Why You Should Have a Morning Wedding

We had no intention of having a morning wedding. David and I define a good party by how much we get to dance (and drink) and I’d always figured that you get to dance and drink more at night. Done. Or, not really done, actually. When we first looked at our venue, we had one of those moments of revelation. I walked in and I turned to David (who wasn’t even inside the venue yet, poor thing) and said, “This place is for me. This is our place. We’re getting married here.” And when you know, you know. The thing is, our venue happens to be one of the most beautiful in the bay area, and staggeringly affordable (ONLY for the bay area) since it’s run by Parks and Rec. So, it books up a year and a half in advance. And even though we booked it a year and a half in advance, Saturday evenings were already gone. So, Sunday morning it was. Good for religious reasons,* but I was dubious.

Fast forward a year and a half, and I won’t have done it any other way. Here is the scoop:


  • People always talk about how much money you will save having a Sunday morning wedding. Maybe. But we didn’t. First of all, we didn’t have a ton of vendors, and, um, the flower mart and ipod did not give us a discount for getting married on Sunday. Our amazing photographers flew in from Seattle for the weekend to shoot our wedding, so no discount (other than the fact that they totally undercharged us for their talent). Second, we had a Jewish wedding. Jewish weddings are almost always on Sundays. Our caterer was Jewish, and she could have booked 10 weddings that day. No discount. (Note to vendors: if you’re complaining that you can’t book Sundays, you need to be advertising in Jewish publications or hanging out with more Jews.)
  • You have to get up EARLY. I’m not going to lie to you. We were up at 6. I wake up at 5 on most mornings, so I joked that I got to sleep in, but yeah. Early.
  • You’re pre-wedding morning will be rushed, there is no way around that. The good thing about that is that a lot of the things you have to do pre-wedding are not that fun… like say, taking group pictures. So you have an excuse to rush through them. Excellent.


  • The light, the light, the light. If you’re getting married in a beautiful place, or outdoors, the morning light is unbeatable, and you’ll be able to see your surroundings for the whole party. We had sweeping mountains behind us, and trees around us, and it would have been a shame to waste that on the night.
  • You know how people say, “Oh, but no one will dance and drink at a morning wedding”? This is a lie. If you dance and drink, everyone else will dance and drink too. (though David pointed out if that IS true for you, you’ll save money on drinks. Excellent.)
  • Afterwards. The strange thing is that when people voice concern about morning weddings, they normally ask you, “Well, what did you do afterwards?” Here is the scoop. Afterwards is *the best part.* We drove away from our venue, waving like crazy, at 2:45 pm. You know what we did? We went back to the hotel room we’d splurged on. We lounged around. We talked about the wedding. We giggled. We looked at our wedding rings. We blissed out. We went shopping at a used bookstore and bought books for our honeymoon flight. We went out to a really nice dinner, and I wore my wedding hair flower. We drank mojitos. We went to sleep. We woke up not-hung over. The after-the-wedding is the best part of getting married in the morning. Think about it this way: you’re marring your partner because you like spending time with them. Morning weddings give you lots of time to hang out together, married, on your wedding day. And then you wake up sober and happy. What could feel better than that?

So, are morning weddings better than evening weddings? No. Evening weddings are fantastic too. But morning weddings are the unsung heroes of the wedding world. People tell you they are only worth it for the discounts, and I’m telling you that we got no discounts and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Picture: The mimosa bar at our wedding, which I never saw. Shot by our talented friend Gabby on expired Polaroid film. Nice.

*Jewish weddings traditionally take place late on Saturday night or on Sunday. In Judaism you are not supposed to mix blessings, because when blessings are mixed you enjoy them less. So since Shabbat is a blessing and a wedding is a blessing, weddings are not supposed to take place on Shabbat (Friday sundown – Saturday sundown). This sounds silly, but the day of rest mandated before your wedding day, actually is a enormous blessing.

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  • Rhiannon

    Thank you for this post – I am planning a morning-midday wedding for this coming spring – and thank you for continuing to blog!

    I love looking back through your archived posts.

