Expert Advice: What You Need to Know about Hosting a Weekday or Sunday Wedding

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Now that weddings are coming back in full force, couples are experiencing a new set of planning hurdles: venue and vendor availability.

If you’re getting married this fall or next spring, chances are most of those Saturday dates are booked, and you’re competing with double the number of couples for one date.

Due to this limited availability and the excitement to get married sooner rather than later, non-Saturday weddings are becoming more popular.

“Being open to a Sunday/weekday wedding means you can be creative with the date! And it’s always fun to have repeating numbers or a date that adds up to a sentimental number,” Heather Lorenz, Event Coordinator with The Birchwood explains.

In addition to getting married in the month you want versus having to wait a whole additional year, choosing an off-peak wedding day offers several perks, including saving money.

“Many venues and wedding pros offer pricing incentives to fill some of those ‘off peak’ times in their calendar,” Tammy Waterman, Master Wedding Planner and owner of Special Moments Event Planning shares. “Plus a Sunday brunch wedding or an intimate weekday wedding can give a couple more significant savings.”

To discover the perks of getting married on a weekday or Sunday, we’ve asked our wedding experts and insiders their take for choosing a non-Saturday date.

What Type of Couple is a Good Fit for a Weekday/Sunday Wedding?

“Couples looking to host a smaller guest list of 50-75 might be better suited for a weekday or Sunday wedding. Most hotels/venues will require higher food and beverage minimum on prime dates, which may require the couple to spend more per person than needed when it’s a smaller guest list. For example a couple hosting a 75-guest reception with a Saturday $15,000 food and beverage minimum, must spend an average of $200 per person to achieve the required minimum. Whereas a couple hosting 75 guests with a Sunday $8,000 food and beverage minimum only needs to spend an average of $106 per person to achieve the minimum.” -Mary Barnett, Event Sales Manager, The Birchwood

“A destination couple and guest list would be a great fit for a weekday wedding. Think about it, when you go on vacation, you have no idea what day it is. You could easily benefit financially from having a weekday wedding and have some extra funds to do other activities with your guests on the days before and after the wedding. Suddenly, your wedding becomes a full-on vacation for your guests! Also, small elopement-style weddings are perfect for hosting a weekday wedding. The VIP people who will be attending are your ‘ride or die,’ so they will be there no matter what, and they will be on board with whatever day you choose to host your wedding. If you want to ensure that your guest list is limited, host it on a weekday. Then, you can benefit from all those mailed gifts! Also, couples who are not late-night partiers would be a great fit for a Sunday wedding. If you are in bed by 9 p.m., a wedding that ends earlier would be more fitting for you. You could host a lunch or brunch wedding and still end at a reasonable time.” -Staci Mandikas, Owner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

“If you’re a couple who wants to bring your friends and family down for a vacation and have a wedding on a weekday, it’s the perfect combination! Everyone is in a great mood, no one has to work the next day, and everyone can party all night, knowing they’re on vacation, celebrating your wedding.” -Christopher Grainger, Owner, Graingertainment

“Couples who have a majority of their guests who are local to their wedding venue would benefit from a weekday wedding because it wouldn’t require most of their guests to take off work or travel before/after the wedding date; guests can easily get to their venue after work hours and return to work the next day if needed.” -Christi Winsor, Owner, Winsor Event Studio

“Sunday weddings can usually work well for any couple. Your family and friends traveling from out of town for a Saturday wedding might have to take off from work on Friday. With a Sunday wedding, you just flip the day and travel out on a Monday. Weekday weddings work well for smaller weddings or someone hosting a destination wedding. Most people coming to a Florida destination wedding make a vacation of it, so a weekday is just as good as a Saturday! And weekday weddings are ideal for people whose family and friends are in service industries where they work weekends and can’t always take time off. We also know of couples who hosted larger weeknight weddings because the date they selected held a special meaning, and they didn’t want to change, i.e. the anniversary of a first date, your engagement, or even your parents’ anniversary is common.” -Tammy Waterman, Master Wedding Planner and owner, Special Moments Event Planning

“Couples who are traveling from out of town and planning an intimate wedding would be a great fit for a weekday/Sunday wedding. If families will be taking time off work to travel anyway, why not save some money? Most venues and vendors offer discounted rates for Sundays-Thursdays.” -Heather Lorenz, Event Coordinator, The Birchwood

“A couple who is interested in a more intimate event would be the perfect candidate for a weekday wedding!” -Kelsey DiMisa, Associate Planner, Parties A’La Carte

How Do Weekday/Sunday Weddings Differ from Saturday Weddings?

