For a destination wedding, sunset ceremonies instantly strike a romantic tone. Against the progressively fading hues of the bright sun, a little creative lighting can go a long way. Even if it's overcast or you choose a location on the opposite side of the setting sun, the colors cast are breathtaking. But none of this happens by chance. For those of you planning a sunset wedding, we've come up with a list of useful hints.
THE SUN WILL SET ON YOUR BIG DAY
If you have the opportunity, visit your wedding site to get a sense of when the sunsets. The greatest option is to see the sunset on your wedding date a year in advance, but this isn't always doable. If you've booked your venue six days in advance, for example, you'll have to get a little more creative.
It is very important to have a nature schedule for your wedding events. Make sure you double-check the sunset time on your wedding day. Share your intended timeline with your wedding planner so that he or she can get your guests to their destinations on schedule. If you want to photograph the sunset, you should start planning your wedding at least 30 minutes before the scheduled sunset. Your guests will be able to enjoy the setting sun during cocktail hour, and you will be able to capture the gorgeous purple and pink hues of the sunset in your wedding photos.
Sure, the poolside courtyard is stunning at sunset, but what about the transition from evening tonight? You definitively want to see what it looks like when it's dark if you plan a reception longer than an hour and beyond 6 p.m. During sunset, night and evening, visit your desired location to find out how it looks and consider which options of lighting you might want.
CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
Is your ceremony going to be held outside or in a church? What about your wedding reception? If everything is indoors and you do the first look, the timing of your ceremony is less important. If everything is done outside, the sunset will play a significant role in determining your time. It's best to have your ceremony about 2 hours before sunset so that the light isn't as harsh and beating down on you (no one wants to be sweaty as they say I am). We'll also have time for family photos in the gorgeous light just before sunset, as well as golden hour portraits of the two of you.
LESS TIME TO WAIT
One disadvantage of having your wedding ceremony in the afternoon is that your guests will be waiting for the reception while you are taking your wedding photos. Why not share a special moment with every one, take pictures, and truly enjoy the day together while looking fabulous? Everyone can have fun, go swimming, participate in activities, and then prepare for the sunset destination wedding while you take wedding pics.
FIRST LOOK OR NOT
Determine whether or not you will have a first look. If the sunset is early, as it is in the winter, I recommend having a first look or moving your ceremony to a much earlier time of day (2-3 pm!). If you have a first look and are okay with seeing each other before the ceremony, that means you can take all of your pictures, except family pictures, before the ceremony even starts. This is an excellent way to ensure that the second half of the day is dedicated entirely to the party! You don't like seeing each other before the ceremony? No need to be concerned! Just make sure to start your ceremony on time so that you have enough sunlight afterward.
Naturally, you'll want to select lighting that complements the mood you want to create. Chinese lanterns and string lights are your best and simplest options for a soft, backyard party glow. Color accent lighting is a great way to add a festive touch to any room. What a difference a blue or purple tint can make for a sunset reception!
I recommend candlelight for a more intimate, warm, and romantic atmosphere (ideal for adult-only wedding guests). Not all candles, however, are created equal. Soft tea lights are wonderful for creating an intimate atmosphere, but they are not very bright. You don't want your guests to be unable to see one another or the food in front of them.
HAIR & MAKEUP
Hair and makeup have consistently caused the most delays on wedding days in my experience. I recommend that you finish your hair and makeup at least 2 hours before your ceremony. If you are unsure about the timing or the abilities of your hair and makeup artists, allow for more time. It's far better to arrive early so your photographer can get a head start on photos of you and your bridesmaids in their robes, followed by formal photos in their gowns.
FLOWER GIRL ATTIRE
Is there anything more flower girl-Esque than layers of squishy, twirl-worthy tulle? You've come to the right place if your wedding-day vision includes a flower girl floating in a mesh confection. Many of the most popular flower girl outfits feature tulle skirts that will make your little attendant feel like a fairy princess. We have compiled the ultimate list of the cutest tulle flower girl dresses available, ranging from tiered to A-line skirts, knee to floor-length, traditional white or ivory gowns to those that play with bold color and everything in between. So sit back, relax, and let your imagination guide you on how poufy you dare to be.
When you consider all of the etiquette mistakes to avoid, choosing the appropriate beach wedding invitation wording can seem difficult, but it doesn't have to be. There are so many more alternatives these days when it comes to how to word your beach wedding invites, and you are no longer limited to formal addresses. Be as creative as you want.
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