From This Day Forward
Evening weddings may be traditional, but an increasing number of couples are tying the knot with the sun still shining overhead.
And it’s easy to see why; not only does a daytime wedding allow you to celebrate for longer, but it also tends to be less expensive. “A big advantage of a daytime wedding is it's budget-friendly. Venue rental fees will often be less for a daytime event, and rather than providing a costly multi-course dinner to guests, you can serve a light lunch or just hors d'oeuvres,” says Camille McLamb, lead wedding coordinator for Camille Victoria Weddings LLC in Chicago.
A daytime event also means you don’t have to race to take photos before the sun sets. This is especially beneficial if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, as it allows your photographer more time to use the natural light and more time for your guests to enjoy the scenery.
Of course, there are some potential downsides to hosting a wedding during daylight hours. “One is you have less time to get ready or have to wake up pretty early,” explains Cindy Sanchez Lark, owner and event planner for Detaille Weddings and Events in Connecticut.
She also advises couples to account for warmer temperatures and sunshine if they’re holding their daytime wedding outdoors during the spring or summer. Be sure to plan ahead to keep guests comfortable with handheld fans, cool refreshments and even complimentary sunscreen or sunglasses.
If you’re looking for a more chill and casual event, a daytime wedding is definitely the way to go. Just don’t expect your guests to be ready to fill a dance floor, says McLamb. “Daytime wedding receptions don't have the same party vibe as an evening affair.
Daytime events are calmer and tend to be more about mingling rather than dancing up a storm.”
That doesn’t mean your wedding should lack entertainment. “While you may not need a DJ or full band for the more relaxed daytime wedding, including some music, from a string quartet or jazz trio, can still create a nice ambiance for the event,” recommends McLamb. You may also consider setting up lawn games, such as corn hole, ring toss or giant Jenga, to keep things light and fun.
One area you don’t have to skimp, though, is the food. “To me, the quality and quantity of food and beverage should be the same for a daytime and evening wedding. Guests often time look forward to the food at weddings and you don't want to disappoint,” advises Sanchez Lark.
As for drinks, you can plan on allotting less of your budget towards alcohol. “While you can opt to stick with a full open bar, guests will usually drink less for a daytime event. So, it's entirely appropriate to do a scaled down bar of beer, wine, and a signature drink.” Or, you can simply serve a few different non-alcohol beverages or even a selection of mock-tails.