A great way to save money on your wedding is to choose a less-conventional time for your celebration. A delicious brunch with a few mimosas or bloodies will usually be much more affordable than a plated dinner, with cocktail hour and a night of dancing on either end of the meal. But if you're having a wedding in the late morning or early afternoon, do you have to schedule activities to fill the rest of your day, or is your wedding enough? Here's what our experts have to say.
Especially if guests are traveling to come to your wedding, you might feel obligated to give them something to do all day. After all, they're taking the time out of their schedules to be with you! If you're having a morning ceremony, followed by a brunch reception, or having guests arrive at noon to witness your vows before tucking into a delicious luncheon, you're definitely not obligated to entertain your guests any further. But if the celebration is in an unfamiliar city (or in your home city and you want to introduce them to a place you love), consider putting together a list of your favorite local activities, dinner spots, and neighborhoods to explore so they can keep the excitement going even after your reception is over. If you decide you want to plan something, provide a few different options for your guests to choose from, like a trolley tour of the city, a group of bleacher seats at a local baseball game, or a tour and tasting at a local taproom.
If you're having a morning or early afternoon wedding, then regrouping for a dance party later in the evening, you don't have to schedule those few hours in-between. If the second half of your day starts later (after guests have had dinner on their own), give them time to take a nap, go out to eat, and get themselves ready before meeting up with you again.
And of course, it's up to you if you want to join them! If you're planning activities between two halves of your celebration, everyone will understand if you want to unwind, relax with your new spouse(!) or take a breather before you're the center of attention again. If your whole wedding will be over by mid-afternoon, it's up to you. You may want to swap your wedding dress out for jeans and meet up with friends at the bar, or you may want a quiet dinner for two before your early flight to your honeymoon the next day. Whatever you decide, let your guests know if they won't be seeing you again — this way you'll have a chance to say goodbye to everyone, and they won't be looking for you later in the day.