Thursday weddings: Cheaper, easier and less stress for NJ couples
When Kaitlyn Foster booked a photographer, florist and other vendors for her June 30 wedding at Clarks Landing Yacht Club in Point Pleasant, she was prepared to handle the follow-up phone calls asking: "You know that's a Thursday, right?"
The 30-year-old resident of Brick knew Clarks Landing had to be the spot she said "I do," so the day of the week didn't matter much.
It happened to be her parents' anniversary anyway. But she really jumped on board when she saw the difference in cost compared to a Friday or Saturday night wedding in the summer.
"The price was right and it was Fourth of July weekend," Foster said.
But she's not the first bride to walk down the aisle on a Thursday. Wedding venues throughout New Jersey claim it has become a more popular choice for couples interested in spending less money and dealing with less drama in the months leading up to the big day.
According to Don Calello, general manager of Clarks Landing, the venue has about a dozen Thursday weddings scheduled in 2016, and Thursday bookings are already rolling in for next year.
Calello said Thursdays are a hotter choice during the summer months when the Jersey Shore is in high gear.
"You'll have your wedding on Thursday, and then you'll party Friday, Saturday, Sunday at the shore," he said. "So it becomes like a destination wedding in your home state."
West Caldwell residents Kim Engler and Lucia Luzzi tied the knot at Clarks Landing earlier this month on a Thursday.
The couple saved $10,000 on the venue alone and didn't sacrifice an ounce of fun, they said. They invited 107 people, and 92 arrived for both the ceremony and reception.
"There wasn't a person sitting down," Engler said. "Everybody was dancing the whole time. Most people took off Friday and stayed down the shore."
And their hunt for vendors was "effortless." Who else needs a wedding DJ or photographer on a Thursday?
"Every vendor that we wanted was available; they're not booked," Luzzi said.
Pines Manor in Edison has handled a few Thursday weddings over the past couple years. It's typically not the couples' first choice, but the difference in price is a big draw.
Joseph Amore, director of operations, said Thursday weddings tend to be "less to the extreme" compared to weekend celebrations. Fewer guests are drinking alcohol, and they're a bit more anxious to find the exit after the cake is cut.
"There's that sense of responsibility when you have an event on a Thursday night, more so because you may have to go to work on Friday," Amore said.
The Thursday tally is at zero for Waterview Pavilion in Belmar, but the venue did handle a Wednesday wedding in Fall 2014.
Banquet manager Suzanne Matson said weeknight weddings are a more realistic option when most of the guests are local. It's not so convenient for the traveling friend or family member, and that could take a big chunk out of the guest list.
"I think if it fell on a holiday weekend, it's more in a couple's favor," Matson said. "We would be willing to offer a discount if somebody wanted a Thursday night wedding, because why not fill the room?"
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at Dino.Flammia@townsquaremedia.com.