Picture this: You walk to your mailbox, and after rifling through the various envelopes and special offers, find an unexpected save-the-date from a college friend. At first, it just seems like another summer wedding to mark on your already packed calendar when you notice the date. What? Is that — no, it can’t be — a weekday wedding date?!
Until recently, weekday weddings have been like unicorns — everyone’s heard of 'em, but no one’s ever witnessed one IRL. But, as it becomes more acceptable for couples to abandon tradition for practicality, they seem to be on the rise. Case in point: Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden said their “I dos” on a Monday, becoming the latest additions to a growing list of celebs who choose to eschew a traditional weekend bash (Kerry Washington and Ashley Tisdale were two other recent celeb brides to marry on a weekday.)
We all know that weekday weddings are financially great for the couple, but not so convenient for their guests. But, they offer a whole other host of pros and cons. The timing may not be ideal for everyone, but there are some interesting aspects that couples and their guests might actually enjoy.
Wondering what’s driving the trend, or if walking down the aisle on a Tuesday is right for you? Here's what you need to know.
Any engaged couple who has seen the venue-pricing difference between a weekend and weekday wedding will admit that those savings are very tempting. We’re talking thousands of dollars that could go right back into your wedding budget — or bank account. If the budget is tight but you've fallen in love with a jaw-dropping (and pricey) venue, having a weekday wedding might just be the way to have your cake and eat it, too.
It may be even more tempting when you factor in the possibility that other wedding vendors will offer lower rates on weekdays. With some digging, determination, and bargaining, it’s possible to assemble a team of great, high-quality vendors who might not have been within financial reach for a weekend.
I got engaged in September of last year, and was shocked to find that nearly all the venues I had initially set my eye on were completely booked through summer 2015. While my story isn’t unique, believe me when I say that I know it can be crushing to find out a dream venue won’t be available for a Saturday summer wedding for a year (or two…or three).
If you truly have your heart set on a venue, want to get married within the next year, and aren’t able (or don’t want) to find something else, the best option is obvious: Have it during the week.
The Wedding Vibe
There’s something a little glamorous and unconventional about a weekday wedding, don’t you agree? Get creative and host a party that guests aren’t likely to forget. We’re thinking an intimate, foodie-dream restaurant gathering, a vintage-hotel cocktail party, or a sophisticated urban-loft soiree.
During a busy week of work, a wedding might just be a fun break from the grind to relax and enjoy a night out. Or, if your nuptials are taking place in a fun destination, they could be the perfect excuse for some guests to cash out on much-needed vacation days and take the entire week off.
I'm sure I haven't convinced everyone that a weekday wedding isn't half-bad, and certainly there are a few cons. It’s untraditional, it doesn’t give the couple as much flexibility on timing and event length, and a raging dance party is pretty unlikely to occur. But, most of all, I’d say that many couples don’t choose to go with the weekday option because it seems less convenient for guests.
Another potential turnoff? Some couples don’t want their guests to perceive them as cheap or penny-pinching. Yes, in a perfect world guests wouldn’t judge a couple based on their wedding-day choices, financial or otherwise — but the reality is that it happens.
So, how does a couple decide whether a weekday wedding is too inconvenient for their guests? Well, unfortunately, there’s no simple answer — but here are some things to consider:
- Are most of the guests already in town, or will they be traveling from all over the country?
- Is the venue hard to reach during rush-hour traffic?
- How late will guests be willing/able to stay out?
- Will the must-have guests (people the couple don’t want to get married without) be able to make it?
- How much does the couple care about guests grumbling over their choice?
Planning a wedding comes down to the couple and what makes sense for their budget, schedule, and ideal big-day vision. While a weekend wedding is still the norm and may always be, no one should be obligated or expected to do anything. It’s 2015, people! Weddings are changing — often for the better.