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Why weekday weddings work (and it’s not just the savings)

With one day blurring into the next (thanks, COVID-19!), and work-play time blurred, we knew that eventually, the biggest party of our many people’s lives would soon mix into the perpetual cycle.

Weddings — once primarily reserved for Saturday — are now scheduled for whenever. Monday? Sure. Tuesday afternoon? No big deal. Want your wedding on a Thursday morning? Simply move your Zoom meeting a few hours, and you’re golden.

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The weekday wedding trend started a few years ago, as it’s typically less expensive to have a nonweekend party, but this movement accelerated with the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the sheer number of 2020 cancellations forced an abundance of weddings to be rescheduled to 2021. After all the Saturday 2021 dates were snatched up, couples had a choice: Choose another day or wait another year.

Claire LeBlanc, a real estate agent in Waltham, Massachusetts, was originally planning to marry before 100 guests at a Massachusetts mansion on Saturday, April 25. But she was forced to cancel her dream wedding because of the pandemic. Even a small ceremony at her home on the same date wasn’t possible, as nonessential government offices were closed and she couldn’t get a marriage license.

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So she rescheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, and was married before 19 guests.

“It was really special because it was different: a weekday versus a typical weekend affair,” LeBlanc, 60, said. “It seemed so insular and unique in this crazy world. And despite this extraordinary time, we were able to carve out a little time, magic and normalcy just for us.”

A May study from the Knot and WeddingWire of more than 6,200 people worldwide found that 12% of couples are moving their rescheduled weddings to a different day of the week. The most popular alternative days were Friday (40%), Sunday (33%) and Thursday (8%).

Some couples are also moving their weddings to months previously considered off-season.

Karen Norian, an editor at Simply Eloped, an elopement and micro-wedding planning company based in Boise, Idaho, said her December weekday bookings rose 55% this year from the same period last year.

Most of her couples who choose weekday weddings select Mondays or Fridays, she said, with Wednesdays being the least desired.

But really, any day is fair game. Joshua Gabrielson, an owner of Wedding Photography and Films in Roanoke, Virginia, collected data via a Facebook survey of 812 couples nationwide from March 2017 to May 2020, and found that while Friday through Sunday are still desired days, Mondays have become the most popular weekday for his couples, with 7% booking this day.

It’s easy to make a three-day weekend out of a Monday weekend, and for many guests, it’s simpler to take a day off work on a Monday rather than a day in the middle of the week.

Bailey Moreno, 28, an occupational therapist in Miami, was supposed to be married on Sunday, May 3, but rescheduled for Monday, Aug. 24. Her venue was booked every weekend for the remainder of 2020, and she wanted to get married before the end of the year.

Moreno’s guest list was slashed to 50 from 85, but she was able to retain all her original vendors.

“We were so lucky that from those 50 guests, no one had an issue, or complaint with our Monday wedding,” Moreno said. “I did not want to lose any of my previously hired vendors, who had other couples and commitments for the rest of the year on weekends.”

Holly Spooner, 33, a London-based office manager, moved her May wedding to a Thursday in September, and she set the time for 3 p.m. so guests could work in the morning, party in the afternoon and still get a good night’s sleep before heading to the office the next day if they desired.

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“It certainly didn’t hinder the fun that evening. Everyone stayed late and danced and drank until the wee hours,” Spooner said.

Because of the coronavirus most people don’t have an office to stumble into the following morning, since many are working from home, said Elizabeth Babinski, the Chicago-based founder of Liz Rae Weddings, an officiating business, and Vows Well Traveled, a planning company for small weddings and elopements. Overindulgent guests can sleep a little later, drink their coffee, take their Tylenol and then pop on a Zoom, with their bosses none the wiser. Plus, their weekend will still be free from obligations.

“During COVID, guests don’t really seem to care,” Babinski said. “Pre-COVID, guests certainly complained — not exactly to the couple — but in slight comments about needing to take days off work, needing to find a babysitter and other passive-aggressive notes.”

But not all guests may be too happy about weekday weddings, especially at a time when their worlds are already disrupted.

Pat Hope, a wedding videographer and a founder of Wedding Learning, an educational site for wedding professionals, said she often hears complaints from guests that the midweek parties involve taking time off work, which eats into their paid annual leave.

Still, it’s a trend expected to continue well beyond the pandemic.

“Word will spread from newlyweds to newly engaged couples that they received better deals and managed to have a great event despite it not falling on a weekend,” Hope said.

And at the end of the day — any day — you’re married.

c.2020 The New York Times Company

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