8 weekday wedding tips from Offbeat Brides who have ventured into the midweek

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Weekday wedding advice from @offbeatbride readers #weddings #weekdayweddings
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Midweek weddings and weekday weddings aren't so unusual in some parts of the world, but even among the weddings we see on Offbeat Bride, weekend weddings still reign supreme. So weddings that fall on a weekday can sometimes throw guests for a loop.

If you're planning a weekday wedding for special date or budget wedding reasons, we've compiled some tips straight from our awesome readers. Let's talk about the hurdles of having a weekday wedding and what readers suggest to overcome them.

Expect to save some cashola

This is one of the main reasons couples might choose a weekday wedding: TO SAVE MONEY, HONEY! It can be a boon, fo sho. Here are a couple of examples:

We had our wedding on a Thursday, because the reception hall waived the $4,000 rental fee for weekdays! We invited 150-ish guests and almost all came, even from far away. We did a lot of extra things for the ones who had to take time off for travel: we had other events all weekend for them, and included them in parts of the ceremony and ‘production' of the wedding, and generally made sure the visit was worth their while. I would do it again. – Jamie

We got married on a Thursday because our venue was half off (a savings of over $2000!). We suspect we also get a better deal on vendors and more availability because of our weekday date. – AW

Expect a much lower RSVP rate

No matter how hard you try, having a weekday wedding will net you less guests. Sometimes that's a good thing if your budget is low or maybe social anxiety prevents a large guest list. It's still something you'll want to accept before committing to your weekday date. Here's some advice:

I think with weekday weddings it's worth thinking: how many days off work would my guests have to take? A Friday afternoon wedding would just be one day if guests could travel on the day and leave on Saturday. A Tuesday morning, for example, might mean taking part of Monday off, Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday if the party continued late. So it's not just the day but the distance of travel and the timing of the wedding. Getting married on an anniversary is nice though I personally would rather pick a day my guests were very likely to be able to attend, since their presence would mean more to me than a specific date. If that's not true for you, though, go with the date that you want! – Rachel

I had mine on a Thursday. It was way less $$$ for the venue than the same place on a weekend. We did have quite a number of people who couldn't make it due to it being on a weekday, yes. I think we had about 50% attendance from the number we invited. – Heather

I would look at your guest list and see if it will be prohibitive for the people you MOST want to come to have to take days off in the middle of the week versus the weekend. I think you guys will probably end up enjoying the day more if you can party the way you want to and have the people you most want to be there be there on your special day than if you have your anniversaries line up. – Faye

We're getting married on a Monday, so we don't qualify as midweek but we've had plenty of comments from our parentals like, ‘people have jobs you know, how can you get married on Monday?' Our response has been, and remains to be: ‘We know it will be a little difficult for people since, yeah jobs, but this is our wedding. The people we invite will know it's only happening once and what it means to be invited, so if they choose to not come that is going to be more of their loss than ours.' – Hell

I think it's probably very similar to planning a destination wedding; you just accept at the beginning that fewer people are going to make it. Not because they don't love or support you, or that they don't care enough, but that they just can't do it. I mean, that's always the case, even with a Saturday evening wedding. Some people, whether because of travel or cost or other things, just won't be able to make it, no matter how much they want to be there. So it's sort of up to the couple to discern how much they can accommodate their guests' lifestyles, and when to just say ‘fuck it, we're having it when we want.' – J

Sometimes it just doesn't make sense to lose the guests you really want there:

We finally opted to do our wedding on a Saturday night, but were planning on doing it on Monday, our two-year anniversary. It's also a day of the month (the night we met) that we celebrate every month. But it was important to us to have family there, and almost all of my fiance's family lives out-of-town. Also, all of his siblings have school-age children and would have had to take them out of school. So we chose the Saturday before the Monday that our anniversary falls on. – Emma

Consider an evening wedding

Evening weddings may allow a few more day shift guests to attend, though it's no guarantee if many of your guests work retail or alternate shifts.

One of my best friends got married on a Wednesday evening. I would recommend keeping the festivities to the evening so that the 9-5ers can get there after work. – Luxy

We got married on a Wednesday. And yeah, not everyone could come. But we made sure immediate family had plenty of time to schedule time off work, so they were able to be there. Also, we had a late morning wedding followed by an evening reception. That may not suit everyone, but it made it more possible for people who couldn't come to the wedding for whatever reason to make it to the reception. Plus, we got nap time in between! – LaBeq

Give PLENTY of warning

Via word-of-mouth, your wedding website, and especially your save-the-dates, getting the word out about your weekday wedding date is key. A lot of guests won't be able to finagle time off of work/school, travel arrangements, pet and child care, etc. without some extra lead time. Here are some tips:

The weekday was awesome for money savings, and worked for us because we wanted to keep the party small. We told everyone we knew as soon as we had set the date (WAY ahead of any kind of save-the-dates) so that it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone, and we made peace with the fact that some who we would have liked to see there weren't going to be able to make it. – Rachel

