colorful gemstone jewelry or dress accessories like sashes and brooches.
Candles are absolutely essential for a warm and cozy ambiance
Add lots and lots of candles to add a warm glow to your wedding setting. They are very versatile décor elements that work with various other ornamental accessories to form breathtaking arrangements. Whether you mix them with flowers or another fancy décor, they will add drama to your settings. Have candles of differing heights in various types of containers to form creative tablescapes that wow your guests. Just make sure that they stay alight by choosing good containers that protect them from sudden breezes and winds.
Illuminate the aisle with pretty lanterns
Imagine how dramatic your entry will be when the aisle is softly illuminated with the beautiful glow of lanterns. Set these up beside rows of chairs or benches, so the rest of the area is dark. Then light up the arbor with brilliant, bright lights, so it contrasts with the rest of the scene. You will then be the center of attention as you walk down the aisle and enter into bright light at the arbor.
Use white as the neutral in your theme for the required contrast
Whether it is against black or metallic hues, white adds a sophisticated and clean feel to any setting. So, include white in the flowers, décor elements, and even the lettering. It will also add a smooth contrast to the pitch black that dominates the night space.
Sparklers are a wonderful alternative to confetti and petals for your send-off
The romantic appeal of sparklers will be unbeatable at this time of day. So, make it a part of your exit or entry, and the drama will be impressive. Your guests will also have fun with it. However, some venues do not allow them. In that case, you can consider glow sticks or bubbles for your exit. If you must have rose petals, make sure they are white since this looks best in the photographs at night.
I hope these ideas give you enough inspiration to plan your special nighttime wedding. If you can think of something we’ve missed, do share them with us in the comments below. For more wedding day ideas, inspiration and everything you need to bring your wedding vision alive, keep visiting us at the Best for Bride blog.