Picture this: you and your partner are gathered beneath the emerging stars as flickering candlelight casts dancing shadows on your outfits as you walk down the aisle. Slowly, the sun sets on the horizon as you exchange vows in front of your closest family and friends, then you pose for some of the most incredible wedding photographs you’ll ever see.
Sounds magical, right? Twilight weddings are fast growing in popularity as couples seek increasingly more unique, romantic and affordable ways to spend their big day.
When it comes to planning a twilight wedding ceremony it’s not all that different from a traditional daytime wedding, but you’ll make several big decisions that are critical towards its success. These include what time to hold the ceremony, choosing the perfect venue and the potential hiccups you may need to overcome. In this post, we’ll take a look at everything you need to think about when it comes to planning the perfect twilight wedding.
A twilight wedding is a wedding that is held during the latter half of the day – specifically any time after 3.30pm – though is usually timed to coincide with sunset. Whereas traditionally weddings take place over an entire day, twilight weddings start much later to take advantage of the enchanting and romantic atmosphere that builds as the sun goes down.
To take advantage of the setting sun, twilight weddings are often held outside, in locations that accentuate the natural beauty that comes with that time of day, for example on the beach or in a landscaped garden. But, we’re all too painfully aware of the unpredictability of the weather here in the UK, so venues that are covered but allow for a creative use of lighting also make for a great choice.
Twilight weddings are becoming more and more popular, thanks in part to outdoor weddings having now been legalised. Today’s couples now have more freedom than ever over where they can get married. More and more venues are starting to offer couples the option of a twilight wedding package, which is enough evidence to prove that interest continues to grow. But twilight weddings are still not quite in the mainstream, which ensures that if you do plan a twilight wedding, your ceremony will be a unique and memorable one.
Here’s what some of our venues have to say about the popularity of twilight weddings:
Twilight weddings take place in the evening, usually around the time the sun begins to set. This means the time the ceremony takes place can vary depending on the season, but will always be some time after 3.30pm.
For example, during late December sunset starts around 3.35pm, while in June it starts around 9.30pm. That’s not to say that summer twilight wedding ceremonies have to start that late – after all, not many guests will want to wait until midnight to have a slice of cake – and the time your ceremony starts is purely down to your own personal preferences.
If you’re planning a twilight wedding for the spring, you may expect your order of service to look a little something like this:
During the ceremony and later into the night as it starts to get much darker, additional lighting will help to keep the magical atmosphere alive, especially if it’s taking place outside. Torches, candles, fairy lights and even bonfires ensure warmth and beauty if the temperature starts to drop.
Here’s what some of our venues have to say about the timing of twilight weddings:
To make the most of the fabulous light and colours brought by the setting sun, twilight weddings are usually held outside at venues that accentuate the natural beauty. However, outdoor weddings aren’t for everyone, and many indoor venues can work just as well. Below are just a few options for you to consider:
Crowne Plaza Solihull would also recommend considering hotels that are licensed for civil ceremonies specifically: “These work well for twilight weddings, as they can host the entire celebration, including hosting guests overnight, seamlessly and all under one roof.”
We’ve already covered how magical a twilight wedding can be, but there are plenty of other benefits that might make it a better choice for you than a traditional wedding.
Whether or not a twilight wedding is right for you depends on your preferences and the time of year you’re looking to get married.
If you’re set on getting married during the winter, then you may want to think long and hard about an outdoor wedding – after all, your guests won’t be dancing at the reception if they’re still frozen to their seats. However, an indoor venue that allows for great views, or a covered venue where heaters can be used, also make for a great choice.
Certain aspects might have to be cut or trimmed down, such as the wedding breakfast and some of the speeches, so if you’re big into all the traditional parts of a wedding, then consider that there might not be time for everything. Remember, it will be difficult to squeeze every part of an all-day wedding into just five or six hours.
That being said, nothing can match the ambience of a twilight wedding, nor the photographs you’ll have thanks to the incredible lighting. As it gets dark and the candles, torches, and fairy lights begin to shine, it will transform an already beautiful venue into one that is truly breathtaking.
If your twilight wedding takes place at an indoor venue then there are no more risks involved than there are with any other wedding – so you get all of the benefits with none of the stress.
However, if the ceremony is due to take place outside, then you’ll be checking the weather forecast obsessively for days and even weeks ahead of the day. So, in the event the dreaded rain cloud appears beside the date of your wedding, it’s best to have a backup plan to avoid heartache and disappointment. This could be something as simple as a marquee or other indoor space that you could switch to should the heavens threaten to open.
Because you’re using the venue for a shorter amount of time and paying vendors for fewer hours, twilight weddings should be cheaper, right? Well, generally they are, yes. For example, Slater’s Country Hotel and Inn twilight wedding package costs significantly less than their traditional package. However, depending on your chosen venue, it might not be as significantly cheaper as you might hope. It’s important to remember that even though your wedding isn’t using the venue throughout the entire day, it’s stopping other weddings from taking place that may have done. That being said, you’ll still make savings elsewhere, which makes a twilight wedding an enticing option for couples conscious of their budget.
Not all venues currently offer a twilight wedding package, but as they grow in popularity they’re becoming increasingly more common. Below is a selection of just a few venues that offer twilight weddings and how much they cost:
Excited to start planning your twilight wedding? Here are five tips to help you create a beautiful and unique day.
Now that you know what to think about when planning a twilight wedding, why not start planning your own wedding with Bridebook today?