Maybe on your wedsite or through word of mouth say something like, ‘We know for some it may be difficult to attend our weekday wedding, but it really worked best for our budget/sick mother/anniversary date. Please know it means so much to us to have you there! If you can't make it, you will surely be there in spirit and we'll celebrate with you soon.'
I went to a Friday wedding and said something along those lines on the website. and I thought it was hard to be too upset with the hosts when they say something sweet like that. – Naphtha

Give a little extra love to those who DO end up attending

For those who do attend and may have to forgo time at work or other obligations, give them a little extra love for the effort:

* Spend a TON of time with your guests. If they're coming in from out-of-town in the middle of the week, plan at least one activity besides the wedding during which you can hang out and shower them with love and appreciation, because they have seriously earned it.
* Make it as seamlessly welcoming as possible. Make sure there's plenty to eat and drink, lots of seating, and music or entertainment.
* Work extra hard to get good deals on hotels, camp grounds, group rental houses, or whatever else you can find. If you can set up a shuttle bus, or get an uncle to drive a van, so much the better. – Anon

Consider a reception on a different day

If you'll lose too many guests to a weekday wedding, but really want to get legally hitched on a weekday, consider splitting the event into two:

We ended up eloping on a weekday and no one could attend. So we're having a Saturday night celebration in a month or so. Not too big, but definitely a way to get some wedding pics and show some love to those who couldn't be there. – Sara

This is what we're doing. The ceremony will be on a Thursday (our anniversary-of-meeting), and will be very small (immediate family only, all of whom are local). Then the big party will be the following Saturday, to make travel/time off a wee bit easier for folks coming in from further away. – gohomekiki

We're getting married in a court ceremony in N. Ireland on a Monday with just our families and close friends, and we're having the big celebration two weeks later on a Saturday back in the US, with as many people as want to come party. It was the best compromise we could manage between vacation times and finances, everybody's feelings, and our desire to celebrate our partnership with them all. – probablyreading

Consider a national/bank/stat holiday

Bank holidays are great for ensuring that a few more guests may be off of work and available to party. Here are some examples:

I got married on April 1st this year, which was a Monday. We were lucky though, as it was a bank holiday. Though we did move it so more people could come. Our original date (a Tuesday) was a day that meant more to us (though we grew to love the idea of a wedding on April Fool's Day) but we realised that it was more important to us that we made it easier for the people we wanted there to attend. – Helen

I am getting married on a Monday. It will be a national holiday (Veterans Day), so some people will already be off work/school and we plan to have an acknowledgement for Veterans during the reception. I know it is not exactly convenient for everyone and I feel bad about that (especially those with kids), but I'm hoping it is an important enough event to take a day or two off work. I must say, it is getting old responding to questions or well-intended jokes about the wedding date. I don't want to make people feel bad by telling them we can't afford a Saturday wedding, but what else can I say? – Sierra

We just got married a few weeks ago the Tuesday after Memorial Day. It was half the cost. We wanted to do it Memorial Day, but the venue was unavailable so we checked with a few of our nearest and dearest and decided on the Tuesday. It also was helpful to have a long weekend before the ceremony for the bridal shower and rehearsal. – Lindsey

Be mindful when double-booking a weekday and a major holiday

If you're planning a wedding around the winter holidays or major religious holidays, this may bring another complication. Here are tons of tips for scheduling a wedding around a holiday.

I totally got married on a Tuesday, not only that, but it was the week of Christmas! There was definitely a few people who were not able to make it. In the end I was able to marry my best friend in a gorgeous location on a day important to both of us. My best suggestion is to put out save-the-dates as soon as you can so people who are important to you can make plans to get off of work and travel. – Kristin

We got married on a Tuesday, a week before Christmas. Our ceremony was in the morning, followed by a wedding breakfast, for the most immediate of our friends and family. We had an open house-style reception that night for the larger group. Those who could make it did, which was the vast of majority the people we really wanted to be there, because it was as important to them as it was to us. We had to work our schedule around traveling back to our home states (yes, plural), semester breaks, work, and Christmas, and that was just between myself and my now husband. Everyone else just worked with us once we announced our date. – AmandaStretch

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Comments on 8 weekday wedding tips from Offbeat Brides who have ventured into the midweek

  1. It is funny this came up today. I like to read Dear Abby, Ask Amy, etc. In today’s Ask Amy one lady wrote in basically having a melt down as she got a save the date card, then the actual invite and realized it was a Thursday wedding (I guess she never looked at the Save the Date and realized it then). I guess it must be a person who thinks that weddings only happen on Saturdays (or Sundays).
    I know in the Amish community, weddings ONLY happen on Tuesday’s or Thursday’s!
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/ask-amy-friend-wants-to-cut-off-contact-after-infidelity/2016/03/04/7b70ee0e-ddde-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html It is letter two.

  2. No matter how much notice you give people–invitations, Facebook updates, emails, texts–there will still be folks for whom a weekday wedding just doesn’t register. We had our wedding on a Friday, but had people show up to an empty venue the next day because they were sure it was on a Saturday. In retrospect, I might have considered putting FRIDAY in VERY BIG LETTERS on the invitations.

