Weddings are wonderful occasions, but they can certainly be expensive and anxiety-producing. These days, planning for a wedding sometimes takes more than a year and involves everything from choosing the right dress and bridal party outfits to securing that perfect venue you’ve always had your eye on and knew would be your wedding venue someday.

But, as weddings become more and more expensive, many couples have come to the realization that the $5000 dress and the reception hall with lasers and $150-per-plate dinners simply don’t need to be a part of the plan. Many recognize that their wedding day is all about spending time with family and friends and have shifted their plans to a more easy going, budget-friendly option. A brunch wedding is one of those options.

The benefits of a brunch wedding are many and most of them are both cost- and anxiety-reducing. Planning a brunch wedding is easier than planning an elaborate evening soiree and will likely save thousands of dollars that can be better used for a honeymoon or to set up that first home or apartment. Consider these benefits.

  • It’s easier to find a venue – In many cases, the most popular wedding venues in your city/town are probably booked more than a year in advance. That means if you’re considering a date during a popular wedding time, you’ll need to plan far ahead of time and must be willing to pay top dollar for an evening affair. Conversely, if you schedule a brunch wedding, you’ll find that time slots between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. are much more readily available and will be less costly.
  • Everything associated with a brunch is less expensive – Besides being able to nab a venue or restaurant at a lower cost, brunch foods – in general – tend to be less expensive than foods chosen for an elaborate buffet or plated dinner. It’s also less likely you’ll have to deal with an open bar – which can add thousands to your bill – but can instead offer something simple like mimosas, Bloody Marys, or a glass of champagne. All of this means you can up your guest list without breaking the bank, too.
  • Formal or informal – Truly, brunches can be as fancy or as casual as the wedding couple wishes. The formality of the wedding can be determined by both the food and the decorations as well as the ambiance of the venue.
  • More time to celebrate – Scheduling a morning wedding followed by a brunch reception means the formal festivities will likely be over by 2-3 pm rather than midnight or 1 a.m. You can then spend the rest of the day with close family and friends at home or elsewhere and even plan some sort of other fun activity afterwards, like ice skating in the winter or an outdoor activity in the warmer months.
  • The honeymoon starts sooner – When you’re not partying until 1 a.m., you can arrange your travel plans so that you may depart for your honeymoon trip by early evening or even late afternoon. There are many more flights available during the day, and if you’re driving you can get a head start before it gets dark.
  • The food is scrumptious – Nearly everyone loves brunch food! Eggs and breakfast meats, potatoes, pasta, carving stations, fresh fruit, muffins and scones, waffles, bagels, French toast…there are so many, many options, both hot and cold. Furthermore, brunch foods can be easily served buffet-style if you wish but can also be plated or served family-style, where everyone at the table shares from a large platter of each item. You might even consider an omelet station or a cereal bar!
  • Anxiety is reduced – Seriously, it’s so much easier to plan a brunch wedding than a fancy evening reception. Stress levels go down because there are far fewer decisions to make about food, decorations, and more.

If you’re considering the benefits of a brunch wedding, check with your caterer about menu ideas that suit your tastes and your budget. Creative caterers will be ale to craft a lovely brunch that you and your guests will remember with fondness, recalling the beauty and simplicity of the day and the joy of sharing in your special occasion.