Timing Is Everything: How Dates & Times Affect Wedding Costs

winter wedding off season

The term wedding season refers to the months from the late spring to the early fall when the weather is beautiful and most engaged couples choose to get married. As with any other type of season (swimsuit season, ski season, Halloween candy season…), everything is more expensive when it’s at the height of its popularity and at a discount during the off-season. Consider the basic economics concept of supply and demand: if there is a high demand for something with a limited supply, the price of this item will be much higher. This concept can be applied to the cost of your wedding – if you want to get married during the most in-demand time, the price of everything will be substantially higher than if you were to get married during a less popular time.

The Least Expensive Time Of Year To Get Married

As we mentioned previously, late spring to early fall encompasses the most popular time to get married. This means that if you are planning a wedding between May and October, you can expect vendors to charge more and to be booked quickly. February and December are also in-demand months to tie the knot thanks to Valentine’s Day and Christmas. Therefore, the cheapest months for your wedding would be January, March, April and November. During these months, vendors are typically more available and less expensive. If you’re planning on getting married indoors and the weather won’t impact your day much, then having your wedding during this off-season is a great way for you to save on your overall budget.

winter wedding off season

Photo Credit: Bridal Guide

The Cheapest Day Of The Week For Weddings

Saturday is the most popular day of the week for weddings because it is the day that most people have time to attend. Friday evening receptions require people to rush to the event after work and Sunday weddings are tough to make if people need to travel from out of town. Monday through Thursday usually aren’t considered by many couples because they think that asking their guests to take time off work to attend their wedding is too much to ask. This means that ceremony and reception venues, as well as most other vendors, will have less expensive rates on weekdays and Sundays.

Although Saturdays are the most convenient day of the week for guests to attend, you shouldn’t necessarily rule out a weekday or Sunday wedding immediately. If you are having a small wedding, your guests may be able to request the day off with enough notice. Or, if you’re having a destination wedding and you already know your guests are willing to travel, then having your ceremony on a weekday could be a huge money saver versus having it on a Saturday.

brunch wedding menu

Photo Credit: Andre Winfrye Events

If you want to keep your wedding on a weekend day, Sunday brunch celebrations are a wonderful wedding trend we love. Vendors will be less expensive,  your guests will be able to attend without having to give up their Sunday nights and you get to serve delicious brunch food and mimosas.

The Best Time Of Day To Tie The Knot

We’ve already established that Saturdays from May through October are the most popular days to get married, and as such are generally the most expensive. But what about the time of day? The traditional wedding reception includes dinner for each guest, either as a plated meal or buffet style. On top of the meal, you’ll probably also include drinks and hors d’oeuvres during a cocktail hour and alcohol for the remainder of the night. Food and beverages quickly add up to be one of the biggest expenses for weddings, and the time of day that you choose to hold your celebration can greatly reduce the total cost.

how to save money on your wedding

Photo Credit: OneWed

Breakfast and lunch are lighter meals that cost less than dinner. Guests tend to drink less during daytime gatherings, so your alcohol bill will be lower as well. Another popular wedding trend is to have an early afternoon wedding that ends with a cake and champagne reception rather than serving a full meal. Or, you could host a late afternoon wedding that is followed by a happy hour-style cocktail party, serving hors d’oeuvres, finger foods and drinks. By carefully choosing the time of day and type of reception you’ll have, you will be able to spend a fraction of the cost on your wedding.

So When Should I Get Married?

Now that you understand how dates and times can greatly affect how much things cost in your wedding, there are a few things that you should consider. For example, is staying within a certain budget your number one priority? If so, then choosing an off-peak date and time would be a great option for you. If you have some flexibility with your budget, then you can shop around with vendors to see how much their rates vary from date to date.

Your guest list should also be considered when planning an off-peak wedding. If your guest list is rather small and consists of people that would be willing and able to take time off work to come celebrate your love, then a weekday wedding might work well. If you have a large guest list, or have many people attending from out of town, then you may want to stick to a Saturday wedding for convenience. However, opting for a morning or early afternoon event would be a great way to cut costs.

cheapest time to get married

Photo Credit: Byrnes Agency

Remember that although certain times and dates are off-season for weddings, reception sites such as hotels may be busy during the week due to conventions and trade shows. Check with your vendors to see if your wedding will be competing with business travelers; if so, rates won’t be as low as you’re expecting. You’ll also want to choose flowers that are in season for the date you’ve selected. Wedding flowers that are currently in season will be far more affordable than those that are not in season. There are many different factors to consider when choosing your wedding date. While budget and convenience are huge, you shouldn’t sacrifice too much in order to make your dream wedding come true. Find a happy balance between budget, timing, convenience and availability for all your vendors and guests and you’ll be set to marry on the perfect day.

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