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
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
More tips for choosing a wedding date