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Do you want a nighttime wedding? Here is how to get it right

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.

Understand costs

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.

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7 common complaints by wedding guests and how to avoid them

Weddings are wrought with thousands of details, that it is possible you may overlook or forget a few things. While some of these may not matter in the big picture, there are certain others that will make your guests unhappy. Unfortunately, it is after the wedding that the couple usually realize they should have given more attention to these factors. After all, a wedding should be a satisfying and fun event for not only those who are in it, but also for all those who attend it.

Here is a list of the seven most common problems wedding guests complain about. We also have the solutions to each of these issues, to help you handle it easily. Make sure you prioritize these potential issues when planning your wedding, and your guests will be a happy bunch.

#1 Incomplete information in the invitation

Valentines day Wedding Ideas

Choosing invitation stationery and coming up with interesting ways to word the invite can be exciting. In all this excitement, it is not unusual for couples to forget adding crucial information that the guest may need. However pretty your card may be, your guests may not appreciate it if it lacks the basic things they need to plan their availability. Common confusions are about whether children are invited, the invite includes their plus-one’s and unclear venue information.

Solution: The simple solution is to frame your invitation around the basic essentials to be communicated. Follow our invitation checklist on this previous post, to make sure you have all the information in place. And, keep it simple and attractive instead of cluttered. If your invitation has too many details, make sure that the layout and format highlights the essential information like the Venue address, wedding date and time, RSVP date and your contact information. This will allow them to locate what they seek easily.

#2 Getting bored by waiting around

Your guests will quickly be bored after the ceremony, when they have to wait for the reception to begin. They may also have to wait after reaching the venue, before the wedding actually starts. While some amount of waiting is admissible, it can be pretty irritating if they feel they spent too much time waiting for things to happen. So, this is an area you have to work on prior to the wedding.

Solution: Make sure that you have arranged for seating outside the venue, if your guests have to wait before entering it. Similarly, plan some entertainment if there is a long waiting period or delays between events. You can either start the party off with appetizers and drinks during the waiting period at the reception, or have an entertainer keep them occupied. Also, plan your photography sessions and time to change dress or touch up your makeup, so that there isn’t too much delay that bores the guests.

#3 Food that they cannot enjoy

appetizer

Some couples make the cardinal mistake of splurging on the décor, dress and other things, while skimping on the food. Remember that if there is one thing your guests look forward to enjoying at the wedding, it is the food. They expect not only appetizing food, but also something different. Dietary restrictions aren’t uncommon, especially when you invite so many people. You will mostly have to handle vegetarians or vegans, those with gluten allergies and nut allergies. If your menu doesn’t cater to these specific requirements, you can be certain that there will be unhappy people at your wedding. Although you may not be able to make everyone at your wedding happy with your choice of food, you should at least make sure that they have a filling meal.

Solution: Make use of your RSVP’s to confirm what your guests can and cannot have. You can ask them to inform you of any dietary constraints they have, by adding that information to the invitation card or your wedding website. If you can have different menu options, ask your wedding guests to select what they would like to have, from a chosen set of dishes. When they inform you of their choices on time, your caterer will be able to set up the dinner plan accordingly. However, the more important thing is to make sure that all your guests are able to eat at your wedding. If not to impress, at least make sure that nobody has to stay  hungry because you didn’t accommodate their dietary needs. Additionally, plan your menu so that it has a range of interesting dishes. If you aren’t sure your special dish will be liked by all, make sure it isn’t the only thing on the menu. Fill your guests’ tummies with appetizing fare, and you will see happy faces all around.

#4 Couples who do not mind them at all

busy couple

Don’t undermine the efforts your guests put in, so they can attend your wedding. It is not only those who travel from far, who take pains to be there to witness your milestone celebration. They may have put aside other engagements, made alternate plans to have their children taken care of, driven from far or given priority to your wedding over other engagements on the same day. So, it is only reasonable that they expect you to appreciate their presence. When a couple or the wedding party ignores a guest, even when it is not on purpose, it can put them off. They expect you to thank and acknowledge them for their presence at your wedding.

