Candlelit church wedding

(54 Posts)
GW297 Sat 08-Sep-12 23:03:09

My friend has asked me to help her plan her wedding. They want a small, understated affair in a little church they have found by candlelight for about 50 guests. There is a short walk to a hotel for the reception. They want fireworks and a singles table with male/female singles sitting alternately.

Did you have a wedding similar to this or have you attended one? What made it special/fun?

I'm unsure about the legalities of marrying when dark.
We had a winter wedding (In England) and IIRC we legally had to be married before 5pm but I could be wrong so definitely worth advising your friend to investigate further.
I am very jealous that you have been asked to help organise a wedding - I am gagging for a task like that at the minute!
Everything you have suggested so far sounds lovely!

A couple of ideas/things to bear in mind off the top of my head:
Drinks and canapes reception after ceremony - we had hot winter pimms (so yummy!) and hot chocolates with cream & snowflake shaped marshmallows. Both of which went down very well! (Also had beers, wines, soft drinks etc but the warming drinks were very welcome!)

We got married at 2pm and it was dark by 4pm so limited time for outdoors photos (although we planned it this way as we wanted to limit the time outside due to the snow and cold for guests!)
As it got dark so early a lot of people got in the night time party mood early on.
Evening buffet was hot roast pork with stuffing and apple sauce in bread buns which went down extremely well! (Would have gone for hog roast but was about 3x more expensive and couldn't rely on weather being ok to do it outside) These were received very well!

As there are so many christmassy themed decorations etc in the shops we didn't need or have any flowers which saved us a fortune! (although we didn't have a christmas wedding - it was January so didn't have xmas trees and the like)
In terms of decorations we had lots of fairy lights, candles, silk flowers and wicker garlands, hearts and wreaths.
We had a subtle snowflake theme, which we incorporated on the invites & favours & little features like tea lights around the venue
Lots of diamante/glittery bits in the day made it all sparkly and wintery. e.g. my dress, table decs. etc.
Helped by the fact that we had snow on the ground for the day!

um... can't think of anything else just now but feel free to ask me any questions - I am obsessed with weddings, especially winter ones!

GW297 Thu 13-Sep-12 21:06:14

Keepthechangeyoufilthyanimal - thank you so very much for your detailed response! Your wedding sounds absolutely amazing and everything you have written is so very, very helpful. Thank you.

You are welcome, like I said feel free to ask me anything, I miss wedding stuff so much that I love sticking my nose in helping out with other people's!

GW297 Thu 13-Sep-12 22:20:36

What did you do for your hen night?

Well I'm a bit odd in that I don't like going out to clubs/bars etc - my idea of hell! And I don't drink so a typical hen do was my worst nightmare!
In addition to that I didn't have many close female friends at the time, so had decided I just wanted to do something with my sisters (bridesmaids)
So they organised a surprise long weekend in London for me, we travelled down and saw a show at the theatre, went shopping and sightseeing, went ice skating at somerset house, had a trip to the ice bar, winter wonderland in hyde park, and loads of yummy meals out etc.
I loved it! smile

GW297 Fri 14-Sep-12 14:14:06

That sounds like an amazing weekend! My friend just wants a low key cocktails in a bar type thing one Friday night - no L plates, strippers and the like!

Secondsop Mon 17-Sep-12 16:12:05

It sounds lovely, especially having everything close together so that people don't have to worry about transport, and also very intimate. but as someone who's been single at a lot of weddings in the past I IMPLORE them to reconsider the singles table. Nobody likes being treated differently on the basis of being single or being made to feel they need to be matchmade. Some people are very happily single, and may dislike the suggestion that as they are single at a wedding, they need all the help they can get. Some aren't happily single, but may not enjoy being next to someone they might have little in common with apart from their relationship status.

Just put them on tables with people they are actually friends with or where they might have a lovely time. If they are up for copping off with someone they don't need to be sitting next to them at dinner to manage that!

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 21:58:58

Thank you for your comments. I think she is really torn about the singles table. I know one of her friends is really up for it as she thinks it will be the most drunken/fun table and she's heard some of the groom's friends are hot! I'm not sure if any of her single friends know each other, I'll have to find out. I think my friend who is getting married is pretty set on it - but still plenty of time to change her mind!

