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?

Chubfuddler Sat 08-Sep-12 23:05:07

Weddings in churches have traditionally had to be held in daylight hours, so I'm not sure that what your friend has in mind is possible.

joanofarchitrave Sat 08-Sep-12 23:05:19

Sounds gorgeous, but just a question, is the wedding in the UK? I thought UK weddings had to be during the hours of daylight? Though many churches get v dark before the sun goes down I guess.

4goingon14 Sat 08-Sep-12 23:06:05

I believe there are regulations in the UK that the vows must be said before 6pm. So I guess in the depth of winter when it gets dark at 5pm it would be possible...

GW297 Sat 08-Sep-12 23:09:17

Thank you for your responses. She is thinking mid February time and late afternoon...

CointreauVersial Sat 08-Sep-12 23:11:51

My cousin had a similarly dark/wintery wedding. The dress/ties/flowers were all in purple/berry shades which went beautifully with the candlelit atmosphere.

wonkylegs Sat 08-Sep-12 23:14:18

A friend had a Feb late afternoon/early eve wedding where it was dark & candlelit in the church. It was very pretty although also very cold.

GW297 Sat 08-Sep-12 23:18:29

Purple/berry shades sounds beautiful.

Bue Sun 09-Sep-12 16:41:03

The ceremony sounds lovely but please ask your friend to reconsider the singles table! I'm sure it's with the best of intentions but no one likes to be used as a matchmaking experiment. I'd suggest she put half the singles at one table and half at another, along with some couples. That way it's not so darn obvious.

GW297 Sun 09-Sep-12 18:18:31

Bue - thank you. I will ask them if they might reconsider, but I think she thinks that all their single friends are ok with it.

fivegomadindorset Sun 09-Sep-12 18:20:53

We went to a 5pm wedding on New Years eve once, lots of ivy and candles.

CointreauVersial Sun 09-Sep-12 18:59:26

The worst thing you can do to a single at a wedding is stick them onto a table where everyone knows everyone, or worse, next to Aunty Gladys. I think putting them all onto one table sounds like a good plan.

GW297 Sun 09-Sep-12 19:02:10

I think she is pretty set on having a singles table, but as it's quite a small wedding I'm not sure how many singles there are going to be!

fivegomadindorset Sun 09-Sep-12 19:07:56

Singles table sounds awful, sorry.

joanofarchitrave Sun 09-Sep-12 19:07:57

I have been on a singles table at a wedding, i really enjoyed it, though I must say half the table already knew each other which helped as well.

cookielove Sun 09-Sep-12 19:13:55

We had a singles tables, not because we wanted to set them up, but because it just worked out easier that way. They were all fine with it, as it's only a couple hours any way.

My wedding was last Saturday and was smallish 42 adults day around 65 altogether in the evening. We kept it personal by doing alot of the things are selves.

We had thistles, white roses, blue flowers and berries in the bouquets, those kind of colours would lovely in candle light.

The candles sound lovely, but as some one pointed out earlier it will probably be cold. In one of the many wedding magazines i read, a bride had set up in a basket a stack of pashmina's for the guest to keep themselves warm, i thought that was a lovely idea!!

GW297 Sun 09-Sep-12 19:15:01

I have mixed feelings about the singles table. Another friend of mine went to a wedding where there was a singles table and met a gorgeous Irish guy, which is what gave us the idea in the first place. joanofarchitrave - thank you for sharing your positive feedback from personal experience. Did anyone pair up?!

She is thinking cornflower blue bridesmaids dresses and ending the night with hot chocolate liquors after the fireworks! I feel as though I am not being much help, as I don't have many ideas, which is why I thought I'd start a threat on MN.

CatOnAHotTinFoof Sun 09-Sep-12 19:17:57

I wouldn't mark out the singles table - that would quite patronising. But I agree with Cointreau otherwise.
Candlelight sounds lovely. But it might be a bit wearing if the reception was candelit too.

GW297 Sun 09-Sep-12 19:25:12

cookielove - I love the pashmina idea! Congratulations on your wedding last week. I hope you both had a lovely day.

CatOnAHotTinFoof - the Reception is not going to be candlelit too as far as I know.

I am so pleased I will be able to offer some helpful suggestions and ideas when I see her later this week like everyone else!

D0G Sun 09-Sep-12 19:27:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cookielove Sun 09-Sep-12 19:34:48

We had the most amazing perfect wonderful day grin

We had a bouncy castle which probably isn't in keeping with your friends wedding, but it was brilliant, there is many a photo of me and my bridesmaids and other guests on it.

Yes i think is best to keep the reception with normal lights.

If it is a short walk from wedding to reception could you continue the theme of candles and using jam jars with tea lights in decorated with shell buttons on string dotted along the path ways?

GW297 Sun 09-Sep-12 19:54:21

A bouncy castle would be so much fun!!! I love the tealight path way!!! So glad I asked for ideas now!!! Thank you.

FeersumEndjinn Sun 09-Sep-12 20:05:47

We went to a late wedding in early January which was like this - it was Up North so even darker than it would have been in the south. It was really lovely - but yes the vows have to be made "during office hours". I'm sure it will be amazing - good luck!

LittlePicnic Mon 10-Sep-12 06:54:22

I thought there had been a change in law so you can marry at any time of the day? Not sure whether churches agree, but just read an article discussing weddings at midnight!! Not for me but interesting.

GW297 Mon 10-Sep-12 09:17:39

I don't think everyone will be able to stay awake until midnight!

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.

Startailoforangeandgold Mon 17-Sep-12 23:34:55

And green (how did snd get past autocorrect???)

GW297 Mon 17-Sep-12 23:37:06

Startailoforangeandgold - that sounds absolutely lovely. I wasn't that sure when they first told me they wanted a winter wedding as I've never been to one before but now I'm completely sold on the idea!

Secondsop Tue 18-Sep-12 00:43:33

Excellent points on the lanterns, LRD . Consider my suggestion duly retracted!

I love a winter wedding. Unless it's, say, Christmas eve, which someone I know once had, somewhere quite remote, which was wonderful for them but didn't go down desperately well with a lot of the guests.

Cahoots Sat 20-Oct-12 13:15:33

My DB and DSIL married on a wet and wild winters day. There were lots of candles in the church and it looked amazing. My DSIL dress was gold coloured and looked spectacular in the candle light. It was so atmospheric.

Hard to plan the weather though confused

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