How to Have the Perfect Outdoor Wedding

How to use black lights at your wedding

Black lights are good for more than illuminating 1960s psychedelic posters. Harness the power of black lights for a wedding that truly glows. Whether you use it to tastefully highlight a few ice sculptures, or you have your sights set on a row of fully florescent bridesmaid dresses, black lights can give your wedding some dazzling, ultraviolet flair.

Best as Highlights, Not Lights

When black lights are mounted too close to people’s faces, they’re anything but flattering. Skin takes on a strange hue and teeth and eyes look yellowed and alien. Black lights also sometimes react unpredictably with clothing, highlighting old stains and even turning some materials slightly transparent. Keep black lights far from where people will be congregating. Instead, try to position the lights where they will highlight exactly what you want to highlight.

Gathering black lights around table centerpieces, or directing them at a row of drinks, is the best way to guarantee that only what you absolutely want to fluoresce gets hit by the spotlight.

Invisible Henna

Wearing henna designs at your wedding are an embodiment of a beautiful ritual. However, many brides dread the weeks after the wedding, where the henna designs rub off to the point of looking like a questionable skin condition. Avoid the mess entirely with invisible henna. When the designs are drawn with black light markers or paint, they remain entirely invisible until they come under a black light. At that point, the designs fluoresce brightly and show off your artwork in beautiful swirls. Look for certified non-toxic fluorescent ink if you plan on drawing directly on your skin.

Invisible henna is perfect for brides who want to decorate themselves for their wedding day, but who don’t want to commit to a tattoo. Hire a professional artist to give you exactly the designs you want. Matching henna work on you and your sweetheart will tie you together for some breathtaking first dance photos.

To really make your invisible henna pop, keep it hush-hush until the moment you walk onto the dance floor with your new spouse. Then have the venue flip on the black lights all at once. (Overhead lights work best to highlight skin designs without illuminating faces.) Your guests will gasp when they see how brightly you shine!

Glowing Drinks

Did you know that tonic water glows under black light? When shopping, look for tonic water or any drinks that contain quinine. This is the ingredient that causes the radiance. Despite its eye-catching glow, it is quite safe to drink. To highlight the beverage’s remarkable properties, serve drinks in clear glasses and line the bar with black lights so the bottles will fluoresce from below.

Serve tonic water mixed with gin or vodka over ice. Tonic water itself does not contain alcohol, so even underage guests can get in on the glowing fun by mixing tonic water with sparkling lemonade. Only mix tonic water with clear liquids if you want to enjoy the glow, though. Adding opaque mixers like orange juice, although delicious, will muddy the visual effect. Serve the drink in a clear glass so everyone can enjoy the view.

Illuminate Your Guestbook with Florescent Pens

Want to give your guests a chance to create their own black light art? Set out a few florescent gel pens or markers along with your guest book. Many highlighters respond well to black light, too. The fun of writing “glowing remarks” will encourage your guests to compose long, meaningful messages to you. Include a few traditional black pens to round out the selection.

DIY Glowing Flowers

Even your flowers can get in on the black light fun. To make DIY glowing carnations, simply stick the flowers’ stems into a vase of tonic water. For a stronger glow, empty several highlighter markers or pens (the ink color doesn’t matter, as long as they’re all very similar colors) into a bowl and soak the ends of the stems in the florescent ink. White or very pale flowers work best for this project.

The florescent liquid gets drawn up through the stem of the flower and embeds itself in the petals. This makes the carnations develop a permanent glow under black lights. The longer you leave the flowers in the vase, the stronger the glow will be. Leave the flowers soaking in the water anywhere from a few hours to a few days–just not so long that they wilt!

Anything Bright White

Anything that is bright white will glow under black light. That’s great news for a wedding. Revel in a pure white wedding dress and white wedding cake, knowing that when the black lights flip on, you will truly have “that glow.”