Morning vs. Evening Weddings

Morning vs. Evening Weddings

Every couple wants their wedding to be unique, and the one way you can look at doing this is to move away from the usual Saturday evening wedding and consider a daytime wedding. We have detailed the positive and negative aspect of a daytime vs. evening wedding.


Daytime Wedding


When we talk about a daytime wedding, we refer to a wedding round about brunch/lunch time....they tend not to be as long as evening weddings and usually start at around 9am with the ceremony and ends at around 2pm. However, you can move it an hour or so earlier and later if you prefer.

  1. Cost

This option is a good one to look at if you are working with a fairly tight budget. Most venues will have more availability and will most likely give discounts if you book a daytime wedding, their brunch/lunch menus are usually also cheaper that their dinner menus.

You may get even further discounts from other suppliers as well, but one thing that you will be able to save money on is the décor. You will not need additional lighting (candles, fairy lights etc) as it is day time and brunch wedding tend to be a lot more casual so you will not need to go all out on the centre pieces and other décor.

Also consider that your reception wil only be 2 or 3 hours long, this does not leave you much time for dancing so spending the extra money on a DJ or band might be a waste. You can look at hiring a string quartet for some background music - they can also throw in a dance number here and there - or simply get a good sound system and play a selection of songs from your I-pod.

       1. Guest Attention

Because this is a more relaxed event you will be able to have proper conversations with your guests without the loud music in your ears.

       2. Food

The food choices for daytime wedding are much easier and less complicated as you will most likely not have a starter, main and dessert. Instead you can have a breakfast buffet with eggs, sausages and crispy bacon with some waffles and ice-cream for those guests with a sweet tooth; or if you are leaning more towards lunch time maybe a braai menu or spit.

       3. Downtime

The reception will end at around 2 or 3pm, which in a way is perfect because it leaves you with the rest of the day to celebrate your first day as a married couple with each other. It can make the day last longer because you can get the formalities of the wedding out of the way and then enjoy the rest of your day with your better half. Otherwise you can arrange an after party at a local bar or club for those guests that would like to carry on the celebration.

It can also be beneficial to the guests, especially if the wedding is on a Sunday or week day, it will give the guests time to relax and recuperate before having to go back to work the next day - and any guests with children will also be able to stay for the whole duration of the event.

       4. Photos

Daytime hours usually allow for better photos, you don’t have to worry about running out of natural light or artificial lights making your skin paler or your dress not as gorgeous - you also will not be rushed by the photographer to have the photos taken before the light runs out.

       5. Setting

Morning wedding can be quite beautiful, especially for outdoor weddings. It allows your guests to appreciate and take in the beauty of the venue that you have chosen throughout the entire wedding.


Apart from the obvious “it’s better to party at night” dilemma, day-wedding generally don’t have a lot of cons.

       1. Dancing

As mentioned above this is probably the most obvious one, a daytime wedding tends to be a much more casual affair where guest tend to just relax and socialize. Even if the mimosas are flowing, guests may not feel as inclined to dance the early afternoon away as they would in the evening. 

       2. Guest Attention

The average reception for a daytime wedding is 2 to 3 hours, in this time you will have to take photos, have brunch and catch up with all your guests, so although the quality of the time you can spend with them is better (as mentioned under pros) the amount of time not so much.

       3. Getting Ready

This will be worse for the bride than the groom as she will need several hours to get ready. This means that she will have to be up - and if she is getting ready at the venue - at the venue at 6 or maybe even 5am. Along with the bride her bridal party will have to be there with her.

You may also be a bit rushed to make sure you are ready on time, especially if your ceremony is fairly early - and may have to skip some of the pre-ceremony photos.



Evening Wedding



This is the most popular wedding time, the ceremony will be around 3 or 4pm, with dinner around 5 or 6pm and then a party till midnight (or even later)

       1. Guest Attention

Because the reception will be much longer (6 to 7 hours) you will have more time to mingle with the guests, and yes there will be loud music but a good venue will always have an area where you can relax away from the music and have a chat.

       2. Photos

You have the opportunity to have spectacular photos in the late afternoon sun, the sunset or with twinkling lights and candles. However, photos like these can be beautiful but just as difficult to take - so make sure the photographer you choose can pull it off.

       3. Setting

You can use candles and fairy lights to set a mood and give your wedding a unique look, which cannot be achieved in daylight.

It can also be a more formal event which can allow your guests to dress up, something they may enjoy as jou rarely get the opportunity to do so.

       4. Getting Ready

You will have the opportunity to sleep in a bit and calmly get yourself to the venue, you may even have time for breakfast with your bridal party before the getting-ready starts.

You will also be less rushed to make sure you are ready on time and can enjoy the process to the fullest.



Your day may start calmly but it is a much longer affair and you will be quite exhausted by the end.

       1. Downtime

The wedding will only finish up at around midnight or even later, and getting married is exhausting so you will most likely just want to get into bed. This can put a bit of a damper on your post wedding quality time together as a couple and, if you have an early flight the next day, only allow you a couple of hours sleep.

       2. Children

Any guests with children may leave the celebration early to get them to bed and even if they arranged for a babysitter they may still have to leave early.

       3. Cost

Because this is the most popular time of day you may have to book far in advance and the costs in general will be more expensive. Menu pricing of a three-course dinner will be more expensive and as it is a more formal event the décor can also work out to be much more.