As you’re planning your wedding, you may find your venue of choice is booked solid for every Saturday you picked as a potential date. You may find yourself on a long waiting list, especially if you’re looking for coveted dates at the height of wedding season. That beautiful June wedding may start to seem like it won’t happen unless you and your partner are willing to stay engaged an extra year. Sure, you could postpone the nuptials, but you also might consider having a Friday wedding instead of a Saturday one. It’s a trend that’s just taking off in the U.S., so generally Fridays are less crowded on a busy venue’s calendar. Here are some pros and cons of having a Friday wedding.
Pro: cheaper reception and wedding venue
Until Friday weddings become as popular as a traditional Saturday wedding, vendors and venues alike will frequently make deals just to pick up the extra business. You’ll have to do a little negotiating, but don’t shy away from asking for a discount. They charge extra for peak times, why shouldn’t you pay less for an off-peak time?
Con: Inconvenient for traveling guests
People who are driving or flying in for your wedding will have to take an extra day or two off work to attend. For a Saturday wedding, people can come in after work Friday, stay Saturday and fly out Sunday. Make sure that the people you absolutely must have at your wedding will be able to swing a Friday evening ceremony.
Pro: Guests still have their weekend after
A traditional wedding can take up an entire weekend, especially for the wedding party. There’s the rehearsal and dinner the night before, the entire Saturday for the wedding, and then the Sunday gift opening / nursing a hangover. With a Friday wedding, guests still have their Saturday and Sunday free. Getting to the ceremony on Friday might be a little inconvenient, but once it’s done they still have the weekend ahead of them.
Con: Folks might get stuck in traffic
Friday weddings generally start at 5 or 6 p.m., or right around rush hour. Make sure that your wedding party has peak travel time built into their schedules so no one arrives late. Be prepared for a few guests to miss the ceremony entirely, especially if it’s a rough commuting day. Everyone should be able to at least roll up for the reception, however.
Pro: Events can be right after each other
A traditional Saturday wedding, as we mentioned earlier, can take up an entire day. Most church weddings don’t hold ceremonies after 3 or 4 p.m., while the reception doesn’t start until 5 or 6. That means you could have two hours where your guests are expected to disperse and entertain themselves until the reception starts. Because Friday weddings start later, the timeline is more compact so that dead space is eliminated. That means you’ll be able to have all of your favorite wedding activities without feeling too stressed from tossing the bouquet to using wedding sparklers during your grand exit at the end of the reception.
Con: You might have trouble fitting everything in
The flip side of having a more compact ceremony and reception is that you may struggle to get everything in. The most common complaint we hear from Friday-wedding couples is that they had trouble getting their pictures taken in the condensed time between the ceremony and reception. It may be best to get most of your pictures before the ceremony, with just a few quick shots of the wedding couple together after the ceremony.
Friday weddings definitely have their appealing features, but there are also a few points to consider. If your friends are mostly local, your rush hour isn’t particularly heavy, and you’re prepared to streamline the proceedings, a Friday wedding might be the right choice for you.