Ever wondered why the vast majority of wedding ceremonies here in Australia take place at around 3 pm? The primary reason for this traditional ceremony time is to allow the photographer 1-2 hours of beautiful golden light to take advantage of for the couple post-wedding photoshoot before the newlyweds make their way to rejoin the guests at the reception. Well here’s some food for thought.

With the wedding ceremony being the most special and significant part of the day, what if it was also the most jaw-droppingly beautiful with everyone present getting to share in that stunning sunset as the couple share their heartfelt vows and first kiss as a married couple to the dramatic and romantic backdrop of a brightly lit up sky and golden light in a truly beautiful sunset ceremony.

Sunset wedding with Brisbane Celebrant Ciara Hodge. Image by Leah Cruikshank Photography

Of course, pulling off an amazing sunset wedding ceremony would require some tweaking to the traditional wedding day schedule, so here are some tips we’ve put together on planning the perfect sunset ceremony.

Firstly, your professional wedding photographer will no doubt still love the opportunity to shoot you as a couple in daylight. A great way to do this is as a ‘First Look’ or ‘Reveal’ shoot, a couple of hours before the ceremony takes place. This is when the photographer captures the couple’s reaction usually at a more private location when they see each other for the very first time, without the nerves that often come with having all your nearest and dearest present.

Not only does a first look shoot mean that you get to include this extra special element in your day, and have a stunningly romantic sunset ceremony, it also means that once the ceremony has concluded you get to stay and immediately celebrate with your guests instead of being whisked away from them.

Sunset wedding with Brisbane Celebrant Ciara Hodge. Image by Leah Cruikshank Photography

The guests will love it too not only for being the most beautiful ceremony they have probably ever witnessed, but a late afternoon wedding will also be a cooler more shaded time of day which is a huge plus for outdoor weddings. Best of all, the guests will love getting to celebrate and party with you right away and will appreciate not having to endure the typical ‘waiting around’ time for the reception to commence.

The sunset ceremony schedule also takes away the pressure of having to organise entertainment and additional refreshments to keep the guests occupied in between the ceremony and reception.

As the sun sets, this is also an opportunity for the photographer to showcase their nighttime photography skills and creative lighting techniques with sparklers and candles.

Some considerations when having a sunset ceremony, include:

  • Choose an open ceremony location that is easily accessible and will embrace the sunset;
  • Consider where you will stand to get the best effect from the sunset and without the sun glaring in your or your guest’s eyes;
  • As it will get dark fairly quickly once the sun has set, consider assigning ushers or the wedding party to assist in promptly directing the guests on to the reception area for refreshments, a nearby reception venue is ideal;
  • Consider adding ambient lighting as ceremony décor, like strings of light bulbs, candles or a sparkling chandelier over the ceremony to work with the romance of the sunset.

Happy wedding planning!

Sunset wedding with Brisbane Celebrant Ciara Hodge. Image by Leah Cruikshank Photography

Ms Gingham says: Consider this time of day for your ceremony definitely in the summertime and especially in more rural locations where the elements can be much harsher.

Ciara Hodge & Jamie Eastgate of Brisbane City CelebrantsWe are a modern, passionate and enthusiastic team of Brisbane Wedding Celebrants. We love nothing more than seeing our brides and grooms so happy and relaxed throughout their wedding ceremony.