  • SO timely, Meg! I'm getting married this Saturday morning, and I heard all of the "cons" you listed. It gives me even more confidence hearing about how great it went for you…and it was a good reminder to lead by example when it comes to my drinking and dancing! :o)

    One other "pro" that was a HUGE draw for me…in the morning, you get to eat BRUNCH! Quiche and mimosas? Sign me up! Everyone keeps telling me to remember to eat; that the bride never gets to eat, but I seriously can not imagine any situation in which I would not eat a cinnamon coffee cake.

    Yay for morning weddings!

  • tql

    Thanks for this. I've been considering a morning wedding, but am still stuck on what our GuESTS will do the rest of the day. Most are travelling in and I feel like I should have something for them to do.

  • I was going to say the same thing as Emily — that the other major advantage of a morning wedding is BRUNCH! Brunch is awesome. And a mimosa bar sounds (and looks) like the coolest thing ever.

    tql, I wouldn't worry too much about what your guests will do post-wedding. If you have an evening wedding, they'll have to think of something to do before the festivities start, so morning vs. evening isn't that different in terms of guest down time. They'll figure out something to keep themselves occupied! :-) And you can always put together a list of good stuff to see in the area if you want.

  • Anonymous

    When I read about weddings in old books, or even in the early part of the last century, it seems like morning weddings were the norm.

    Think Jacqueline Kennedy. That was a morning wedding.

  • Meg

    here is what everyone forgets – your guests are adults, they don't need help figuring out what to do, in fact, they probably don't even *want* help. They'll nap, or go to a movie, or go out to dinner. You don't owe them 12 hours of entertainment. Most of our guests just flew home afterwards, honestly.

    Ahhh, I didn't mention brunch because we had *lunch,* which was also totally delicious. We did have a juice bar and mimosas at cocktail hour though. Allegidly. You plan this stuff not realizing you won't even notice it. Your head is just not in that place.


  • Everyone has an opinion, no matter what you do. Here's our story:

    When we planned our late afternoon/evening wedding, my parents were like, "We can't have dinner too late, the old folks won't be able to eat!" Other folks were like, "A Sunday evening wedding. We can't get hammered because we have to work the next day" but that didn't stop them from hitting up the bar when they discovered the entire thing was top shelf.

    It was also the night of the NFL championship game and our hometown (Baltimore) was in it. Plus, it was Obama inauguration weekend so trains were delayed, people had issues traveling, hotels were jammed. My husband (who works in production lighting) was SLAMMED with work all week leading up to our wedding and ended up sick because he wore himself down. Whatever, sh*t happens. You just do it.

    Since I didn't get a brunch wedding (which I originally wanted but was at arms with several people about it), I got up early and made Sunday brunch for ten people. It relaxed me and I got to spend time with my friends before it was time for me to get married. That was one of the best parts of the day for me. I had time to do something I loved and share that with other people. It grounded me.

    As far as the dancing thing, people will follow the lead of the bride and groom. I've been to plenty a night wedding where folks didn't dance because the bride and groom weren't out there leading the way. My husband and I had a seriously shiny checkerboard dance floor and made a point to boogie all night long and our dance floor was PACKED. I wish we'd gone with a bigger floor but people made do dancing between tables, on chairs, by the coffee station, no one cared. We just got down. Even my dad danced and he is so totally NOT a guy to get out there and shake his booty.

    Sure, we went to bed that night completely spent but woke up the next morning MARRIED! And it was snowing! We opened presents and the cats jumped from box to box and wrestled tissue paper. We went to our favorite diner for breakfast and watched bus loads of Obama supporters coming in for breakfast telling them "New president! Yeah, and we got married yesterday!" High fives and cheers all around. What incredible energy. We went out to our friends' farm and had coffee with them just to mellow out a little bit. We packed for our honeymoon. We made dinner at home that night. We snuggled. We simply enjoyed being together.

    You just do what's right for you. That's all there is to it. If you are one with your wedding, people will sense that and have a grand time.

    It's all about the love.

  • Liz

    Cheers to daytime weddings!

    My husband and I had an early afternoon wedding (2pm). It made for a slightly less hectic morning, and we saved on catering since we didn't have to serve a full dinner. We also felt 2pm was too early to serve liquor, so we saved by only having beer and wine. No one seemed to mind.