Solution: It doesn’t take much to make your guests feel appreciated for their presence. Although you may be busy throughout the day, make an effort to personally meet and greet all your guests. They will be eager to congratulate you post the ceremony, so set aside time for this. Also, be pleasant around them and not look too eager to get rid of them. You have to put up with this on your wedding day, so be prepared. Be a courteous host and your guests will remember your wedding for the happiness they experienced there, and not the ungrateful attitude they felt was meted out. Finally, don’t forget to send your guests thank you notes for their gifts and attendance, and they will be pleased to have been part of your celebration.

#5 Any extras that they have to pay

pay

It is not only the couple who spend money at a wedding. Every wedding guest has to accommodate several expenses to be part of it. First there is the gift, then the expenses to travel to the venue. They may also have to spend extra if they have to arrange care for their children, if the wedding doesn’t include children. Finally, at least some of the guests will be shelling out money on their outfits for the wedding. So, it is a significant amount they spend. For this reason, they wouldn’t be too happy if they had to pay for anything unexpected at the wedding. Whether it is to order their drinks because you haven’t arranged for a bar, or it is an unreasonable parking fee at a specific venue, we are sure no guest will appreciate the extra expenses they have to bear.

Solution: Make sure that your guests will not be required to pay anything unreasonable from their wallet to attend or be part of your wedding. If there is something that they will have to bear, you should prepare them in advance for it by informing them beforehand. Put a word on your invitation and on your wedding website, so they can come prepared and will not end up being grumpy at the wedding reception on account of it.

#6 Music they cannot enjoy

Although many guests pretend they don’t like dancing, very few of your guests actually dread stepping up to the dance floor. Most couples are quite sensible when planning their playlist, and accommodate at least a few songs that are widely appreciated. Nevertheless, there are those who stick with one genre of songs throughout and bore many guests with it. Then the reception can seem unusually long and boring, and you will kill your guests enthusiasm if you take this route. On the same note, they may also not like it if your DJ isn’t too considerate about their comfort level and forces them to participate.

Solution: Irrespective of the theme of your wedding, make sure that there are at least a few songs that are definite crowd pleasers. Discuss this with your band and DJ and add songs that appeal to different age groups. This way, there will be at least a few songs for everyone to dance. Also, have songs distributed evenly, so people can come on and go off the dance floor. They will otherwise feel their turn is over quickly, and will be bored for the rest of the evening. Don’t have too many organized dances either, as people love to relax and simply dance to their heart’s content, rather than feel too restricted by the music being played.

#7 Long speeches

Wedding toasts and speeches are an indispensable part of wedding receptions, but it can also kill the fun if it goes overboard. While your speaker may want to share a lot of things from the past and present that is relevant to you, it may not be so appealing to the guests. Long speeches are no fun at all, and it is likely that not all your guests will know every detail of your life to enjoy all the long stories that your speakers may come up with. Don’t have your guests dozing off as your best man goes on and on, and your Maid of honor can’t seem to get on with her speech from her tears of joy! Your guests see toasts and speeches as a necessary evil associated with receptions, so don’t disappoint them by having it as the main entertainment for the evening.

Solution: Keep the wedding toasts and speeches to a minimum, by asking only those who really matter to speak on the occasion. Even so, tell your speakers that you want them to plan their speeches to extend no more than five minutes. Hopefully they will stick to this limit. If there are others who must say something, move their speeches into the other events leading up to the wedding, and save your guests the torture of sitting through speech after speech. We have discussed the essentials to planning a wedding speech previously, so reading it may give you pointers in this direction.

#8 Being in uncomfortable settings

outdoor wedding

Beaches, winter weddings, outdoor garden weddings are all romantic, but notorious for the uncomfortable conditions they can put guests through. While the extent of discomfort may be trivial, or you may not even consider it relevant, it is essential to think of it from your guests’ perspective. Sitting in the hot summer sun on a beach for few hours can be torture for at least some of your guests. Similarly, being in a chilly venue in winter, or in a garden teeming with bugs and insects may not be very interesting. The commute up and down a long winding staircase may also be equally appalling to some of your guests.

