Morning Weddings 101
Why, when, and how
By Natalie Tsang
August 25, 2011
Natural lighting is gorgeous. Brunch food is nice as well, but some people never entertain the idea of a morning wedding because its too early. But technically, a morning wedding just needs to take place before noon. Morning weddings and receptions were actually quite popular with earlier generations and other cultures. If you define the success of a party by the amount of drinking and dancing, then make it happen. The guests will follow the lead of the bride and groom. If you want a mojito and a conga line at 11am, securely bustle the wedding gown and cue the DJ.
Obviously, morning weddings work best if you and your friends are morning people, but there are many other reasons why couples choose an early ceremony. One huge reason is cost. The facts are that morning rentals are usually less expensive, because venues and vendors can fit another event in the afternoon. Morning receptions are on average one hour shorter and have lowered food and drink costs. Since most people believe that dancing is done best after dark, you can even get away with renting a smaller space.
The brunch wedding is fantastic for destination or weekend weddings, because it removes the dreaded morning commute. Families with children can attend the morning ceremony and brunch reception, youll get fantastic portrait photos cant emphasize the natural lighting enough --, and after you finish packing for your honeymoon, you and your girlfriends can get together in the evening. Or you can have a romantic dinner with your new husband. For guests who have a long drive home, they get to stay for the cake cutting and still beat traffic. In this scenario, you get the best of both worlds.
If you fall in love with a venue and the morning was the only available time for the next 18 months, would you pick it? Lots of people do. From the brides perspective, youll be staying up half the night from pre-wedding jitters anyway, why not put on the wedding dress at 5, 6, or 7 am and have an early start to the happiest day of your life?
There are also religious reasons. In Judaism, it is not ideal to have a wedding during Shabbat (Friday sundown to Saturday sundown). Factor in people's work schedules, and Sunday morning is about the only time you can have a wedding during the weekend.
Most caterers will be able to accommodate a 9am reception at the earliest, which could be a problem if you decide to have a dawn wedding at 6 am. The time when your venue requires you to leave varies, but if you're not done partying you can always move rent a room at a club and dance until dawn.
The perks of a morning wedding are many: cost-effective, beautiful lighting, and family friendly. Like all weddings, the booze and dancing are optional. The only downside is getting up early. If your friends give you a hard time, just tell them that fashion icon Jackie Kennedy married JFK at 11am and no one grumbled.