It’s Dark Outside – Have your Wedding Under The Moonlight.


By Celebrant Louise Goode

Could there be anything more romantic than saying your vows under the light of the moon and the stars? Everything twinkly and glowing. As a celebrant, there is nothing I love more

Deep colour palettes or dreamy pastels all make for amazing images that will leave you and your guests with the most beautiful of memories. 

But there are also some very good practical reasons you might choose to have your wedding at night.

To start with it allows plenty of time for guests to travel without an ungodly early start. It also allows you plenty of time to get ready without intense pressure.

An evening only event also has the potential to be considerably less expensive because you are not having to provide food, drinks and entertainments twice. And, for those who would prefer a child free event, it makes it infinitely easier for their guests to find a babysitter.    

A nighttime wedding also lends itself to lots of classic themes like masked balls, Gatsby, gothic style, festival, or fairy magic. Think Titanic or Cinderella. They would all be perfect. Inside or outside, a grand country house, a marquee, or in a garden, alfresco style- the choice is all yours.

It’s non traditional too, so if you want your wedding to be a little different read on for some tips on how to achieve something very special.

The Right Lighting

The right lighting is crucial for both safety and that magical look. Think strings of lights, lanterns, candles (LED can work very well too) glitter balls, dreamy  slow disco starlight effects or chandeliers each create a very individual mood and style.

Flares and fire pits can be useful in keeping those pesky insects at bay and also keep everyone nice and warm too. Amber tones always work particularly well, but also consider blue, violet and white, especially when using with foliage outside or against a black back drop.

You might also consider incorporating fairy lights into the floral designs and even the brides and bridesmaids dresses.

Don’t forget dresses could brush past a naked flame so make sure you keep wide enough pathways and maybe a fire extinguisher on hand. Also, how about giving each guest a torch in case other lights fail. These could also be switched on at a certain moment during the ceremony for an amazing effect like lighters at rock concerts. 

Expert photographer Andrew Ab says:

“There are lots of challenges for a photographer when planning a night-shoot but with careful thought and preparation the photos can be utterly stunning. High speed film often mean photos can be a bit grainy but this can give a very unique and ethereal feel.

People often think about using a flash, but this could ruin the aesthetic and it’s far more of a problem having uneven light than too little. 

A very well lit groom with the bride is in shadow is a lot harder to capture than both being fairly dark. I might use a lamp or stage lighting to boost the candle light) which also help anyone reading, such as the celebrant who needs to be able to see their words.

Another touch that will add some real magic is a smoke or haze machine. A light mist drifting through the lamplight creates wonderful patterns and reflections, not to mention opportunities for some beautiful silhouettes. Haze machines or even smoke grenades can create all kinds of beautiful shapes, backgrounds and atmospheres. Maybe add some sparklers too!

Check out the moon phases too. If you choose a night with a full moon, go somewhere open, and let the moonlight be your only light for some truly epic photo’s”.

You might use a hair sheen, diamanté or some glitter in your hair. Or sequins on dresses or suits or if you are going gothic some glow in the dark touches would be epic.

The Right Aesthetic

When it comes to the look and feel of your ceremony, a personal touch is always the best! With a ceremony in the dark or twilight, you might even want to tweak your make up to make the most of the lighting you choose.

Rachel Hughes make-up artist says 

Quite often is is said that you should focus on eyes or lips but this is where you can easily go for both if you wish to.

1) Get your base right, use a primer and don’t apply too much foundation – Matte foundation is best. Aim for natural and well blended, it’s harder to hide poor application and blending in night time photography. Avoid foundation with a high/chemical SPF, don’t use a concealer that is too pale and beware of setting powder – use a no flash translucent powder. This is because flash photography can give your makeup white patchy flashback.
2) Adding a healthy glow. When it comes to contour, bronzing and highlight you can be a little more generous but make sure all lines are well blended, use a mattifying highlighter and bronzer rather than a sparkly to avoid too much glare and shine.
3) Build your blush. Use a cream blush and blend well, pop a little powder blush on after to set.
4) Make your eyes pop. Use highly pigmented eyeshadow as photography lighting and flash can diffuse the colours within makeup. Use an eyeshadow base or primer to increase your colour payoff. Add a dab of light shimmery/sparkly shadow in the centre of the lid and deeper colours on your outer corners and crease. Add lashings of mascara and flirtatious false lashes for even more drama.
5) Create luscious lips bold or subtle colour. When using bold colours a lip liner is a good idea, use a long wear/waterproof lipstick to avoid worrying about smudging or having to reapply.
To make nude shades pop add a lip gloss – glittery ones are amazing for a night wedding!
Finally a spritz of setting spray and you’re ready for the biggest night of your life!

Those Extra Touches

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding remember that many acoustic instruments can be adversely affected by damp so always check the musicians you book are happy to play outside.

Likewise, thought must be put into the type of decoration you choose.

Vanessa, the florist in our shoot says 

When it comes to flowers, the choice is endless. You could go pastels such as tea roses, wisteria or hydrangeas or maybe rich and passionate with vivid red roses, lime euphorbia, orange and white chrysanthemums, and light blue delphiniums.  Always bright blooms against darker ones so they don’t get lost. Think about adding some gold, silver or bronze dried touches or tiny fairy lights.

There can be nothing more magical than saying you vows under the stars and of course you don’t have to climb into a pumpkin carriage at midnight. You can always dance until the dawn of your brand new life together begins.

About Louise Goode

Louise provides professional and warm Celebrancy services in the UK and internationally. Find out more about her and enquire by viewing her profile here: http://www.thecelebrantdirectory.com/find-a-celebrant/weddings/show/louise-goode-celebrant/


Concept + Celebrant @louisegoodecelebrant
Photography @andrewabweddings
Videography @lucyfilmsweddings
Venue @castlebromwichhallgardens
Models @glmmodel100 @entwistle.sarah
Harpist: Freya Brylka-Mee, freyaharp.com
Hair + Nails @gemmaharrishairdesign
Make up @finnella_beauty_make_up_artist
Dress @scarlettayla
Crown @odesia_may_jewellery
Bride’s shoes @inannabespokeshoes
Florals @floral.jazz
Cake @amybakerscakes
Graze boxes @ladunnegrazingandcheese
Chaos ring @thenineofheartsjewellery
Handfasting cord @tying_the_knot_macrame


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