couple toasting wedding reception
Kelli Carrico Photography

Daytime weddings are unique, cheerful, and upbeat. But they’re also mysterious for those planning them, since they’re not as common as evening weddings and it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Sure, if you have food, drinks, music and decor, it’s gonna be a great wedding no matter what time of day, but there are a few specific details you should pay attention to if you want your daytime wedding to really shine.

Check these out these words of wisdom to ensure a successful daytime wedding. 

You'll be waking up early. Really early.

With all of the rituals packed into the day of the wedding, most soon-to-be newlyweds and their entourages wake up at the crack of dawn to ensure everything gets done (and there’s a little wiggle room for any drama). But if you’re getting married at noon, that shifts the whole timeline—around the time where most evening brides will be putting final touches on their makeup, still in their robes, you’ll need to be right at the top of the aisle! So make sure you’re up to the challenge of rising very early (like 4:00-5:00 a.m.) in order to pull off your big day. It won’t be too hard, since it’s tough to sleep the night before your wedding anyway, but if you’re seriously not a morning person, you might reconsider the daytime wedding.

Think lighter, and brighter.

Serving up prime rib and mashed potatoes, tons of stiff cocktails, and club music makes sense for a nighttime affair. But your daytime wedding requires a lighter touch. Consider a brunch-inspired menu, mimosas instead of martinis, and an upbeat live band instead of a DJ spinning dance-y hits. The same goes for your decor—keep it light and romantic instead of dark and dramatic (maybe save the velvet for your vow renewals). And your wardrobe—you may want to veer toward tulle and lace instead of heavy beading. None of this is required, of course, but a daytime wedding has so many attributes that a nighttime wedding doesn’t—like midday light!—so you might as well play them up as much as you can.

Know the rules of the venue.

As well as getting up early in the morning to get yourselves ready, you and your partner will also have to deal with getting your venue ready in that timeframe. Whereas for nighttime weddings, you, your families and your planner can do most of that in the late morning/early afternoon, you’ll have to find time to fit that in shortly after dawn. But if there was a wedding the night before at your venue, it might not be in tip-top shape. The same goes for if there’s a wedding moving in that night, after yours has ended. So get in touch with your venue and find out: 1) when you’re allowed to show up the morning of your wedding to start setting up, 2) whether they can guarantee a spotless facility at that time if there was a wedding the night before and 3) how soon you have to be out on your wedding day. Once you have all of this locked down, you’ll have a much smoother (and less rushed) big day.

Consider a post-nuptial plan for your guests. 

Ending your wedding at 11 p.m. is convenient, because then your guests go to bed, wake up, and go on with their lives. But with daytime weddings, you may have a little more responsibility for your guests, since they’ll have the rest of the day to fill in what might be an unfamiliar place (if they traveled to get to your wedding, that is). Consider including an itinerary or even just a few suggestions for your guests for their own after-party—it can be something planned, like a trolley tour of the city, a bar crawl, or karaoke—or it can be just a list of places you recommend to hang out, eat, whatever. If nothing else, consider arranging for hired transportation to get guests from your wedding to their hotel or their next destination safely. This is always a good idea, but especially during daytime weddings when people will be more apt to head out and keep partying. You’ll be glad to know your guests are taken care of, and they’ll be glad to have some options that can help keep the party going safely.

Have enough food. 

A daytime wedding is a smart strategy for saving a little cash on food and beverage, which can easily take up the largest chunk of your budget. But you shouldn’t think that only a few passed appetizers will do if you’re keeping guests through lunch and into the dinner hour. Especially if you’re going to encourage drinking and dancing at your daytime wedding, you need to feed your guests. And no, as I mentioned above, that doesn’t necessarily mean steak dinners, but you can still have a plentiful menu if you’re keeping the cuisine light. Think plenty of appetizers and salads, with some daytime-friendly mains (taco bar, anyone?). And if your reception is going to cruise into dinnertime, consider a second round of food to keep the party hopping—something as simple as a massive pizza delivery could do the trick. Whatever you end up doing, make sure there’s plenty to go around. Well-fueled guests have the most fun.