When setting a wedding date, couples tend to automatically begin by looking at Saturday afternoons. While there are certainly many advantages to having a Saturday wedding, an alternative that has become increasingly popular is the Friday wedding. Before discounting this option for the sake of tradition, consider the following five benefits of hosting your wedding on a Friday evening.
Timing Between Events
Some churches have limited availability for weddings on Saturday afternoons because of Saturday evening services. For example, my husband and I were obligated to be completely out of the church by 3:30 p.m. on our wedding day. If a couple plans to have an evening reception following an afternoon ceremony, this can lead to a long period of downtime for guests between events. The events of Friday wedding celebrations, on the other hand, can be held one right after the other.
However, this may mean that your photography schedule feels a bit of a pinch. You might consider taking the majority of your formal portraits during the day so as not to keep your guests (and your appetites!) waiting too long at the reception hall, and perhaps to take advantage of the sunlight if you’d like outdoor photographs.
Friday wedding ceremonies offer the opportunity of creating a dramatic, romantic ambiance that starkly contrasts that of a bright spring afternoon. If you’ve dreamed of a candlelit wedding ceremony, dancing under the stars, or elegant evening gowns for your bridesmaids, a Friday wedding might be for you. If you live in a particularly warm climate, an evening ceremony can also help your guests to escape the uncomfortable heat and sun.
Time to Get Ready
Although you might not be able to wait to get the show on the road, some brides enjoy the opportunity to relax and take their time getting ready on the big day. While I was up at the crack of dawn to start my hair and makeup for a 1 p.m. wedding ceremony, Friday wedding brides can get up at their leisure, make later beauty appointments, and even enjoy the luxury of eating actual meals during the day-if they are not too nervous to eat!
Discounts and Availability
Perhaps one of the greatest draws of a Friday wedding is the discount offered by many vendors on days other than Saturday. From reduced hall fees to half-price catering, Friday weddings can certainly pack more bang for your buck. Better yet, because Friday weddings are not as popular as Saturdays (hence the lower prices), you will not be competing with as many brides for your date of choice.
Time with Guests
When out-of-town guests come in for a Saturday wedding, they usually have to leave early the next day in order to make it back for work and school on Monday. With a Friday wedding, you have the option to take the whole day on Saturday to spend with out-of-town friends and family. Though it is probably less convenient for guests to come in to town for a Friday wedding, they may welcome the opportunity to take a long weekend and make a mini-vacation out of your special occasion.
As with all aspects of wedding planning, it’s important to remember to consider a variety of options and to think outside the box before making final decisions. As long as your wedding party and out-of-town guests don’t mind taking a little extra time off, the benefits of a Friday wedding might just outweigh those of the traditional Saturday afternoon!
More wedding advice from this author:
Creative Ways to Ask Your Friends to Be Bridesmaids
Solving Sticky Wedding Guest Situations
How Your Talented Friends Can Cut Your Wedding Costs