Twilight, dusk, golden hour – there are few things quite as romantic as sunsets, which makes sunset weddings a dreamy choice for any couple or type of ceremony. If you and your partner are hoping to proverbially ride off into the sunset together as newlyweds, then having your ceremony near sundown might be the perfect idea. We’re breaking down why you should have a sunset wedding ceremony, and how exactly to plan around nature’s light show.
Why Should I Have A Sunset Wedding?
Let’s address the biggest perk of a sunset wedding first – the lighting. The natural lighting and colors are guaranteed to produce some spectacular photos. And the best part? You have to do minimal work for it! If you’re having a sunset wedding ceremony, you can really pare down your backdrop or ceremony decor, since you’re already getting some stunning ambiance, free of charge. In the same vein, the atmosphere is a huge bonus for sunset ceremonies. The sweeping, romantic views will set a fantasy-like tone, no matter the theme, size, or style of your wedding.
Accessibility is also an advantage to having a sunset ceremony – wherever you are, you can find a sunset. Whether you’re folding a dusk ceremony into your destination wedding, reciting vows on a New York or Chicago city rooftop as the lighting becomes warm and golden, or you’re jumping the broom in the glow of your very own backyard, the views will essentially come to you. There are so many beautiful places to elope, and each one has its own gorgeous sunset vantage point.
Temperature can be another perk of a sunset wedding. In the chillier months, you can play with bridal accessories to keep yourself toasty as the sun sets, and in the warmer months, you can cool off as the sun goes down, without having to worry about baking your guests in the heat.
Speaking of guests, sunset weddings are generally guest-friendly when it comes to time of day. In summertime, when the sun sets later in the day, guests (as well as you and your wedding party) will have the opportunity to change outfits or grab a bite to eat before the ceremony, making for a totally relaxed atmosphere. Plus, hosting a ceremony around sunset then opens up weekday wedding spots, as it’s generally a much easier time for guests to attend without having to navigate around their work schedules.
How Do I Plan A Sunset Wedding?
Timing is the biggest variable when it comes to a sunset wedding. If you were hoping to have your ceremony be the focal point of that dreamy golden lighting, consider planning things to begin at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to when the sun begins to set. One important thing to note: when looking at sunset times for your area, it may be deceiving! Buildings, trees, and other structures may block some of the actual sunset, leaving you with dim lighting much earlier than anticipated. Your best bet is to speak with your photographer (or any local wedding vendor) to ensure that the time you choose is spot-on with the best sunset lighting for that particular area.
If you were more interested in having your ceremony right before sunset so that your portrait session with your photographer — if you’ve booked one — is the highlight, plan your ceremony about an hour prior to when the sun begins to set. Again, be sure to defer to your photographer or other professional vendor to confirm that your timeline looks to be the best plan of action for sunset lighting purposes.
Remember that nature’s clock isn’t the most reliable (cloud coverage can drastically alter a sunset!), so having a bit of wiggle room will decrease stress, and you won’t feel like you’re having to rush through your ceremony or photos because of the light.
No two sunsets are the same, and neither are any two sunset wedding ceremonies. If you want to capitalize on all the romance nature can offer, no matter the place or season, a sunset wedding will make for a memorable experience — and some stellar wedding photos.