Solution: When you choose a venue, look at the various aspects that may make your guests uncomfortable. Then figure out how to counter it. If you must get married on the beach or outdoors in summer, make sure there is plenty of shade through tents or gazebos and cooling using fans. This way your guests won’t mind the time they spend outdoors. Have your winter wedding venue warmed up in advance and throw some blankets into baskets, so your guests can cozy up should they require it. Prioritize your guests comfort and you will have a happier crowd at your wedding.

#9 Queuing up

Nobody likes to wait in queue, and especially for too long. Whether it is to use the washroom or at the buffet to fill their plates, too much of waiting can really be irritating. Fortunately, you can plan your wedding to avoid this discomfort for your guests.

Solution: Make sure your wedding venue has enough washrooms, so your guests don’t have to wait in queue for hours to use it, when they need it. If your wedding is at an outdoor venue like your garden, rent the required number of portable toilets, so nobody spends more than necessary time waiting to use the washroom. Think in terms of numbers when planning your menu options and setting it up. Think of how long the food service will take, and arrange multiple food and beverage stations if necessary.

With a little pre-planning, you can make sure that your guests are happy to be at your wedding and enjoy the experience. So, make it a priority and you will not be the only one happy on your wedding day. And to realize your vision for the perfect wedding, make sure you drop in at Best for Bride. We have everything a bride needs for her dream wedding!

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5 must-haves at your winter wedding

Winter weddings are a growing trend. As more brides choose to get married in winter, the options available to brides to them are also more. As you go around customizing and adding personal touches to your special day, let us look at the essentials that you shouldn’t forego, so your winter wedding is delightfully complete. Here they are now!

1.A warm and cozy venue

Remember that your wedding guests will be bearing the chills, as they make their way to the venue. So, it is necessary to warm up the hall, well before they arrive, so they can relax and feel comfortable once they are there. Make sure that the hall is well-heated, and there are no drafts entering the room. Keep the ambiance warm and welcoming with soft glowing yellow lights and cozy decorations that immediately make it cheerful. You can also place a few blankets and throws for those guests who really feel cold, to wrap up in.

2.Warm drinks to ward off the chills

Who wouldn’t love a warm cup of cocoa, tea or coffee, when they enter indoors for your wedding. Make arrangements like a coffee or cocoa bar, where your dear ones can enjoy a warm drink before participating in the wedding ceremony.

3.Great lighting

This tip on the Wedding Party Website, is a very important one that all brides have to pay attention to. With the days being short, you do not want a gloomy setup with shadows all over the place. Make sure you pay attention to the quality of lighting, as this will determine the overall ambiance. Rather than choosing bright white lights, warm yellow glows and candle lights are pleasant. Candles also step up the romance, and enhance the holiday cheer.

4.Bring the outdoor elements inside

It is almost impossible to have an outdoor wedding when the cold season is at its peak. Nevertheless, you should add plenty of natural elements to your wedding décor, to add a natural charm to your party. Don’t skimp on flowers or foliage. If you are worried about the steep prices during this season, go with seasonal elements like pine branches, mistletoe and fir, or flowers that are available all-year round. Take inspiration from holiday decorations, and you will come across various elements that are perfect for decorating your wedding venue.

5.Appreciation for all those who made your wedding a success

Everyone from your bridesmaids, to the vendors and your guests have to work extra to make a winter wedding successful. So, you should openly appreciate all the effort they put in to make sure your big day a success. Appreciate and thank them openly for their contribution. Choose thoughtful wedding favors for your guests, and also add a special line or two, thanking them for the trouble they went through to come to your wedding. Similarly, thank your bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party with gifts that they deserve. Lastly, don’t forget to send thank you cards and provide positive reviews to your wedding vendors.

Have you chosen your wedding dress for your cool, winter wedding yet? If not, come visit our bridal gallery on Best for bride and choose from the lavish collection we have.