After watching Prince William and Duchess Catherine's recent pre-noon nuptials, you may now be finding yourself intrigued by the notion of I Do's that take place entirely during the daylight hours.
You're not alone.
According to Sarah Trotter, owner of Lasting Impressions Weddings and Event Coordination in Minnetonka, Minn, it will likely take until 2012 for the trend of the brunch (or lunch) bash to take full effect, but she has already seen an uptick in the popularity for this more unusual timing. The royal wedding was an opportunity for couples to see that daytime weddings can be stylish and chic, adds Nina Callaway, who writes the About.com Guide to Weddings (Weddings.About.com). "Plus, for those who love hats - another great trend right now - there's nothing like a daytime wedding," Callaway says.
But morning or daytime parties have other perks beyond being the perfect setting for fabulous fascinators.
First and foremost is affordability. Morning weddings often are considerably cheaper than the evening variety because they take place at a time when vendors typically aren't booked, says Callaway. You might be able to get deep discounts if the timing on your wedding allows vendors to work a second event later in the day. You're also likely to save money on your liquor bill, obviously (hopefully!), as most people drink less early in the day, and you'll cut costs further because you can use natural lighting, and any natural décor likely won't need much embellishment. In addition, brunch or lunch menus typically are priced lower than dinner; but if you're on a really tight budget, Callaway suggests having a 2 p.m. ceremony followed by cake and punch, and then a smaller dinner reception later for family and close friends.
More reasons to consider an a.m. wedding? You might be able to pick a setting that wouldn't be available later in the day. "For example, many botanical gardens only allow ceremonies in the morning before they open to the public," says Callaway. She also notes that having an earlier wedding can give you more flexibility with attire - brides can feel comfortable wearing short or nontraditional gowns and grooms can don a morning suit, seersucker or linen.
Finally, opting for an earlier affair is an easy way to make your festivities really unique. "Everyone is looking for 'something different,' and you'll automatically get that with a daytime wedding in everything from the music, food, drinks and décor, to the vibe," says Trotter. "There's usually more focus on a casual afternoon get-together feel."
Trotter also suggests making your daytime fête feel extra special by personalizing it. Look for a venue that allows lawn games like croquet, bocce or badminton, for example, or host your party onboard a boat. You can also glam up a brunch by serving a mimosa and/or Bloody Mary bar, says Callaway, or consider going with a Great Gatsby theme, complete with a jazz or swing band to help set the mood. But, she adds, even if a simple soirée suits you (and your budget) best, remember that daytime weddings are just like their evening counterparts - if the couple is having a good time, so will everyone else.
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