How to Plan a Romantic Evening Wedding
By Felicity Newburry

18 May 2016

Picture this: You and your partner smiling at one another across a softly-lit space. The stars and the moon shimmer above you, and twinkling fairy lights and candles light your paths to one another. You're about to get married and it's magical.

Beautiful, isn’t it? The evening is usually reserved for wedding receptions, but what if you used this magical time to tie the knot? We know that it's darker, but, hey, that just means more fairy lights! There's nothing more romantic than fairy lights, is there? Weddings in the evening are pretty unusual, but we think they're a stellar idea for a myriad of reasons - and here are 5 of them to make our case.

Image by Adam Popovic Photography

1/ Light it up!

Given that it is nighttime, you can adorn any surface you want with string lights because frankly, you’re gonna need it! You could bundle them inside jars to create the illusion of captured fire flies, you could string your reception area with them, create a fairy-light canopy or hang them “icicle” style to create a gorgeous altar backdrop as well! There is something really beautiful about the combination of a starry night and a sparkling ceremony.

2/ The photos will be simply marvelous!

Most people worry about wedding photography at night because of the dark, but have no fear! So long as you make sure your photographer is aware of the evening nature of your wedding well ahead of time, they will be able to gather the necessary equipment to make your photos work! Not only this, but the use of candles, lanterns, sparklers, fire light and fairy lights in photography can make for some truly breathtaking and magical images!

Image by Diana V Photography

3/ You can do away with traditions!

Since you’ve already passed up on the common and traditional morning/early afternoon wedding, you are in the prime position to go the whole way and pass up on other outdated wedding traditions! For instance, the visual impact of guests throwing petals as you walk down the aisle is lost under a night sky, but guests waving sparklers is an even better and more suitable option! You can also opt for sit-down dessert or supper instead of dinner because of the later hour. Bonus? Catering costs will cheaper as you don’t need to create a full dinner menu!

4/ It’s nature’s own version of intimacy!

Poets and writers have cited the moon, stars and nighttime in their romance pieces for centuries because the magic of night provides an effortlessly intimate setting for romance.  You don’t have to worry about drawing the drapes in your venue to create intimacy if you have an evening event because the intimacy will be there from the moment the sun set! Use those lighting tips to make things even more cosy.

5/ It’s no harder than putting on a wedding in daylight!

When couples think of throwing an evening wedding, they see more issues than possibilities, but here’s the truth - it is no more challenging to hold a wedding under the moon then it is to have one under the sun! Common concerns are bugs and the chill factor, simply provide bug repellant instead of sun-block and blankets instead of parasols! One way to trump both these issues is to have an evening winter wedding.

Image by Lionel Tan Photography

If you plan your wedding for a winter evening, bugs will be scarce. As well as this, winter is the perfect excuse to light a toasty fire at your reception or use out-door heaters or braziers, which will add more magical light to your event! Sure, if your ceremony is outside you may have to ask your guests to bring something warm to wear, but if you planned a daylight wedding they may have had to bring sunglasses or sunblock anyway, so it’s really no extra effort!


Your Schedule

Image by Perspectives Photo

Here is an example of what your evening wedding schedule could look like:

○ Late Afternoon/Early Evening: Though totally optional, this is a great time for the photographer to capture the “first look” moment if you choose to do this before the ceremony. It is also a great time to do any formal photos with the bridal party and close family. Try and utilise the golden hour here!
○ 6:30pm: A nice time to start the ceremony as it gives guests time to finish work and/or have some dinner before they need to arrive.
○ 7:00pm: An ideal time to wrap up the ceremony. This is a good time to hand around canapés and drinks while you do some photos as a newly married couple and some formal photos with guests.
○ 8:00pm: The perfect time to start the reception, as it is not too late in the evening for festivities to take root! It is also nearing suppertime, making this the perfect moment to serve your dessert of choice and crack into a few speeches.
○ 9:00+pm: Time to dance, continue with the speeches or allow guests to have another nibble and a cup of tea or coffee! The night is yours to enjoy.

evening wedding
Image by Love Me Do Photography

There are a few things to remember when having an evening wedding. Choose a venue that has nice spaces for both your ceremony and reception. Stock up on bug spray, blankets, an array of lighting options, outside braziers, and even some fireworks to light up the night sky. If you’re a night owl, you can forget about the early start on your big day and enjoy a few extra winks of beauty sleep instead; if you’re awake at 6am, take the morning to spend a few precious moments with your soon-to-be spouse! Shake up the traditions and plan a day that you both love.