    • As a person who schedules lots and lots of meetings for a living, I would recommend spelling out the day of the week AND the month on any invitation for anything.

      1) If people are used to weekend weddings, it confirms that this is NOT a misprint – potentially saving you lots of calls or incorrect assumptions.
      2) If there’s a unique font or calligraphy where similar numbers could get confused it confirms Monday March 21 not Monday March 27 because there is no Monday March 27 (at least in 2016).
      3) In an increasingly intercultural world, it removes confusion about if 3/9 means March 9 or September 3.

  3. The only weekday wedding I’ve ever attended was on a Friday. The ceremony was at 4PM and the reception was at 6PM. Since I was in college at the time it was no big deal to me to skip my last class of the day to make the ceremony. I did notice the amount of guests doubled as far as those attending the ceremony and those at the reception but I think that’s what the couple may have been going for as their church was quite small and intimate!
    I also noticed that people seemed to leave the reception sort of early and I wondered if that had anything to do with them being tired from working all day. I know that if I got invited to a Friday wedding now I would definitely take at least a half day off work so that I could grab a nap beforehand!

  4. We got married on a Thursday evening. Since the majority of our 90ish guests lived locally, and we gave a lot of notice to the out-of-towners, we really didn’t have anyone decline because it was on a weekday. We seriously had an acceptance rate in the 95% range. It probably helps that we live in a city that is a vacation destination for a lot of people anyway. But, even though I was really nervous about it, I’m super glad we did a Thursday wedding. We saved thousands of dollars on our venue and photography costs. I would just advise that you not assume a lot of people will decline. I assumed that, and then when so many guests accepted, we had to order more food. But, since we saved so much on other stuff that we could afford to do that!

    • I don’t think Friday weddings are bad. I got married on a Friday and so did one of my friends (her guest list was about 99% local people). My cousin and his wife did not make it. I got married in Jacksonville, FL and they live in Atlanta. So it was not like they could have not driven down after work Thursday and left Saturday. I think Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursdays are the worse as far as out of towners (meaning not someone who lives 5 hrs away who can drive after work on a Tuesday for a Wednesday wedding and be back at work by Friday. Meaning you are getting married in FL and your sister/brother/other important family members live in Ca). Now instead of taking one day off for a Saturday or Sunday wedding, they have to take three days off. So that would be the only downfall for a midweek wedding if people expect their siblings, etc to show up.

  5. I wish we could do this but a lot of our guests work in medicine or teaching and taking a weekday off is not an option no matter how much they would like to. I can’t take weekdays off and would hate for someone to think that I’m not going to their wedding because I don’t want to. It just wouldn’t be possible for me.

  6. Opinions?:
    40-50 guests. Every single one of them (aside from my brother who doesn’t mind flying out) lives in the same city we live in. “Travel time” for all guests is a 20 min. drive to the venue. For this same reason, we’re not blocking out any hotels.

    I’m kind of in love with the idea of getting married on our anniversary but that would be a Monday in January (which also means, I’m assuming, we’d be saving loads of cash: weekday AND off season). Would people really flip out? We plan on getting everyone drunk so I guess at worst, I’m asking for 1.5 – 2 days off work for most (hangovers calculated).

    Terrible idea? Or okay considering the circumstances? (NO OOT guests)

    • If people are ticked off about it, they don’t have to go. but in my experience, people won’t get mad if they’re worth inviting. I’ve gone to weekday weddings, they haven’t been the most convenient, but convenience isn’t the determining factor of celebrating a wedding. Ive gone to weekday weddings as an OOT guest (hey, lower travel fares!). I had a weekday wedding myself.

      I would presume most people wouldn’t drink much if they have day jobs or school the next day, so in not sure about your plans about getting everyone drunk. But you’ll save on alcohol probably!

  7. I am planning to host a mid-week wedding and reception. We had initially planned for a mid-week civil ceremony for a small group and a reception/party on the following Saturday, but a family reunion planned for that same weekend and failure to notify the groom until after bride’s family had booked their travel means that we are having it all on a Wednesday. Plus: we can walk down the aisle and stand up in front of everyone we love who can come. Minus: we expect that some won’t be able to make it. But I’ve attended a couple of lovely mid-week or weekday weddings of friends who chose the date because of really small budgets and/or venue availability, and never blinked an eye about having to take a day off work. I already expect some people will grumble, but the people I really care about have already said that they are happy to attend our wedding no matter when we have it.

  8. We’re debating two dates – a Tuesday in August (the wedding anniversary for my paternal grandparents, both of whom are deceased and I was very close to) or Friday, Nov 13th since we can’t do Halloween (I wanted Halloween, but my fiance and his ex-wife are rocky and neither of us want the additional drama that seems to always come around planning things with his daughter ‘off-schedule,’ whom we want to include). Everyone except one couple from our guest list (of only 30) is from out of state, so the Tuesday would mean 3 days off work for most, and the Friday would mean 2, but the Friday is also closer to possible holiday travel. I’m not sure where people come down on the two dates…would it be weird to ask guests first???

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