The most popular time for a wedding tends to be Saturday evening. Before you even open a wedding invitation, you’re practically expecting it to be between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. some upcoming Saturday night. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate, making it easy for guests to travel, get ready, and rest before returning to work on Monday. But there are only so many Saturday nights in a year and a daytime wedding can actually be a welcome breath of fresh air.

While we host many stunning evening weddings in our big beautiful barn with guests dancing the night away under sparkling lights, some of our couples choose daytime weddings to take full advantage of the timeless beauty and sweet fresh air of the lush Virginia countryside. But no matter where in the world you’re hosting your wedding, gathering midday can have its advantages.

Planning a daytime wedding can provide flexibility and more family-friendly fun. So if you think having a daytime wedding might be a good idea, here’s how to host an event to remember:

Tweak the Timeline

We all know the drill. Friday night rehearsal dinner. Spend all day Saturday getting ready. Ceremony at 4 p.m., followed by cocktails, and then a reception. But if your wedding is during the day, the timeline will be different. You may choose to have a morning ceremony followed by brunch or a lovely lunch or an early afternoon ceremony followed by wine and dinner.

While many daytime weddings are short and sweet, you could also make it an all-day affair with a longer break followed by evening entertainment. And if you are wrapping up early, be sure to provide some tips and suggestions as a courtesy for out-of-town guests to enjoy the remainder of the day on their own. Don’t feel compelled to follow convention. As long as you clearly communicate the timeline with your guests well in advance to manage their expectations, your wedding day timeline can be whatever you want.

Plan Accordingly

Speaking of timelines, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind when planning a daytime wedding. As mentioned above, many brides spend practically all day getting ready. So if your ceremony is early, be sure to leave time for ample rest. You might want to schedule a rehearsal lunch before the actual rehearsal instead of a dinner the night before. You should also check and double-check with your hairstylist and makeup artist to make sure they are available to work with you early in the morning.

Also, keep in mind many venues will be hosting an evening wedding after yours. So plan for possible logistical and scheduling conflicts with vendors. And remember, at evening wedding receptions, guests tend to linger later into the night, whereas daytime weddings often have a hard stop time as the venue needs to quickly prepare for the next party.

Party Time Anytime (or Not)

If you would prefer a low key peaceful event, you may consider a daytime wedding the perfect choice. Many couples opt for a sweet midday ceremony followed by a meal enjoyed while a string or jazz ensemble plays pleasant music in the background. If your idea of celebrating favors gathering of loved ones with plenty of mingling and conversation, this might be an ideal way to host your nuptials.

However, having a daytime wedding doesn’t mean you have to skip the band or DJ and dancing. You and your guests can party like rockstars all-day long and everyone can be home in time to tuck the kids in at night. But if you’re concerned guests will not dance in the daylight, plan lawn games or some other fun activity to follow the meal.

Style is Personal

Don’t forget, you get to set the style and tone for your wedding. While the general assumption is that evening weddings tend to be more formal and daytime weddings are more casual, the theme and style of your daytime wedding is totally up to you.

Most daytime brides will select a dress with a simpler silhouette and grooms wear lighter-colored suits. While your guests will not be wearing ball gowns, it can still be an elegant and upscale affair if that’s what you envision. Alternatively, you can opt for sundresses and cowboy boots–it’s entirely your call! Just let guests know what to expect by the style and tone of your invitations and provide details on your wedding website.

Serve Your Guests

If you are planning a wedding with a reception during the day primarily to save money, keep in mind that guests will still expect to have a meal unless you specify otherwise in the invitation. Remember, your friends and loved ones are carving out time to celebrate with you on your special day. If you choose a premiere venue and spectacular decor but skimp on the food, it may leave a bad taste; so it’s important to manage your budget accordingly.

Whether you choose to have a formal meal with traditional luncheon fare or something different and fun like a brunch waffle bar, your guests will appreciate the hospitality. Alcohol options might include champagne cocktails or Bloody Mary’s. And if serving a full meal does exceed your budget after cutting back in other aspects, simply state on the invitation that you will be serving hors d’oeuvres or light fare.

Here Comes the Sun

If you are hosting a midday wedding outside, be sure to consider everyone’s comfort. Couples often visit wedding venues in the late afternoon or early evening after work or in a cooler season than their planned wedding date. Then, unfortunately, they find the sun to be brutal at noon on their wedding day and all anyone remembers about the occasion is the time they spent baking under the sun.

So if you will be hosting a daytime wedding during a warmer month or you live in a part of the country with unpredictable weather, inquire about accommodations for shade and hydration for guests.

Overall, if you want a daytime wedding or hosting a midday wedding turns out to be your best option, don’t let anyone convince you evening weddings are better. Embrace the opportunity to host a beautiful and enjoyable event to remember on a Saturday, Sunday, or even during the week.

If you’re looking for a wedding venue in the Winchester area, the “flying pig” barn has most often been described as “rustic chic”.  If that’s your style, we invite you to consider Six Pastures, one of Virginia’s most enjoyable wedding venues.