Don't look now, but a save-the-date just landed in your mailbox. You open the envelope, wondering who, what, where and when.
Wait, are your eyes deceiving you? Because it sure looks like the nuptials are scheduled for a ... Thursday?
Chances are, you don't need glasses because for better or for worse (pun intended), more couples are opting for weekday weddings for a variety of reasons.
Among them? Covid.
"I saw a huge uptick in weekday weddings in 2022 when the great wedding rush, post-Covid restrictions, was happening," Jacquelyn Aleece, founder of The Wedding Plan & Company, tells TODAY.com.
"Couples from 2020 and 2021 who had postponed their weddings and newly-engaged couples were fighting for weekend dates," she says.
According to Aleece, instead of waiting months — even years — for their venue of choice, many couples opted to hold their weddings during the week instead of waiting even longer to get married.
And while the post-pandemic rush has waned to some degree, some couples are still choosing to host their nuptials during the week.
Why? Because, for the most part, it's cheaper and they've got a better chance of getting the venue of their choice.
Considering that there are only 52 Saturdays in any given year, venues can (and do) charge a premium for Saturday weddings. Also, with a limited number of Saturdays to choose from, couples can find themselves waiting years to get married at their preferred location.
The compromise? A weekday wedding.
Whether you're attending one or thinking about saying your "I do's" on a non-Saturday, we asked wedding planners to weigh in on the pros and cons.
The pros of weekday wedding
As already mentioned, one of the biggest reasons couples choose to hold a weekday wedding is cost.
"If you get married during the week, it's a big cost saver," Christine Figliuolo, founder of Creations By Christine Events, tells TODAY.com.
"Venues will give you such a break on doing a wedding during the week," she says. Despite six other days to choose from, Figliuolo points out that Saturdays are the most optimal day of the week to get married for obvious reasons.
So, it stands to reason that if you go with a less popular day, you'll likely save a few bucks on everything from the venue to the photographer.
Another reason a weekday wedding makes sense is if your venue is booked one, two, even three years out, and you simply don't want to wait that long to get married.
Or perhaps, as Sarah Trotter, owner and lead planner of Lasting Impressions Weddings puts it, a weekday wedding might make sense if you have a special calendar date in mind.
"I have some people who are really attached to certain dates," Trotter says. "Last year, for example, October 13 was (a wedding) we had midweek and that date was really important to (the couple) for anniversary purposes."
Trotter also says that weekday weddings aren't uncommon in destination weddings, in which case, couples and their guests are making "a whole vacation" out of their nuptials. It helps that guests are more likely to be flexible on timing since they're already at the location.
The cons of weekday weddings
It goes without saying that the biggest con of holding a weekday wedding is that there's a high likelihood that your guests will have conflicts including jobs, children, sports and other obligations.
"Typically less people come to weekday weddings due to work and travel limitations. It also depends on the timing of the ceremony, after work hours versus midday, and how many people are local versus the number of invited guests that need to fly in," Aleece says.
Because weekday weddings can be tricky to schedule around, Figliuolo says that couples planning one should temper their expectations.
"You send out the information and hope for the best," she says. "But you shouldn't be disappointed if someone has something else planned, or if they say, 'I just can't.'"
In fact, given that it's a mid-week event, Figliuolo says that guests shouldn't have to offer an explanation for not being able to come. "Most couples will understand because it's not the norm."
It's also good to remember that those guests who can come may not be able to stay for the whole event if they have to work the next day, have a babysitter who needs to be home by a certain time or something else.
And while weekday weddings can sometimes be easier on your bank account, the savings might not actually be as much as you think.
"Can it save you a little bit of money? Maybe," Aleece says.
"The truth is that the work of a photographer, a wedding planner, a florist, hair stylist, makeup artist, is exactly the same no matter the day. The venue still has to pay its staff and order the food, alcohol and utilities," she explains.
Expert tips for hosting a weekday wedding
Should you decide to plan your nuptials on a weekday, the experts offer these tips on how to successfully pull it off.
Send save-the-dates well in advance
According to Figliuolo, let guests know the date and location (even if it's not the specific venue) at least nine months before the wedding.
"Then those guests can plan accordingly and make their travel arrangements in advance," Figliuolo says.
Ensure that the most important guests can attend
"If a couple has any guests that are non-negotiable for attendance, I would clear the day and date with them prior to signing venue or vendor contracts or making any deposits," Aleece says.
Choose the day and time with your guests in mind
While getting married on a Wednesday at noon might be ideal for you, your guests might not feel the same.
"I would consider the timing," Aleece says. "In some cases it’s best to start earlier in the day so people can have fun and enjoy to the end without getting home very late at night." But sometimes "later is better" since it allows people to work most of the day.
Consider your guests' needs
"It’s your special day," she says. "But you do need to be considerate of everyone else who has a life."
Because of that, Figliuolo says that couples should consider where guests are traveling to and from, as well as other factors like lodging, transportation, time between the ceremony and reception and, really, anything else you're asking of your guests.
Do your best to understand that as much as you'd love all your friends and family to be there, chances are, not everyone will be able to make it.
"I think the (couple) really have to think about it and understand that this is the upside of it ... cost saver? Great," Figliuolo says. "But the downside is that you might not get all the people that are near and dear to you at your wedding."