Arizona is known for its beautiful and inspiring sunsets, and capturing the essence of these sunsets as part of their wedding ceremony is often a big priority with couples planning their wedding in the Tucson area. And although a sunset wedding can add some wonderful ambiance to an outdoor setting, is it best for your wedding?
If you are planning a ceremony and do not anticipate having a reception following, then a sunset wedding may be for you and I see few reasons for not taking advantage of the awesome lighting that a sunset wedding will shed on your wedding.
However, if you are planning a reception following your ceremony there are some potential disadvantages to having a sunset wedding that you may wish to consider before committing to your wedding day timeline a sunset ceremony.
If your ultimate goal is to create a dynamic and crowd pleasing wedding reception that you and your guests will never forget, then timing is exceptionally important. People are creatures of habit, and the habits that I am referring to are often unconscious… yet powerful.
They go to work at the same time each day, and for the most part, probably go to bed at relatively the same time each night. So creating a fun and interactive reception may require working within your guests normal timelines and body clocks.
As a general rule it is a good idea to plan your reception in a block of time from 4 to 6 hours. My experience has shown that receptions slated for about a 5 hour time period affords the perfect combination of including all of the events and activities, yet without dragging on.
So for example, if your average guest normally goes to bed at 10:00 PM, and they know that they will have to drive from your reception to their home, it is very likely that many of your guest will begin to look at their watches and create an exit strategy around 9:00 PM.
In which case, if you would like for most of your guests to be a participant for most of your traditional wedding activities, then it would be a good idea to plan for your reception to end around 9:00 PM, or at the very least, schedule the majority of events to be completed by that time.
How will this affect your sunset wedding? Well… based upon the above scenario, with a reception scheduled for 5 hours, this would mean that your reception would have to begin at 4:00 PM, with a ceremony likely to be around 3:00 PM. At least here in the Tucson area, at no time during the year do we have sunsets at 3:00 PM.
If you are planning your wedding in the Tucson vicinity it might behove you to check well in advance the estimated sunset times for your prospective wedding date. And ultimately, you may have to make a choice between what is most important… capturing the beautiful Tucson, Arizona sunset as part of your ceremony, or creating a reception that will involve the majority of you invited guests.
Neither choice is right or wrong, but merely reflects your priorities, which is how it should be. After all… it’s your wedding! Have fun with it!