    The best part came in the evening. After we packed up the venue and changed out of our wedding finery, we met up with all of our younger friends and family and went out for a night of pizza and drinks. This gave us an opportunity to spend some quality time with the people that traveled the farthest to be with us on our day. Meg — I wore my hair flower when we went out too!

    TQL — I recommend you do something similar. Schedule a bit of break time immediately after the reception, and then arrange to meet everyone for a planned activity, ie dinner, softball game, night out on the town, sightseeing etc.

  • I love, love, love the idea of having the rest of the day to just chill out as a newlywed. Thankfully we got that the next morning. Great list though.

    People warned us a Sunday evening wedding wouldn't work, but all it meant was that the old folks left earlier (and by early, I mean 11:30pm or so). We had so many out of towners that lots of folks weren't working the next day anyway and the party went until 2am.

    Here's to unconvential wedding times; it's funny, when we started planning it seemed like the. end. of. the. world. to not do a Saturday night. It really stressed us out. Bah. It worked out fine!

  • Anonymous

    How did the I-Pod work for you?

    I keep hearing pros and cons in the I-Pod vs. DJ debate.

    Also any advice on making it work would be appreciated.

  • Thank you Meg. We just figured out the whole Jewish Sunday Wedding thing and were trying to manage our disappointment. This helps us get beyond managing into the beginnings of excitement.

  • We loved our Saturday morning wedding! Another pro is that you have more time to spend with people. With an evening wedding, as soon as dinner's over, the older crowd starts to get tired and leave. But not so when the party ends at 3pm.

    We took advantage of the time after the wedding to have an after-party. We rented out the upstairs of a favorite pub and invited everyone to continue celebrating with us. I felt like it gave us a lot more quality time with people and things didn't seem so rushed.

    • Amy


      That’s exactly what my beau and I have been talking about doing! Morning ceremony, brunch, have a little bit of chill out time, then invite people for further celebration. Almost anywhere we get married, the majority of my guests would be traveling and I want to spend a lot of time with them. A morning wedding with further festivities that evening just seems like a good idea to me, especially since most of my half of the guests wouldn’t be drinking regardless of what kind of bar I offer.

  • Meg

    We'll cover the ipod soon, it rocked.

    Also: I know everyone is saying afterparty, and whatever, rock it if you want it OBVIOUSLY. But I can't say enough good things about NOT afterparting, and those are the good things you hear less of. Our friends (who didn't know each other prior to the wedding) apparently partied all night. In a sense it might have been nice to party with them, but just spending time together? Married? Soooo much better.

    So. What I mean is – think about giving yourself some space afterwards. You can always throw together a last minute afterparty if you are feeling it :) My two cents.


  • As I said in my email to you, thanks so much for this post, Meg; it's so helpful!!

  • I've never been to a morning wedding, but I would love it if one of my friendlies planned one.

    There's no way on earth it would have worked for us because we're both serious sleeper-inners.

    I specifically told everyone involved in our wedding that I was not to be disturbed until 10am, and I wasn't. I was able to sleep in and then leisurely ease into the day. Knowing that we had until 4pm for it to all come together went a long way in ensuring that we stayed relaxed and centered.

    Your point about having the rest of the day to spend with your betrothed is an excellent one. But I also see it from the other side of the coin: you have the rest of your life to spend with your new husband or wife, but how often are you able to get all of your loved ones in one place, at one time? Not very. For that reason, it was really important to us that we spend as much time with them as possible – hence the after-party.

  • We're totally doing the daytime wedding thing, and it IS a money saver for us. We had a hard time finding a venue that was "us" and not cookie-cutter but also affordable. We picked this adorable French restaurant that has the cutest bohemian decor. If we wanted to have our wedding on a Saturday night, we'd have to meet a $10,000 food and bar minimum. By having it on Saturday afternoon (noon to 5 p.m.), we only have to meet a $3,500 minimum. We're going well over that, but no where near 10k, so we'll be saving a few thousand dollars. Or really, having it in the day was really the only way we could do it, period, because we can't afford it at 10k.

