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Is a Weekday Wedding Reception Party Right for You?

In 2020 the pandemic brought cancellation after cancellation to the wedding industry, leaving newly engaged couples in limbo as to when and where they would tie the knot. Now, with more couples eager to resume wedding planning in a post-pandemic world, the 2021 calendar is filling up fast, vendors and venues are overbooked, and couples are having to scour the 2022 calendar for the perfect wedding date. If you’ve waited to get married but can’t seem to find an open date, a weekday wedding—instead of a weekend wedding—is worth considering.

While unconventional, there are many perks to marrying midweek. For example, your dream venue may not be available on the weekend any time soon, but it could be available on Thursday night (and at half the price!). Caterers, florists, and wedding planners are also more likely to have a weekday opening, giving you the luxury of exploring multiple options.

But having a midweek wedding doesn’t come without its obstacles. For example, you may have a smaller wedding due to low guest attendance, your venue may not be open during the week, or you may have to get married at an odd time of day. Try sending save the dates and invitations with a longer lead time to give your guests time to RSVP and take appropriate time off. Be sure to clearly state on your invitations and wedding website that the wedding date falls on a weekday as opposed to the usual weekend timeframe.

To help you determine whether a weekday wedding is right for you and your situation, we’ve rounded up several pros and cons for this wedding option.

Pros of a weekday wedding
It’s all-around more affordable

If you have grand expectations for your wedding day, a weekday celebration might just be the ticket to having your cake and eating it, too. With more vendor availability and flexibility during the week, you can secure your caterers, florists, and venues for much less than a Saturday wedding, giving you the capital to upgrade the bar and menu while still staying on budget.
It offers cheaper travel costs for out-of-town guests

Planning the destination wedding of your dreams? Your guests could save a fortune on travel costs if you consider a weekday shindig. According to Skyscanner, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the least expensive days to fly. Similarly, Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays are the most expensive days to fly. The same goes for hotel bookings.

Even if your loved ones have to take some time off of work, they’ll appreciate the savings that a weekday wedding affords as opposed to traveling at peak times.
Your dream wedding venue might be available (and cheaper)

Anyone planning a wedding has inevitably experienced at least one moment of heartbreak in the process. You’ve dreamed about this day and crafted a vision around the perfect venue. You’ve selected the date, but the place you envisioned saying “I do” is already booked—not only for your date but for every weekend for the rest of the year.

Don’t give up hope just yet! Consider a Thursday night wedding when the site likely has availability, as Saturday weddings are often booked on Fridays for a rehearsal. Not only is there availability, but due to low demand, you can snap up a deal.
Most of your vendors won’t have conflicts

Speaking of low demand, weekday availability often extends to vendors, too. Most caterers have ample openings during the week and may even extend a discount on pricer packages. This is a great way to maximize your budget by selecting premium upgrades at the same rate as what the standard menu would cost on weekends.
Cons of a weekday wedding
Some venues are only open on weekends

Certain venues aren’t open on weekdays, due to the fact that it’s rare to have a midweek booking. If you find yourself pining for a certain locale, give them a call. The pandemic not only affected wedding plans but also hurt businesses where weddings were their main source of revenue. Since we’re all trying to make up for losses from 2020, the venue may be receptive to accommodating your weekday nuptials.
A weekday wedding might conflict with work schedules

The biggest obstacle of a weekday wedding is being mindful of guests’ work schedules. While you and your partner might be taking off a few days for your big day, guests may not have that luxury. If this is a big sticking point for your nearest and dearest, try scooting your wedding to 6 or 7 pm to enable guests to work a full day prior to attending the festivities.
The day after the wedding might be rough

If you throw a weeknight wedding full of delicious food, a full bar, and killer music that encourages partying all night, you and your guests are going to feel it the next day. This means guests will either struggle through a post-wedding workday or use a vacation day to recover.

Don’t be surprised if your guests leave early to go home and get some shut-eye before work the following day. However, as many people in the workforce are still working from home after the pandemic, you may be able to get away with a 5 pm start time.
Timing can be tricky for photos

While weddings go well into the night on weekends, photos are an all-day affair. Lighting is optimal before the sun begins to set, so photographers are onsite for most of the day. To get those magical outdoor shots with your wedding party and guests, you’ll have to start early. If you’ve decided to forgo working around guests’ schedules, opt for a brunch-style reception to capitalize on the lighting.

Is your heart set on an evening reception? Consider taking photos with your partner and wedding party earlier in the day to find your light. As for the wedding ceremony, work with your photographer on how to best capture your nuptials with the night sky as the backdrop.
Other weekday wedding considerations
It will likely be an intimate fête

Small and micro ceremonies ruled the 2020 wedding scene. What started as a purely safety-driven trend has expanded into 2021 as couples and guests enjoyed being able to spend quality time with one another. Gone are the days of a couple running from table to table to greet their guests.

As people generally have more commitments on weekdays, don’t be surprised if your RSVP list is significantly pared down from your goal number. If you were hoping for a big wedding, make sure to send out save the dates well in advance to ensure everyone on your guest list has plenty of time to plan ahead.
It might be a more casual affair

Any wedding taking place after 5 pm is technically considered a formal affair unless otherwise specified on the invitation. But this “rule” was created with weekend events in mind. As guests are often coming from work and other commitments, don’t be surprised if the formal gowns are left at home and traded for an easy sundress. If a formal dress code is important to your vision, make sure to highlight that on the invitation.

If you have “must-have” items in the pros and cons above, you’re not alone. The weekday wedding is tricky, but it can be done! Working with a wedding planner can help you navigate these obstacles and get you to the wedding of your dreams without waiting another year.

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