“Weekday/Sunday weddings tend to involve multiple days of celebrating rather than one big day. For example, you might have a fun welcome party the first day, a group activity and rehearsal dinner the second day, a wedding itself the third day, and a post-wedding brunch/pool party on the fourth day! It’s also more common for weekday weddings to end a bit earlier so the guests can go to bed at a reasonable hour and continue to celebrate the following days.” -Heather Lorenz, Event Coordinator, The Birchwood

“Some factors to consider with a weekday wedding are: kids’ school schedules and rush hour traffic. If you have children in your wedding and you choose a weekday event, know that their parents may not be too keen to take them out of school. The number one factor that you need to take into account when hosting a weekday wedding is rush hour traffic. This could impact your guests’ arrival time and even your own. You should note an earlier time on the invitation so that rush hour traffic is not an issue for your guests. Also, when it comes to your own transit and arrival time, build in some buffer time just to be safe. Or when hosting a weekday wedding you might want to start even later so that your guests can complete their workday and still make it to your wedding. It may be a ‘big ask’ to require ALL of your guests to leave work a little early.” -Staci Mandikas, Owner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

“If you’re having a beach wedding, having it on a weekday usually means you’ll have fewer people crowding the background of your photos! It never fails; it’s like photo bombers love to stand directly behind a ceremony and observe the wedding as if they were invited (I laugh and cringe at the same time). Imagine being on the beach sharing your vows and ONLY being surrounded by your friends and family. It’s a wedding win!” -Kéra Holzinger, owner Kéra Photography

“The main difference in booking a Sunday thru Thursday is the price of the venue. You can usually negotiate more with other vendors too such as your DJ, photographer, and videographer. The other main difference is that you might have to coordinate a little more with your guests, ask who would/wouldn’t be able to come, and see if it’s convenient for them.” -Laurie Lupcho, Owner, Core Concepts

“We encourage couples to consider an appropriate reception end time when hosting a Sunday or mid-week wedding. Most guests enjoy partying well into the night for a Friday or Saturday reception, however mid-week celebrations tend to end at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. Having an earlier end time allows your guests to still participate in your special day, but also shows consideration for any travel or work obligations they may have the following day.” -Mary Barnett, Event Sales Manager, The Birchwood

“The answer to that depends a lot on the timing. Many Saturday weddings tend to be about the party. So, in general, a nighttime wedding on either a Sunday or weeknight work for ‘the party.’ A daytime or brunch wedding tends to be less about drinking and dancing.” -Tammy Waterman, Master Wedding Planner and Owner, Special Moments Event Planning

“From a DJ perspective, we love a good party. If your guests are thinking about work the next day or having to leave on their flight early in the morning, you might see people leaving early, or people not wanting to let loose on the dance floor.” -Christopher Grainger, Owner, Graingertainment

“Weddings on a Friday or Sunday are easier for guests to attend than mid-week weddings because they can often take off a day of work to make it a long weekend, instead of taking off a day in the middle of the week.” -Christi Winsor, Owner, Winsor Event Studio

How Can Couples Save Money by Hosting a Weekday/Sunday Wedding?

“Many venues like ourselves that come with in-house catering offer reduced food and beverage minimums for weekday/Sunday events. This means you can spend money on what you need rather than adding unnecessary items simply to reach a higher minimum. Also, hotel/airplane/rental car rates are often lower compared to weekend pricing. Therefore, guests will also save money on their travel expenses!” -Heather Lorenz, Event Coordinator, The Birchwood

“Just the fact that you host a wedding during a Monday-Thursday, you will instantly save money. You are allowing venues to still book their prime Saturday and the likelihood of venues booking a weekday wedding is limited, so they are often willing to offer a discount or an incentive. When it comes to a Sunday wedding, because of the earlier wedding time and the fact that they have work in the morning, your guests’ alcohol intake will naturally be lower, therefore saving you a bit of bank. Another option to make a Sunday wedding special, is to play on the whole idea of ‘Sunday Brunch.’ You could limit a bar to bloody marys, mimosas and bellinis only, once again keeping your bar costs under control. -Staci Mandikas, Owner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

“You’ll get better deals, but consult with your guests first to see if it’s doable for who you would be inviting. What’s more important? The size of the wedding or spending wisely?” -Laurie Lupcho, Owner, Core Concepts

“For photography, we don’t discount our pricing for weekdays/Sundays but we do have intimate collections that we aren’t able to offer on Saturdays. They start at just one hour of coverage that allows for us to accommodate any size and guest count!” -Carrie Wildes, Owner of Carrie Wildes Photography Art & Design

How Does Hosting a Weekday/Sunday Wedding Affect Availability?