    Also, what you said about the "after" time is true for the guests too! Both my sister and my fiance's brother had daytime weddings, and after the bride and groom departed, the guests kept the party going, either at someone's house or at the hotel bar. And we had a blast, both times!

  • I really wanted a morning brunch wedding…but I am so so so not a morning person and realized I'd be half asleep through everything, which just wouldn't be good.

    The whole discounts for non-Sat evening weddings really depends on the type of wedding your having. Many of my friends have gotten married on Fri or Sun and I got married on a Mon! and none of us received discounts for it. Likely because many of us didn't deal much with the WIC-type vendors.

    We also did the Ipod (or really laptop) wedding and it was really easy and went wonderfully. We had people commenting to us all evening how great the music was.

  • Great post, I agree with you fully. I've always been much more of a morning person. We couldn't really have a morning wedding, because it was two hours away from home, but we had an early afternoon one, which was perfect for us (and good lighting, too). In real life, I'll choose a fantastic brunch over a late-night party any day.

    Yes, the after is the best part, isn't? I would have been so zombie-like to stay awake until 3 AM, I never do that, it's not me. Instead, we rode off in the daylight, calm, full of positive energy, not inebriated, feeling UTTER BLISS.

    Everyone should do what feels best to them, and I think for most people it's a night party. But yeah, daytime weddings = unsung heroes.

  • that sounds lovely. i love brunch and mimosas, but the getting up early part? not so much.
    i hear you on the light part. morning light is incredibly beautiful and ethereal.

  • We had our wedding at sunrise on the beach in North Myrtle Beach, SC in June. Our guests didn't really complain (that much), and we had the beach pretty much to ourselves (the expection being the trash truck that drove by during a song, but we all laughed about that). After the ceremony, we just walked back up to the beach house for mimosas, brunch, and beach tunes on the ipod.

    The rest of the day people went to the beach, some took their kids to the aquarium, my sister went to the botanical gardens she had been dying to see, and everyone left the beach house for my hubby and me to be alone.

    The lovely thing about the morning wedding for us was that we brought everyone back together in the evening for more food, toasts, and the best cake ever. We tried to get people dancing, but the beach house was a little small for that. Instead, we opted for a moonlit romp on the beach. Plus, I got to wear my dress all day long. It was the best day of my life.

  • oh wow. A sunrise wedding? That's a whole other level! I'm sure it was beautiful, but I'm also sure I'd have an incredibly difficult time getting out of bed for that – even if it were my own!

  • Meg

    "but how often are you able to get all of your loved ones in one place, at one time? Not very. For that reason, it was really important to us that we spend as much time with them as possible – hence the after-party."

    Ahhhhh, you forget, we had a *Sunday* wedding. With a Sunday wedding you give your self room for after-wedding-bliss. We saw our family and friends on Friday night (Aufruf), Saturday morning (flower aranging), Saturday afternoon (enormous picnic) and Sunday morning (wedding). By the end, we were ready for time alone, and frankly I'm sure our guests were too.

    But more to the point, by the time the wedding came around, we'd already caught up with everyone, so we could just PARTY.

    NOT that anyone has to do it my way, but hey, I'm playing devils advocate, because it's the point of view you hear less. (And I'm sort of a devils advocate kind of girl.)

  • Anonymous

    Meg, after a whole weekend of "my peeps", it would be high time to be alone!

  • LOVE the spending the day with your sweeetie part.


  • Betty

    we have this weird thing here in hawaii and i don't know if it happens anywhere else but it's weird to me. i've been to weddings ceremonies in the morning, and then go back to a reception several hours later.

    i guess it's so the bride and groom can get pictures in or rest etc. have you heard of this?

    i don't know, i just wanted to get right to the celebrating, i wouldn't want hours and hours of lag time waiting for the big party.

  • Anonymous

    I hear you about wanting to SEE a beautiful venue in the daylight.

    I am a serious night owl, but would at least start my wedding at 6:00 p.m. so that I still had plenty of daylight gradually turning into night.

    Where I live is a scenic wonderland and I'd want to take advantage of that.

  • I would be curious to see a morning wedding… I must say that's not done in France (well, except in some parts of France where the wedding begins in the morning but finishes late at night…). When you book a venue, you book it for the day or even the week end.

