Cost Savings, Uniqueness Make Weekday Weddings Worth a Look
May 31, 2019 11:47AM
By Vanessa Orr
Lingrow Farm, photo courtesy of Solasta Photography
There’s no doubt that Saturday is the most popular day for weddings; according to The Knot 2017 Real Wedding Study, seven out of 10 nuptials take place on this day. Yet some couples—looking to save money or to set themselves apart—are opting to get hitched on a weekday.
Why a Weekday?
According to Jessica Wasson, senior wedding coordinator and manager at Lingrow Farm in Leechburg, the wedding venue is definitely seeing an increase in Friday weddings. “Sometimes couples choose it because a Saturday date isn’t available, or some people just prefer it,” she explained.
A weekday wedding has a number of advantages, most especially, the price. “The rates are definitely better; couples can save about $2,200 if they hold their wedding on Friday instead of Saturday,” said Wasson. “An added benefit is that they always know when the rehearsal will be; they can have it on Thursday in the late afternoon or early evening and decorate that night. Because they can come in a day early, they are not crushed for time.”
“Another good thing, at least from the guests’ perspectives, is that it doesn’t take up their entire weekend,” she continued. “You can take a half-day or a day off work, enjoy the wedding, and then have the rest of the weekend free.”
Julie Hutto, event manager at Terrace at Hyatt House South Side, agrees that there are big savings to be had when considering a weekday wedding.
“While we still consider Friday to be part of the weekend, we do offer different pricing,” she said. “A Saturday ceremony and reception costs $5,500; the same event on Friday or Sunday is $1,000 less. A wedding on any other day of the week would cost $2,500.”
In addition to saving money on the ceremony and reception itself, many vendors who are swamped on weekends may offer a lower rate on Fridays or other weekdays as well.
Things to Consider
Depending on the venue, a weekday wedding may be difficult to pull off. While some hotels and banquet halls are fully staffed every day, others bring in outside vendors who may not be available during the week.
“We did have one person ask us about a Wednesday wedding, but a number of our wedding staff have other jobs during the week, so while they were welcome to use our gazebo, they would have needed to hold their reception elsewhere,” said Wasson, adding that while there hasn’t been much call for it yet, the venue is more than willing to work with couples who want to get married during the week.
“A bride who really has her heart set on a certain DJ might need to consider that he or she could have another job and only be available on weekends, so they need to keep that in mind,” she continued.
She added that a weekday wedding, including those held on Friday, can also be difficult if there are out-of-town guests. “Some people can’t do Friday weddings, especially if they are traveling in from out of town because they need that as a travel day,” Wasson said. “Though if they really want to come, they will find a way to do it!”
She noted that the venue has not seen a drop in attendance between weddings held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Hutto agreed. “We offer discounted rates on room blocks for guests who can stay here while attending a wedding, but most out-of-towners simply can’t take off that much time during the week,” she said.
On the plus side, guests who can travel on weekdays may find fare savings, as airline ticket prices tend to be higher on weekends. Couples may also find that it’s easier to book a wedding venue in a shorter time span.
“There is a lot more availability; if someone wants to get married a month from now, we could probably accommodate them,” said Hutto.
Traffic during the week can also be an issue, so Lingrow Farm typically begins Friday weddings between 3 and 4:30 p.m. “Make sure you are aware of traffic patterns no matter where the venue is and where your guests are coming from,” she warned. “If they aren’t prepared for rush hour in downtown Pittsburgh and are headed to a wedding near the city, they could end up sitting in traffic for an hour.”
According to Emily D’Amico, wedding planner for the Gateway Clipper Fleet, while weekday weddings are uncommon, they are not difficult to do.
“It’s very rare to have weekday weddings; so far in 2019 we have had two Thursday weddings,” she explained. “One couple wanted to make it a long weekend for out-of-town guests so that they could come in, go to the wedding, and then do activities in the city for the rest of the weekend. Another couple had already gotten married in Peru, then had a second ceremony on one of our vessels.”
The Gateway Clipper does offer a discount for Friday and Sunday weddings, and it also offers off-season discounts. “You can get married on the boat in the winter, and we offer the choice of inside or outside decks,” said D’Amico. “About 99 percent of couples choose outside decks for the ceremony; they don’t care how cold it is—they want those once-in-a-lifetime pictures.”
Because the fleet’s staff is on call, staffing a weekday wedding isn’t a problem. “We provide a full-service venue, though couples can use outside vendors like florists if they want to. Otherwise, we do everything for them,” said D’Amico. “We have a huge checklist, so we take the hassle out of planning.”
The fleet offers a couple of different packages that include having the ceremony and reception on board.
“Once we have all guests on board, we cruise to Point State Park and have the city and fountain in the background during the ceremony, and then sail up and down all three rivers for the reception,” said D’Amico. “We end on the Ohio River at dark, so that the wedding party has the entire city skyline behind them; it makes for great photos."
Gateway Clipper weddings typically start around 4 or 5 p.m. to coordinate with the time of year and the sunset, and they can also be tailored to specific city landmarks.
“We’re the only place in Pittsburgh that gives you a 360-degree view of the city,” said Suzanne Krug, director of marketing, Gateway Clipper. “You can start at Station Square and get married in front of the Point, or if you’re a Steelers’ or Pirates’ fan, you can have Heinz Field or PNC Park in the background.
“We pride ourselves on offering the most unique wedding location,” she added. “We gear it toward what is special to the couple.”
Making a wedding stand out is one reason that couples may opt out of the traditional Saturday ceremony.
“A weekday wedding is extra special and different,” said Wasson, noting that her parents got married on a Friday in a Catholic Church 37 years ago. “Interest has definitely been growing. Maybe it’s coming back around.”
“It’s something different and definitely unique,” agreed Hutto. “Even if the space is the same, it just has a different effect. You rarely hear someone saying, ‘Oh yes, I got married on a Wednesday.’”