Sunset ceremonies create an instantly romantic mood for your destination wedding. A little creative lighting can go a long way against the slowly dimming hues of the setting sun. Even if it’s a bit cloudy or if you choose a destination spot on the opposite side of the setting sun – the colors cast are remarkable. None of this happens by accident, though. We've gathered some helpful tips for those of you planning a sunset wedding!
It’s very important to time your wedding events with nature's schedule. Make sure that you check and double check the time of the sunset on your wedding day. Share your desired timeline with your wedding planner, as he or she would be able to shepherd your guests to locations on time. If you’re trying to time the sunset for your photos, you will want to plan your wedding to begin at least 30 minutes before the timed sunset. This way your guests can enjoy a setting sun during your cocktail hour and you can capture those beautiful hues of purple and pink during the sunset in your wedding photos.
If you want your ceremony to occur during the sunset, time the start of your wedding 15 minutes before the scheduled sunset time. Talk to your wedding planner and officiant about the length of your ceremony beforehand so you know exactly how much time you have and can stay on schedule. Remember the sun will take a bit of time to set and the sky will look different at varying times throughout the sunset.
Sure that poolside courtyard looks amazing during the sunset, but what about the transition from evening into the night? If you’re planning a reception longer than an hour and beyond 6 pm, you definitely want to see what it looks like when it is dark. Visit your desired location during sunset, evening, and night to see what it looks like and consider which lighting options you may want to use.
Naturally you’ll want to choose lighting that matches the mood you want to set. For that soft, backyard party glow, Chinese lanterns and string lights are your best and simplest options. If you’re feeling a bit festive, opt for color accent lighting. It’s amazing what a blue or purple tint can do for a sunset reception!
For a more intimate, warm and romantic mood (perfect for adult-only wedding guests) I suggest the soft allure of candlelight. However, not all candles are created equal. Soft tea lights are wonderfully intimate but not very bright. You definitely don’t want your guests to be unable to see each other or the food right in front of them. A group of large candles can provide a good deal of light for small spaces.