NJ wedding venues seeing more demand for Mondays, Thursdays
The coronavirus pandemic may have forever shifted the wedding calendar in the Garden State.
Originally forced to scramble for a date due to multiple rescheduling attempts caused by the COVID-19 threat, venues and couples in New Jersey are starting to embrace the notion that tying the knot, and having everyone there to celebrate the occasion, doesn't only have to be a weekend event, or be as costly as one.
"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have become part of that norm, certainly with Monday and Thursday being the most popular," said Jeanne Cretella, president of Landmark Hospitality, which runs event venues in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Weekends are still the go-to for engaged couples, with Saturday night being the top choice, but weeknight weddings are a "trend that's here to stay," Cretella said.
Compared to 2018 and 2019, weekday weddings are expected to rise by about 2% in 2022, according to a survey from the wedding planning site TheKnot.com. One third of weddings planned for 2020, before the pandemic took hold of the U.S., were to occur outside of Saturday.
Thursday has essentially become the new Friday in the wedding industry, Cretella suggested — couples prefer weekdays that come right before or right after a weekend.
"It's not unusual for every Thursday to be booked in season," she said. "Mondays are extremely popular as well, especially during the summertime months."
Some invited guests may prefer a weekday wedding during the summer, Cretella added — they don't have to scrap potential weekend plans to attend a Friday, Saturday or Sunday event.
Wedding venues in New Jersey have mostly worked through their backlogs induced by the pandemic. Many couples were forced to reschedule their big day more than once, due to ever-changing rules related to capacity and safety protocols.
At venues run by Landmark, selecting a weeknight for a wedding can save a couple up to $20 per guest compared to a weekend wedding, Cretella said.
"They're not only going to save at the venue, they're going to save with all of their vendors," she said. "They really could have the wedding of their dreams and still have enough money to have a phenomenal honeymoon of their dreams, that's paid for just because of the savings."
Venues may also be willing to lower their minimum guest counts during the week.