    We had a classical saturday evening wedding, and the venue for the week end (starting from noon on friday when we came to do the decorating), which lasted from 3 p.m (ceremony but we did our pics before) to 5 a.m (and the saturday morning was well occupied, hairdresser, make up, church decoration), and then a brunch with our families and close friends. Great.

  • Hi! I only started reading this blog a couple of weeks ago but, as many others before me, I absolutely love it. I, too, am planning a morning wedding and was wondering how your schedule went the morning of. I know it's vital to spend time on what's important to you, but it'd be nice to see what a brilliant bride has done before!

  • Meg

    Kayla –
    Ours went something like this:

    6am, wake up, take a walk, putter
    6:30am, breakfast
    7am, Friends arrive at hotel room to get ready, I start hair and makeup with a friend
    7:15, photographers arrive, hang out with us, take pictures
    8:30, rush out of hotel room. Take some pictures of just the two of us at various points on the way to the venue. Quickly.
    9:15ish – start group and family pictures. Blergh.
    9:45ish – Ketubah signing
    10:15ish – (Jewish) Confessional with the two of us and our Rabbi
    10:30ish – line up
    10:35ish – walk down the asile

    Helpful? Very Jewish activity heavy, but you'll do it differently. You'll notice we flew through family and formal pictures, and other people might not.

  • Anonymous


    I've read about French weddings and there are some amazing differences compared to American weddings.

    The French wedding celebration goes on for HOURS I understand, well into the morning. And some people are invited to dinner while some are only invited for dessert if they are just acquaintances?

    Also hear they wake the couple up in the wee hours and make them eat something disgusting looking.


  • Anonymous

    Oh, and in France the wedding party/guests entertain the bride and groom with songs and skits . . . or so I've read.

  • Meg

    I will warn you – that may be a little long for a daytime wedding, if our experance was any example. We started at 10:30, and ended by 2:45, and at that point 75% of the geusts were already gone. Most people left between say 1:30-2:15.

    I think that sounds bad and scary, but I'm not sure it actually was. I wished more people were around for the send off, for sure, but the time stretched on forever… I couldn't have kept standing another hour.

    So your experance may be totally diffrent, but I'm throwing that out there. People will give a daytime wedding about half of the day, I think.

    It will, however, be fantastic. And f*ck those other brides. The don't know what they are missing.


  • Meg

    And seriously lady, a daytime wedding is NOT A COMPROMISE. It's awesome. It had great things that a night wedding doesn't (and vice versa.) Your joy will not be less.

  • Sarah

    I'm also having a daytime wedding – it's a Saturday in June, and the invite is for 11 am and the reception ends at 5 pm. I really would have liked it to start more at like 2 pm or 3 pm.. that seems to me for some reason like when weddings "should" start, but alas this was way too cost prohibitive at the area/places we were looking at. on a local area wedding board, i got a lot of flack from night-wedding brides at the same venue, like "oohhh, i didn't even know that they did daytime weddings" and all this crud that made me kind of start doubting the whole thing. but you know what, in the end, we get to have our fairytale wedding at a place that we LOVE, as opposed to having an evening wedding at a place that we just think is "okay". so i guess, when you think of it that way, time of day is all relative in the long run.

    we're not sure yet what we're doing afterwards. i think we want to spend time w/ our guests that we don't get to see a lot (which is pretty much everyone, since we're having our wedding out-of-town, and everyone who will be there, either lives there and we don't see a lot because of that, or will be traveling from elsewhere across the country!) and, we'll probably be exhausted from the festivities and having to get up early to get ready!

  • Cate Subrosa

    I'm so glad you wrote this one, Meg. I wondered how the morning thing worked out for you and what you did afterwards. Glad it went so well, it sounded like a blissful afternoon :)

  • eri

    I agree! We had a morning wedding in Glacier Nat'l Park. My amateur-photographer husband and I went to take pictures of the mountains and the lake at sunrise, and had a relaxing breakfast with families. And after the wedding and lunch, we changed and went hiking with all our guests (15 people). Hiking is our favorite activity and we're so glad we got to do it on our wedding day with our families :)

  • Meg,

    Just found this post searching through weddingbee et al for info on daytime weddings. We’re having a morning/early afternoon wedding due to the fact that our church of choice had another wedding at 3pm so that meant that we had to take the morning slot. At first I was disappointed and was like ‘this is so early’ but as time has gone on, I am starting to love the idea of a daytime wedding more and more.

