Not everyone is able to have a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday wedding. If a significant anniversary falls on a weekday, or else they're only able to secure their dream venue sometime between Monday and Thursday, a bride and groom may decide to host their ceremony and reception mid-week. Another reason why some couples prefer to plan a weekday wedding? They often come with lower price tags. Despite the various advantages of an off-day celebration, there are some disadvantages and logistical issues you'll need to think about, too. Here are eight things to consider if you're thinking about choosing a weekday wedding date.
Expect Low RSVP Rates
There's no way around it: Weekday weddings will have a lower RSVP rate than weekend weddings. That's because most guests work during the week, and not everyone will have available vacation days (especially those who must factor in time for travel). According to Marcy Blum, an event planner and owner of Marcy Blum Events & Weddings, younger couples will fare even worse in terms of attendance, since many of their friends may not be able to take time off school or new careers. But if an intimate ceremony with just your closest family and friends is what you're after, a weekday wedding might be a great fit.
Be Ready to Communicate with Guests
To get as many people as possible to attend your wedding, it's vital to alert guests far in advance—as a guideline, send the invitation at least three months before the wedding, and send the save-the-date eight months to a year beforehand. This will give guests plenty of time to secure vacation days, find babysitters, and arrange their busy schedules.
You Might Save Some Money
According to Blum, some vendors will have flexible pricing for weekdays weddings, and couples may be able to negotiate lower rates. Many vendors will jump at the chance to make money on their usual off days. In fact, Briana Bialk, sales and events manager of The Haight event space in Chicago, says her venue offers more than a $3,000 discount for many of their weekday weddings—"and that's not including all the other vendors you'll be working with!" she adds. Similarly, Jon Saphire, the owner of Saphire Event Group and two event spaces in Massachusetts, says that clients may receive up to 30% off for a weekday wedding. Keep in mind that you might also be able to save on airfare and lodging (important for those hosting a destination wedding!), catering, and floral services
Plan an Evening Ceremony
Almost as important as the date of the wedding is the start time of your ceremony. Bialk suggests having an evening ceremony that begins after 6:30 p.m. so that guests who live nearby won't have to take the full day off of work. Another solution is hosting the cocktail hour before the ceremony, which gives some wiggle room for guests coming straight from work who may encounter traffic.
Don't Expect the Reception to Go Late
Are you hoping for an epic dance party at your wedding? Then getting married on a weekday may not be the best idea. Most guests won't stay until the wee hours of the morning, since they likely have work the next day and won't want to nurse a hangover. Going along with that, Bialk says that weekday weddings work well for couples hosting dry weddings, or if many of the guests won't be drinking alcohol.
Consider Long Weekends
Bialk says that she sees most off-day weddings on holiday weekends, since many people don't work on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and other bank holidays. Consider booking a long-weekend wedding if you're worried about attendance rates.
Spend Extra Time with Your Guests
According to Saphire, weekday weddings allow extra time with guests. "If you have a wedding on a Thursday and are not leaving for your honeymoon until Sunday or Monday, you feel less rushed during the wedding because you know you have three more days with your guests. It is very similar to doing a destination wedding, but you are creating the destination at home," he says. If spending time with out-of-town guests is important to you, then a weekday wedding might be up your alley.
Think About Your Situation
Depending on the situation, some wedding lend themselves better to weekdays. For example, Blum says a non-peak ceremony times can be "the height of sophistication" for older couples or those getting married for a second time. Additionally, if you're planning a destination wedding, consider having it on a weekday for a few reasons: Guests will likely take off work anyways, airfare is cheaper, and popular venues may have weekday availability during popular seasons.