Hopeforever Mon 17-Sep-12 22:12:20

Not heard of the change, still think its 6pm finish but could be wrong (DH Vicar)
Even if the law has changed the Vicar may not want to work late into the evening on a Saturday when Sunday is only hours away.

When I was still a vicar I would have been fine about a 5pm afternoon winter wedding. Points to remember are

Heating cost of church, does it even have heating

Who will light and even more importantly extinguish all the candles? You can't assume the vicar will! it takes a while.

What are the insurance rules in that church about candles. Depends on the age and layout of the building

On a practical point, the bride will get cold quickly and this will show on the photos. A warm wrap and even a hot water bottle / microwave heat pad helps

Hopeforever Mon 17-Sep-12 22:13:44

Forgot to say, the best winter wedding had a snow machine as the couple left the church!

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 22:20:18

She's just got to have a snow machine!!! I want to blow out all the candles if I'm allowed! I think she wants to get married at about 4pm but not 100% sure. Thank you.

Secondsop Mon 17-Sep-12 22:23:17

I got married at 5pm because the law was that we had to be married by 6 (this is in 2009). If candles aren't a possibility for whatever reason, what about loads of tiny white fairy lights?

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 22:27:51

Maybe candles on the pathway and fairy lights in the church? I'm planning on showing my friend this thread tomorrow, if I remember!

Secondsop Mon 17-Sep-12 22:37:21

Also in line with the evening/dark/light theme, she could also have those lantern things that you set off into the sky although I'm not sure what the latest is on how safe they are for wildlife etc. Assuming they are appropriate environmentally, they could be lovely for an evening wedding and the fireworks people could light them.

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 23:00:37

Thank you. I know she wants fireworks but not sure how she'll feel about lanterns. I'm seeing her tomorrow so will ask!

The lantern things are really dangerous - they can float out and be seen by planes/ships (obv. not a problem everywhere), and they don't always go out when they hit the ground. Please don't do them!

Candles sound absolutely gorgeous though.

One tip - if she's buying candles/candleholders in bulk, online wholesalers are brilliant. I got mine from there, and my flowers too. They arrived exactly when it said, everything very easy, and way cheaper than any other option.

God I'm a fuddy-duddy. I just saw 'snow machine'.

I have been to a wedding with one of these. In the nicest possible way - the guests are all in their posh frocks and nice suits. Which will not take kindly to being sprinkled with soapy bubbles while the photographer gets the perfect snowy shot.

Candlelit church/venue is so beautiful and elegant ... don't spoil it.

Hopeforever Mon 17-Sep-12 23:15:13

Expect she has already thought of this, but has your friend checked she can get married in this church? The new laws are much better, but you have to have a qualifying connection with the church normaly.

Hope they have as it sounds lovely

As for the snow machine, they turned it off when everyone came out f the church, but the ground was white with 'snow' and it was the backdrop to their photos

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 23:15:33

I think she's hoping it might snow for real but i'm not so sure! I am inclined to agree with you on the lanterns.

Oh, it'd be so lovely if it did snow for real!

I like the idea of making a ground of 'snow', though, that sounds much more sensible and prettier than what I had in mind (bad memories!).

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 23:19:22

Yes I'm pretty sure she can. I think her parents attend regularly and have done for many years and both daughters were baptised etc there.

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 23:21:53

It's a February wedding. I like the idea of creating a snow scene outside the church but don't know whether it'll be feasible.

Hopeforever Mon 17-Sep-12 23:25:28

She'll qualify then. Sorry, your opening post made it sound to me that it was one she'd just found blush

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 23:27:54

Yes it does! Apologies for that and thank you for your comments.

Startailoforangeandgold Mon 17-Sep-12 23:33:50

Friend got married by candle light in a tiny little chapel with no electricity. It was just before Xmas so she had a Christmas tree with red snd greed battery LEDs. It was beautiful.

The chapel is on the side of a steep hill in the trees so on a dull winter's day it was quite dark enough for candle light.

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