Ask 100 people what time a wedding “should” start, and you’ll probably get an overwhelming number of votes for 4-5 pm. A late-afternoon ceremony and a cocktail hour that leads us right into dinnertime is something we’ve all come to expect, and so we assume it’s the only way to go.
However, there is no hard-and-fast rule saying you have to get married in the afternoon/evening. In fact, as couples get more creative with their wedding plans, morning weddings have grown in popularity all over the place. These weddings, which usually start around 10 am, have their own set of rules—and their own unique charm. If you want to have an idyllic wedding with a relaxed atmosphere, a morning wedding may be the perfect choice for you and your partner. Here are a few of my favorite perks to getting married in the earlier part of the day.
1.Two Words: Breakfast Food
One of the best parts of any wedding is the delicious meal you get to chow down on once the vows are said. Couples spend months vetting caterers, sampling menu options, and discussing flavor profiles until they find the perfect option. However, most wedding caterers limit their menus to dinnertime fare—and that means they’re missing out on some of life’s best indulgences.
Fluffy, cheesy omelets. Waffles with syrup, fresh fruit, or whipped cream (or all three). Bottomless mimosas! There’s a reason that brunch is one of the most popular weekend activities: it’s delicious! If you have a morning wedding, you can offer your guests the brunch menu of their dreams, and everyone will thank you for it.
2. There’s No Need to Rush the Celebration
Another perk of a morning wedding is the freedom you have to play with your reception timeline. Unlike evening weddings when you’re limited by the day’s end (venues have to close, people have to drive home, etc.), a morning wedding leaves your whole day free to mingle, dance, and enjoy the time with your sweetheart and loved ones.
Of course, this freedom does depend on the kind of contract you have with your venue. If they’re expecting you to be gone by 3 pm (so they can host another wedding at 4), you’ll have to make sure you’ve cleared the space by the appointed time. Make sure you and your venue are on the same page before the big day!
3. You’ll Have Great Lighting for Photographs
Photography is a big deal for most couples on their wedding day. The photos you take that day capture the beginning of a beautiful marriage (one day your grandkids could be looking at them!), so it’s important that you look your best. And as anyone who’s ever taken a selfie knows, good lighting is necessary to get a great picture.
While you can definitely get well-lit photos at an afternoon or evening wedding, your time does tend to be limited. After all, the sun has to set eventually—and if your photographer hasn’t snapped the perfect shot, you’ll just have to live without it. At a morning wedding, however, you have plenty of time to get all the photos you want!
This is especially appealing for those couples that want to have more time to mingle with their guests. If you have all afternoon free for photos, there’s no need to spend your cocktail hour with the photographer! You can chat with your guests, catch up with out-of-towners, and generally enjoy your big day without feeling pressed for time.
4. Lower Overall Cost
Look, we all know that weddings cost an arm and a leg. I don’t have to remind you—if you’ve spent even a minute planning your big day, you know it’s going to be expensive. However, if you want to shave a little off that final bill, a morning wedding is a great way to do it!
Whether you go for a quick continental breakfast or a full-blown brunch spread, serving breakfast food at your wedding is always going to be cheaper than a lunch or dinner menu. Additionally, your bar tab will likely be cheaper, even with an open bar; the chances are high that your guests won’t be hitting the bottles too hard around 10 am.
Additionally, many vendors will offer you a discount if you book their services bright and early. Most wedding vendors don’t usually work in the morning, so they may be happy for the extra work, even if it’s a little below market price. They also still have the chance to book another wedding later in the day, so everyone wins!
5. You Get to Spend the Remainder of the Day with Your New Spouse
I’ve heard many stories about the post-wedding weariness couples face. Many of my friends claim that their wedding nights were far from romantic; most of them were so tired that they just passed out in the hotel room! With a morning wedding, you’re less likely to suffer this after-party exhaustion. Or if you do, you can just take a nap—after a few hours of rest, you’ll be ready to enjoy some “alone time” with your new spouse.