“Your chances of booking your preferred date is greatly increased if it falls on a Sunday or weekday. Fridays and Saturdays are typically the first to go! Weekday weddings are also a huge help to your vendors when it comes to loading in and out. Venues like ours can be a little more flexible and possibly allow vendors to set up a day early and/or load out a day later.” -Heather Lorenz, Event Coordinator, The Birchwood

“It’s easier to find a date available with venues and vendors Monday-Thursday. So, if you are planning in a shortened timeframe, consider a weekday. Sundays are a little easier to find an available date, though this could not be the case during prime wedding season, as couples will move to Sundays once the Saturdays and Fridays are scooped up by other couples.” -Staci Mandikas, Owner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

“Saturday dates tend to book up first, whereas Friday/Sunday dates may be more available, and mid-week dates are often open and flexible.” -Christi Winsor, Owner, Winsor Event Studio

“You will typically save money hosting your wedding any other day besides Saturday. Saturday is the golden day every couple wants, and they book up fast. Hosting your wedding, even on a Friday allows couples to enjoy their evening, knowing they are off from work the next day.” -Christopher Grainger, Owner, Graingertainment

“That depends on what availability you are looking at. Only you know your family and friends and what their scheduling and availability might look like. Suppose a venue is busy during the week with conventions and corporate meetings. In that case, you might not see availability or significant savings because you’re now competing against corporate revenue. The availability of some wedding vendors might be challenging if they are “weekend warriors” and have full-time weekday jobs in addition to weddings.” -Tammy Waterman, Master Wedding Planner and Owner, Special Moments Event Planning

Why Would Guests Want to Attend a Weekday/Sunday Wedding?

“I am a HUGE fan of Sunday brunch weddings! I know that wedding guests love Sunday brunch weddings as well because it allows them to still enjoy their Saturday afternoon and evening however they choose and then celebrate a beautiful wedding with the couple on Sunday morning and afternoon and then get to recuperate Sunday evening before starting the workweek. Plus, who doesn’t love brunch?! (Bonus: a brunch menu and beverages are often more affordable than a dinner menu with open bar).” -Christi Winsor, Owner, Winsor Event Studio

“It’s something fun and different that will leave a lasting memory! And it gives the guests an excuse to take a well-deserved vacation from work.” -Heather Lorenz, Event Coordinator, The Birchwood

“For those guests who work Saturdays or have kids who are heavily involved in sports or activities on Saturdays, they would be completely open to attending a weekday evening or Sunday event. From the guests’ perspective, they may appreciate leaving the office, already dressed, and enjoying a fun evening out.” -Staci Mandikas, Owner UNIQUE Weddings + Events 

“The Tampa Bay area is PERFECT for destination weddings rolled into a vacation. Attending a weekday or Sunday wedding just means looking at what you can do on vacation before or after the wedding date.” -Tammy Waterman, Master Wedding Planner and Owner, Special Moments Event Planning

How do Couples Know Which is Better for Them: Weekdays or Sundays?

“Take a good look at your guest list. Only you know for sure who might not be able to take off or travel during the week. You’ll also know if you have many guests in the service industry where weekdays might be more flexible. The bottom line is that only the two of you know what type of wedding vibe you want and if the cost savings outweigh going with a Saturday night.” -Tammy Waterman, Master Wedding Planner and Owner, Special Moments Event Planning

“It is important to note your guests’ work schedules and how far people are traveling. If it’s a weekday and your guests are local it might be harder for them to get off work early enough to attend, or if it’s a Sunday evening they might leave early if they have to work the next morning. Always make sure to consider rush hour traffic. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests who will be there the whole weekend anyway, Friday is a great option because then they can make a whole weekend of their trip! We love Friday weddings – they are our favorite!” -Carrie Wildes, Owner of Carrie Wildes Photography Art & Design

“It’s always great to get input from key family members. If it’s challenging for someone to get off work, perhaps a Sunday would be better. If they care more about saving money, then a weekday would be better. But at the end of the day, the couple should keep in mind that this is THEIR wedding, and they should book whatever date they prefer.” -Heather Lorenz, Event Coordinator, The Birchwood

“Couples should take into account what would work best for their guests and wedding party, but at the end of the day, this is YOUR wedding, you make the choice that works best for you, circumstantially and financially.” -Staci Mandikas, Owner UNIQUE Weddings + Events 

“Couples should evaluate their desired venue in relation to their budget. They can explore the food and beverage minimum options in relation to a weekday or a Sunday. They should also evaluate their guest list and keep in mind who would be able to make it on the chosen dates.” -Kelsey DiMisa, Associate Planner, Parties A’La Carte

“Consider which day/date will mean most of your friends and family will get to attend and celebrate with you and which date has availability with a venue and vendors you can afford. Then make your decision based on that information.” -Christi Winsor, Owner, Winsor Event Studio

MEET THE EDITOR

Marry Me Tampa Bay editor, Anna Coats, created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area's best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talkshow Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

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