We think of weddings most often as evening affairs. However, if you are planning your wedding, you may want to give some thought to a morning or afternoon wedding. The best time to have a wedding is the time that works best for you, your budget and your guests.
But, do not overlook this very reasonable option when you are thinking of the time of day you want to start your wedding festivities. Let’s take a look at some varying factors.
Time of Day and Day of Week Weddings
You can control your reception and wedding cost to some extent by the time of day and the actual day of the week you select for the wedding. You are often able to rent some venues for less Monday through Friday.
The per person price is usually fixed for Saturday weddings, and usually has a food service minimum requirement person count. So, if you expect, say 200 people and only 150 show up, you are still responsible for paying for 200 meals.
If your reception is on a Friday and guaranteed for 200 people, often time you can just pay the actual overage if you have less than 200, since the minimum requirement is only 150 for a Monday through Friday wedding.
Some brides opt to have a morning wedding with a breakfast buffet. It’s a brand new day and everyone is full of energy and ready to celebrate your wedding day with you.
You might want to include Mimosas, or Bloody Marys as the alcoholic drinks, along with coffee, juice, tea, etc. The morning wedding is probably the least expensive time to feed your guests too.
People usually eat smaller breakfasts than lunches, and smaller lunches than dinners, so you can get away with serving less.
Breakfast foods also tend to be less expensive than lunch and a great deal less than dinner. The other plus is that this leaves the rest of the day for the couple to mingle at leisure with friends and still be able to get an early start on their honeymoon travel.
An option for any time of day is to choose heavy hors-d’oeuvres, instead of a buffet or sit-down meal. However, sometimes that can be more expensive than a served meal.
Why you may ask? Because you don’t want anyone to leave hungry, you will pay for more items (just to be safe) than if you were serving a full meal. Since you are now paying for each piece, your cost may be greater than expected.
Morning and afternoon weddings (day) are great for your photographer too. Daytime is certainly the best time to get great photographs outside for both you and your guests. It gets to be a challenge in the evening with the changing light and darkness which requires a pretty sophisticated photographer to capture your wedding activity, particularly if it is an outdoor wedding.
So, two primary factors to consider when you plan your wedding is both the day and the time of day. Those factors alone can add or subtract thousands of dollars to or from your final cost.
If cost is a factor for you, an afternoon or morning wedding may be a good fit for you. Spend a little exploring those options and do a bit of comparison to the lunch and or dinner wedding and reception.
You have choices to make about everything related to your wedding. You and your future spouse should, in the end, choose the type of wedding and reception that you want, and can afford, regardless of the time of day you choose!
What if you choose an afternoon wedding? If you hold your ceremony say, at 12:00 noon, your guest would expect a buffet luncheon with perhaps a singer or harpist which would be less expensive than the full evening wedding. Wine and beer and a signature drink will work at this hour if you want to serve alcohol. Otherwise, tea, coffee, and soft drinks would be acceptable.
If there is a good number of older or mature people or couples at your wedding, you may find that the morning or afternoon is an ideal time to choose for your wedding. Many older people find it more difficult to drive at night and would welcome the idea of not having to deal with nighttime driving.
Many younger people also find a day wedding, whether it is morning or afternoon, fits in with their plans as well. That leaves their evenings free to do other things they want or need to do.
Daytime Formal Dress
Getting married in the morning or afternoon can still be as formal (or informal) as you want it to be for the bride, groom, and bridal party. It is still your decision to make about the formality or lack thereof your wedding party. The men would look great in classy morning suits, or regular business suits while the bride and her party could wear traditional wedding attire no matter the time of day. So, you see, a daytime wedding can be just as beautiful and classy as an evening wedding and it is a trend and an option that many couples are choosing to explore.
The evening wedding is usually the most expensive because guests will expect hors-d’oeuvres and either a buffet or a sit-down dinner along with cocktails, wine, and beer.
With the evening wedding also comes the expectation of a band or DJ for dancing and perhaps other entertainment as well. An evening wedding is without question the most expensive type of wedding but it is also the wedding that couples most often choose if they want to have all the trimmings that traditionally come with an evening wedding.
If that is your dream you will probably not be happy with anything less than an evening wedding.
Let your decision about the day and time of day for your wedding be dictated by what is best for you. There are so many options when it comes to planning a wedding. Your head will be spinning until you make a final decision, so consider carefully the things that are important to you. Once the decision is made, everything else begins to fall in place.