Wedding ceremony at night time in dreamy Positano

The Ultimate Guide to throw a Night-time Wedding like a Pro

Turn Down the Lights and Get Married at Night

Did you know that in the UK you can legally get married any time of the day or night – Which means you could, if you wanted to, get married at night. Although it wasn’t always this way. Up until 1 October 2012 wedding ceremonies, ‘may be solemnised at any time between the hours of eight in the forenoon and six in the afternoon.’ AKA, you could only legally marry between 8am and 6pm.

Now, I bet that getting married at night is something that you hadn’t even considered, right? Whilst night weddings may be a relatively new thing, they are certainly gaining popularity & in this blog, I’m going to be telling you the reasons why you should be getting married in the evening plus giving you 3 stunning night-time wedding ideas. So, let’s dive in….

Night Westminster wedding celebrant-led ceremony Jennifer PatriceRoberta Burcheri Events John Nassari Photography
John Nassari Photography

First, let’s talk about the atmosphere a night wedding can have.

Can you imagine how magical it would feel to be walking the aisle to your new spouse in the dewy light of a beautiful sunset? Or what about saying your vows in a ceremony under a starry moonlit sky? Nature can provide the most spectacular backdrops for your big day that do not cost a penny.

The beautiful colours of the setting sun and magical sounds will be your background. I couldn’t think of a better way to get married and it’s sure to make your wedding truly memorable. Not only is it a beautifully intimate affair, but it is also a whole new experience that your guests will not easily forget!

Wedding ceremony at Chiswick house orangery at night with fairy lights, chandeliers and pink floral decors
Chiswick House Orangery Evening ceremony illustration

Secondly, let’s talk about your wedding images! Think about how completely magical they would look. Wedding twilight pictures are a popular choice already, but just imagine how truly stunning all of your images would be. There are so many ways you can utilise the low light an evening wedding gives you, just be sure to have this in mind when you are picking your photographer as you will want to make sure they have previous experience with this sort of thing.

These kinds of images possess a completely different aura to your standard wedding portraits and are perfect for those couples who are looking for something a little different. The hours before and after sunset are favourites of landscape photographers as the low sun and soft twilight creates a beautiful light for photos and this also works perfect for wedding portraits. Even in the depth of winter a touch of creative lighting effects can make the darkest winter night come alive with light and love!

Getting married at night will also mean you have more time to get ready.

How amazing is that. This factor makes it just awesome to have a Friday evening wedding. Your guests can return from work, send the kids to the babysitter (if you are having a child free wedding), take their time to get dressed and then travel to your venue feeling relaxed and ready to share your special evening with you. You can also avoid an early-morning hair and makeup session and instead take things at a relaxed pace. Win, win!

Before we move on to our gorgeous night wedding ideas, let’s talk about the romance factor!

Evenings are way more romantic than daytime. Just imagine how gorgeous it would be to say your vows with sparkling candles delicately placed around your venue. When you and your new spouse share your first dance beneath a canopy of stars, it’ll be hard to imagine anything more romantic. Add tons of candles to your tablescapes and throughout each reception space and the romance level will be set at an all-time high. That golden sunset glow would make for incredible photos.

Chic Mayfair wedding couple portrait
Evening wedding at the One Great George street venue in Westminster. John Nassari Photography

Great ambience is all about great lighting and no lighting is better than that golden, dusty glow that sets in just before sunset. If you’re able to plan your ceremony to take place right around the golden hour, your guests (and your photographer) will be in for a real treat as you exchange vows.

Not convinced yet? Don’t worry…. Read on to hear 3 stunning night-time wedding ideas.

Sunset ceremony

If you schedule the ceremony in the early evening, then the gathering of guests will fall during “golden hour” – the time before sunset, which is considered the most successful for photographs. The diffused soft light gives photos a beautiful golden glow and visually smoothes the skin – perfect for photographing the happy couple and their guests. The ceremony can be held at dusk: it will not be completely dark yet, but at the same time you can already light candles and turn on the aesthetic garlands of lanterns. Their warm light will immediately create a romantic and mysterious atmosphere, emphasising the deep meaning of the event taking place.

Late evening ceremony

A big worry for couples considering an evening ceremony is – they are worried that they simply will not be able to see anything. This will not be the case if you are working with the right wedding vendors. A great decorator knows how to work with light even in the evening and will decorate the ceremony area so that it will be beautifully illuminated – with candles, lanterns, special lamps and even sparklers. Also, don’t forget that for high-profile photographers, shooting in the evening will not be a problem: you will get atmospheric shots, even if the ceremony takes place after sunset.

Use lights, lights, and more lights

black and white late evening wedding ceremony in London under a pagoda decorated with twinkly lights

There are so many ways you can use fairy lights to beautifully illuminate your indoor or indeed outdoor ceremony and reception space. From fairy lights and festoon lights to curtain lights and net lights, paying a little attention to your lighting can add drama and ambience, and is something that can make a huge impact on your wedding day. Lighting can be tailored to suit your celebration to bring extra sparkle to your dance floors, create a pretty backdrop to your top table, enhance the mood of your event with colour, or subtly light your pathways. The gentle glow that specialist lighting gives in an event space adds warmth and elegance, adding interest without pulling the focus.

Whether you’re looking to save money, have a more intimate wedding, or just want to switch things up from the traditional day-time celebration, consider having your wedding at night. With all of these reasons to have a night wedding, it’s definitely worth considering! Have you ever attended or been married in a night-time ceremony? If so, what did you like best about it? Let us know in the comments below.

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