How to Have a Midnight Wedding

If you’re planning a midnight wedding, you’ll need to be sensitive to the needs of your guests, especially older and younger attendees who may not be able to stay up all night. If you suspect some guests won’t be sticking around for the reception, it’s courteous to plan a separate time to socialize with them during the daylight hours before or after the wedding. Unless it’s unavoidable, midnight weddings should not be planned on the eve of a weekday unless you’re trying to keep your guest list small on purpose.

A Cinderella Midnight Wedding Theme

Many traditional fairytales center around an “at the stroke of midnight” theme. Whether you’re going for a Cinderella motif complete with glass slippers and a pumpkin-shaped carriage, or if you’re embracing a “Happily Ever After” theme in general, a midnight wedding is sure to highlight your fairytale romance. Include fanciful touches like crystal goblets, old books of fairytales as the bases for centerpieces, or a wedding cake shaped like an open, old-fashioned storybook.

Ask your decorator what other fairytale touches they can add; even something as simple as the right lighting, with sparkling light blues and periwinkles, can turn any venue into an enchanted castle.

Keep Your Guests Awake with a Midnight Wedding

Since you’re fighting the clock, you’ll want to provide a lot of exciting stimulation so your guests’ heads don’t start nodding. Hire a DJ who specializes in energetic, upbeat music, and who knows how to keep a room full of energy. You also may want to offer audience-participation events like karaoke, or a contest to invent and recite limericks about the couple.

Catering stations are another popular approach, offering caffeinated drinks and snacks to keep your guests alert. In addition to a gourmet selection of hot coffees and teas, you may also want to serve edibles like chocolate-covered espresso beans, and even novelties like caffeinated popcorn and caffeinated candy, which are available from specialty stores.

Plan a spectacular event, such as a firework display or fire-spinning performance, for a pitch-black hour. Nighttime weddings have an advantage because displays of light stand out and inspire a sense of drama and excitement that surpasses anything in the daylight hours. You may also want to hand out sparklers–they make for a gorgeous photo opportunity.

See the night through and welcome the sunrise

If you’ve stayed awake to celebrate all night, you and your remaining guests will be rewarded with a gorgeous, rising sun. It takes some preparation to make sure your first sunrise as a married couple delights a sleepy crowd, so be sure to plan ahead with your vendors.

Since you probably won’t have served a full dinner the night before, offer an extravagant breakfast table. Serve a banquet like mini-pancakes and waffles with tropical fruit, platters of eggs, sausage, and bacon, and fresh-squeezed fruit juices, along with a hot coffee and tea station.

You may also want to serve drinks like mimosas and bloody marys to help guests greet the dawning day.

Continuing the party into sunrise is a nice way to reconnect with guests who couldn’t stay up late the night before. Write the reception location and time clearly on your invitations, and encourage guests to drop back in after they’ve adjourned for a few hours of beauty sleep.

Welcome a sunrise with your guests after your Midnight Wedding

Usually, once the marriage ceremony is over, it’s only a few hours until the end of the wedding. It’s not often that couples get to say their vows, have a party, and still get to enjoy a full wedding day. With a midnight wedding, you can relax and savor the moment without feeling stressed. After all, your entire wedding day (and wedded life!) is still ahead of you.