22 August 2014

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Bride's guide: night-time weddings


The law restricting marriage ceremonies to between 8am and 6pm has been lifted. So we thought we’d give you 12 good reasons to marry at night. Fairy lights at the ready

Illustration: Barbara Spoettel   Words: Elisa Bray


Get access to more venues

Many museums and historic National Trust properties are open to the public until 5pm and so aren’t available for daytime weddings.

Choose a significant time for you

You now have the opportunity to choose any number that’s significant to you for your wedding time. Marry at the time your child was born, or pick your lucky number.

Make the most of romantic candles

Night-time weddings are instantly magical. It doesn’t get any more romantic than saying your vows by candlelight, followed by dinner and dancing lit by candles and fairy lights.

Save money by eating later

Start later and your wedding breakfast will be served at dinner time, so there would be no need to provide additional food later in the evening.

Have a back-to-front itinerary

Starting with dinner and dancing, and ending with the ceremony before the bride and groom make their getaway, would make any wedding stand out. Although the couple will have to keep sober enough to say ‘I do’. 

Hold a Champagne breakfast 

Whether you have your ceremony by sunrise or at night, partying on through the early hours, you can treat your guests to a special breakfast reception. 

 Put on a stunning fireworks display

The night sky is the perfect backdrop for fireworks. The money you’ve saved by serving dinner later could add up to a really impressive display.

Make it easier for your friends

If you are getting married on a weekday to save costs, guests won’t be obliged to take the day off work. You could start at 7pm and still have the whole evening for dinner and a party.

Create a party atmosphere cheaply 

To get the perfect ambience, all you need is some creative lighting for decoration – one of the cheapest ways to create maximum impact at evening events.

Get out of having to invite children

For those in search of a non-controversial reason for not inviting children, a night-time wedding automatically rules them out – without upsetting anyone.

Avoid waiting-around time 

Getting married in the evening and going straight in for dinner then dancing keeps the flow going and cuts out any dull lingering time for guests.

Marry under moonlight

Head for a country with a safer climate and you could get hitched outside in soft evening light as the sun sets, or even exchange vows under the glow of the stars and moon. 

Consider this

Although the law dictates that you can get married at any time, you can't force venues or marriage officiants to host your wedding at your chosen time. Ask nicely.

This article first appeared in Square Meal Venues & Events, Weddings 2014.

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