    There are so many pros and cons like you said but one of the great things is that it allows your guests the freedom to do other things that day. You and your new hubby too can spend some alone time together without being totally knackered and in our case, everyone can get home to watch the England World Cup game! Thumbs up all round!

    Really helpful post. Thanks

  • Cota

    Hi, Meg–glad to find a site about morning weddings! What was your menu? And, most of all, did you (or any of you who have done a morning wedding) have a wedding cake? I thought of having a brunch, but does a wedding cake go with this?

  • Kerry

    I seriously do NOT understand people having a SUCH hard time showing up to a morning wedding. Really?! Don’t you people work during the week? Don’t you ever wake up early to go to church? What about some other special circumstance (going to an early doctor’s appointment or the DMV to get a good spot in line)? But OH JEEZ, my loved one is getting married, gosh, that is such a burden to wake up early for….

  • Shayleah

    I’m planning a morning wedding for this coming August, and I haven’t found much for helping with planning, thank you SO MUCH!!! My biggest problem is that it’s going to be in a venue that’s indoors; without a whole lot of light. I’m from up north (think Canada) and weather is unpredictible twelve months of the year. Throw the ultimate in geeks for a husband-to-be, and well, it’s just easier to keep him inside, fed and watered. What I’ve been thinking of doing is simply bringing in as many lamps and lights as possible (I’m not a fan of the industrial lighting that’s in the building). What do you think? I’d love some feedback.

  • Love this!
    We’re having a morning wedding and with a dose of Wedding Zen on our side, it will be perfect *for US*.
    We’re simple, casual people, with a humble wedding budget. As you mentioned, $$ savings…maybe a little, but the other benefits are what make it perfect for us.
    We LOVE breakfast foods. So, being able to have a fun brunch menu and eat french toast and bacon at my wedding reception, well…yes please!
    My family doesn’t do a lot of drinking (be it because of religious beliefs or recovering alcoholic status), but his family does, and so do our friends, and well, so do we. So by having a morning reception we can skip the alcohol in respect to my family and it won’t seem too weird that we aren’t having bar options at 11am.
    We don’t dance. We’re just not the night-club, party into the wee hours and dance the night away type. We’ll definitely have a “first dance”, “groom and his momma dance”, “longest married couple dance” and a few other traditionals, but in the end, we hope that the absence of a dance party reception will be more acceptable by having it in the A.M.
    AND…perhaps best of all, as you said, the “after”. We’re big hockey fans and plan to go to a hockey game (yeah, in my wedding dress…can you say Jumbotron?) and then out to a local bar we love before taking the rest of the evening to savor our first hours as man and wife in the serenity and comfort that can only be offered by a private hotel room.
    And that’s why morning weddings are perfect *for us*!

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  • Karen

    I booked my church for the morning (non-specific time as of yet) because I had planned on doing a brunch/lunch reception. But I am worried that many venues won’t be into doing a daytime party, or that they’ll rush us out to get ready for the evening wedding…and I am worried about the dancing issue. My fella and I LOVE to dance (and there’s something extra fun about dancing at weddings) and I’m worried about the dancing in the daylight/what do we do afterwards things. Is it silly to show up at our favorite bar at 4 p.m. ready to hang out for the night in my wedding dress??

  • Liz

    Thank you so much for this post! We’re about to book an afternoon wedding, and it seems like evenings are the norm so just needed a little support!

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  • Susana

    Hey Meg! This completely quiets my fears over a morning wedding! I am so much more of a breakfast food person anyway :)
    I am curious about your venue-which did you choose?

  • Jy Li

    It is to hard to choose day or evening wedding. Chinese wedding start from 6:00am till midnight, i know exauhsting day, but at least you get both the day and night and lots lots of pictures!

  • Guest

    Cake goes with everything.

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