Everything You Need to Know About Having a Midweek Wedding
It’s official: Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux tied the knot last week, surprising friends and family with a midweek wedding hidden under the guise of a birthday party for Mr. Aniston. Other celebs who tied the knot on a weekday include Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Julia Roberts. This begs the question: Should you have a midweek wedding? Will you save a ton of money? Does it make sense? Here are the nine pros and cons of a midweek wedding.
1. Your venue’s site fee will be significantly lower. Interested in that killer castle or wonderful winery? If they charge $10,000 on a Saturday, you might be able to get it for $5,000 on a Wednesday. Venues that don’t have a ton of midweek business will likely give you a break on the pricing Monday through Thursday.
2. Save on room rates at a hotel. You’ll likely encounter hotel rooms that are much less expensive than what they might be on a Friday or Saturday night, especially for hotels in a resort area or holiday destinations. However, if you’re looking at an urban area like New York or any city that gets a lot of convention or business travelers, this may not be the case.
3. You’ll definitely have a lower food and beverage minimum. Wedding venues that have an in-house caterer will likely have lower minimums to meet for a midweek wedding. This can definitely work in your favor because lower minimums mean you won’t have to spend extra dollars on upgrades to meet a high food or beverage minimum (especially if you have 100 guests vs. 200 guests). That said, you still will be paying for food, beverages, gratuity and tax. But while the actual price per person might be the same, they may only require you hit a $15,000 minimum versus the usual $25,000 minimum.
4. Possibly score deals on photography, beauty and music. If your vendors generally only work weddings and don’t have a core corporate business, you may find they’re willing to give you a small price break for a midweek wedding, but you need to make it worth their while. For example, if your hair/makeup artists normally work in a salon, they’ll need to ensure what you’re booking them for what is equivalent to a busy day at the salon. Photographers may fill their weeks with corporate work, senior portraits or other event gigs. If their core business is weddings though, they might have a package for midweek gigs, or they also may be willing to do a shorter package (the standard wedding photo package is usually based on eight hours. The same goes for music too. If your DJ mainly fills his books with weekend weddings, a Wednesday night might yield a better price. Bottom line: Be respectful when approaching vendors about a discounted rate. Let them know you love their work and would like to work with them, and then ask if they have different pricing for midweek nuptials. And be realistic with your expectations, because you’re probably not going to see a 50% discount (a 10 or 20% discount is more common).
5. Expect to pay about the same for floral designers, transportation and wedding cakes. For these services, you’re talking about cost of goods (flowers) plus labor. A peony is going to cost the same on Wednesday as it does on Saturday. A floral designer might be willing to lower her minimum for a smaller midweek wedding. The same goes for wedding cakes: Their costs to produce that gorgeous cake are the same regardless of the day of the week, and chances are they’re busy throughout the week with other occasions (birthdays, showers, etc). Transportation companies (especially in urban areas) are generally busy during the week too with corporate or other gigs.
6. Think twice if you’re getting married in a big city. Before you anticipate a midweek deal, find out if there are conventions happening that week. Certain conventions can bring 10,000 or more people into a city, which means hotels are already at capacity.
7. Midweek may mean fewer guests. This could be a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. Fewer guests may be able to travel to your wedding if you’re getting married on a Wednesday. It means they’ll need to take at least a few days off from work, which may not be an option for some friends and family members. Or if you’re getting married local, some folks may decide to dip out early because they’ll likely need to be back in the office the next day. In general, flights are usually priced best when you include a Saturday stay-over, so that could be a factor too. In other words, clear your date with your nearest and dearest before booking a venue.