Pro Tips for Hosting a Late Night Wedding
by Brynlee Handy March 3
There is so much romance to behold in any late night wedding setting, but just what makes them so attractive? Whether you’re only considering the idea or ready to fully commit to nighttime nuptials, there are some logistics that must be worked out first! Naturally, we wanted to go right to the source for all things wedding planning and how to make the most of your big day – especially if it ends after the sun goes down. Read on for expert wedding planner Skylar Caitlin of Chancey Charm Weddings for advice on how to host a late night wedding!
Photo: Nikk Nguyen Photo
Start the Conversation Early
If you know you want a late-night wedding, be sure to start the conversation before you book your venue. There’s nothing worse than finding out after you’ve put down a deposit that the venue has a limit on how late you can go or that the neighborhood is bound by noise ordinances.
In addition, some vendors may cost more for late-night weddings. If your catering team is serving a late-night treat or has to leave bussers to take care of glassware, this will likely stretch beyond their basic service hours included in their base pricing. Pick-ups after 11 pm can cost more from rentals, florists, and more because they often have to pay their workers a higher rate that’s similar to “overtime”. Having an idea from the get-go if there will be any added late-night fees or restrictions will save you headaches later in the planning process and make sure that your decisions fit your budget.
Consider Time of Year and Sunset
If you’re getting married at 6p in the height of summer, the sun will still be a few hours from setting and you likely will have all the light you need for your ceremony. But if you are planning on getting married outside or in a poorly lit space in winter, where the sun sets around 5:30, you will likely need to rent additional lighting for your vows. Work with a professional lighting company to create the best look that will not only ensure guests can see you, but that your photographers can work their magic. This will give you the professional nighttime photos you’ve been pinning and eliminate any safety hazards for guests. Be sure to talk with your photographer and planner from the start about ceremony times and whether or not you’re planning on doing the first look to craft a wedding day timeline that allows your photographer to capture the day in the best light *pun intended*.
Most wedding guests consistently remember one thing about weddings: the food! And if you’re keeping them on the dance floor late, providing some fuel to keep that party going will be key to a great overall guest experience.
Go local by bringing in some of your favorite food trucks, the ever-popular Whataburger Honey Butter Biscuits and taquitos, or work with your caterer to create the perfect close-out to your full wedding menu.
Bonus tip: having servers walk through the crowd with these delicious treats is a surefire way to make sure no one misses their chance to grab a snack!
An after-party is a great option for a late-night crowd. If your venue can’t stay open late or if you just want to change up the atmosphere, consider working with a favorite bar or club to reserve a VIP area where your friends can meet up to keep partying until you drop. To make the after-party a success, be sure there is a clear plan to share the after-party info with all the guests. Some ideas are having the band or DJ make an announcement a few times during the last hour, having your coordinator pass out cards with the address and/or rideshare code during the send-off, offering transportation from the reception to the after-party or a combination of the three. You can also design a card with wedding ceremony, reception, and after-party addresses to go in the room block welcome baskets.
Transportation can be a cost-intensive budget item, but with a late-night plan there is a much higher chance of guest intoxication. While rideshare is common for most in-town venues, if your venue isn’t in a high-traffic area or if you want to provide the safest option for guests, hiring a shuttle for attendees will be something you’ll want to consider. The best parties are the ones where everyone can have a stress-free good time and make it home safe and sound. One of the top ways to do this is to provide safe transportation for your guests.
guest post by Skylar Caitlin of Chancey Charm Weddings