So long on Saturdays: more and more couples are getting married on weekdays | Connecticut News

By LEANNE ITALY, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The pandemic has forced Stephanie Harnen, 30, to postpone her wedding twice. When she finally got married, in June last year, she settled for a Thursday because her venue was full at the weekend.

It turned out great with Harnen and her husband, Trevor. Most of their 163 guests made it through, thanks to pent-up vacation time and the flexibility of working from home. Plus, she saved at least $10,000, in part by taking advantage of discounted rates at the country club in Middletown, New York, where they were married outside in an open tent overlooking a golf course.

“We didn’t want to change locations,” said Harnen, who lives in Stamford, Connecticut. “It was perfect for us. Thursdays will be the new Friday.

She’s not wrong. With some coveted venues still backed up due to postponed weddings, and with more couples traveling again for destination ceremonies, an uptick in weekday nuptials continued into 2022.

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“I’ve been to a Thursday wedding before as a bridesmaid,” Harnen said. “Personally, we preferred it.”

Weekday weddings are expected to rise about 2% this year compared to 2018 and 2019 before the pandemic, according to a survey of couples using wedding planning site Although most weddings among Knot users scheduled for this year will take place from Friday to Sunday, about 10% will take place from Monday to Thursday.

When it comes to destination weddings — events limited by travel restrictions in the early months of the pandemic — 13% took place on weekdays last year, according to data from The Knot.

Kim Forrest, editor of wedding marketplace, said the average number of weddings per year is typically 2.2 million in the United States. This year, that number is expected to rise to 2.6 million. With only 53 Saturdays in the year and some venues and vendors struggling to clear pandemic backlogs, “we’re going to see a lot of couples who are encouraged to get married on a weekday,” she said.

“Some people want to get married right away,” Forrest added. “With more people working remotely, it’s not that many people won’t come to a weekday wedding now.”

Thursdays are a popular weekday for destination weddings and those closer to home. Holding the ceremony on a Thursday allows for a full weekend of wedding activities for the guests.

Ann Ragan Kearns, 30, of New York, plans to get married on April 28, a Thursday, at an all-inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She said she and her fiancé, Cory McGlone, wanted to give guests a chance to relax on a proper vacation after months away from home.

“We love a destination wedding. But when you arrive on a Monday or a Tuesday and the wedding is on a Saturday, by the time you arrive at the wedding you’re like, I want to go home now, that’s been a lot,’ she said .

The two have invited around 110 people and are counting on around 100 people to attend their outdoor ceremony and reception. Some stay Monday through Monday, with the bride and groom planning plenty of excursions, including golf, deep-sea fishing, and sunset sailing.

Kearns hasn’t seen some of his guests since before the pandemic.

In Long Branch, along the Jersey Shore, Wave Resort has 65 weddings planned this year, including 25 on weekdays.

In the Dominican Republic, the luxurious Casa de Campo offers a weekday wedding package that includes an extra hour for receptions, 10% off group room rates and two free honeymoon nights to use in the following year the wedding.

Lindsay Forseth, director of weddings and special events at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Va., fielded about 50% more requests for midweek weddings than before the pandemic.

“Most are relatively short-term, booking within one to two months of their date,” she said. “Midweek weddings tend to be more intimate and therefore more flexible on the day of the week.”

Shelley Kapitulik-Jaye, 41, said she and husband Stephen, 42, got engaged in March 2021. When she started calling venues and vendors last spring, “many Said if we were looking for a weekend they had no availability until 2023.

They didn’t want to wait that long.

“When we finally decided on our location, with vendors to follow, we looked at the calendar and selected a date that read easily and would provide us with peak fall foliage in New England,” she said. .

They tied the knot on Oct. 20, 2021, a Wednesday, at The Inn at Graybarns in Norwalk, Connecticut, with a cocktail party four days before in New York City, where they live part-time. They welcomed 20 guests in person for the wedding, with a livestream for those who couldn’t come. They have chosen a wedding time of 4 p.m. to make it easier for working guests to attend.

“It gave us the chance to have a few days off before returning to work on Monday,” Kapitulik-Jaye said. “It was especially nice because we hadn’t hired a planner, so we were exhausted after planning and executing.”

Other types of vendors successfully distribute discounts on weekdays. Andrea Smith, founder of The Band Method, which sends singers, musicians and DJs, said weekday concerts provide much-needed extra income for her artists. In exchange, she gives couples 10 to 20% breaks on the cost.

“Musicians and singers on weekdays, we do a gig at a bar here and there, but it’s even now because of COVID,” said Smith, who works in the South Florida and New York areas.

In Toronto, Jordan Kentris does personalized invitations, as well as event design and styling. He has 13 weekday weddings on the books so far this year, many on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and many smaller affairs for 15 or 20 guests.

“They’re investing in a lot more detail with the money they’re saving,” he said. “They do a lot more personalized gifts and things like signage to make their guests feel even more welcome since they’re asking them to come during the week.”

Kevin Dennis, who provides lighting, decor and other rentals in Northern California’s Tri-Valley, has seen an increase in couples forced to choose a weekday after three or four postponements due to the pandemic. These couples compete with more recently engaged couples.

“Just kidding, we’re becoming like Las Vegas,” he said. “A good 25 to 30% of our calendar now takes place on weekdays. It’s starting to be normal.”

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