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The Joys of Morning Weddings

While a wedding in the morning was the tradition in Queen Victoria’s time, morning weddings are popular about wealthy American couples and British royalty. Find out why you might want a morning wedding too!

Hey Christie!

Trevor and I are thinking about a morning wedding at Ainsworth House & Gardens. Could you share what you think makes a morning wedding special?


–Shannon, Unsure in Sherwood, Oregon

Hey, Shannon!

Congratulations to you and Trevor!

Morning weddings at Ainsworth are stunningly beautiful!

Often, a light mist still lingers in the garden, giving an air of mystery and wonder to the day. Dew may still be upon the flowers and the leaves. The sun may be peaking through the clouds or glowing full orbed. We never know!

Depending on the weather, you can get married under the sweeping branches of our Ponderosa Pine which is over 200 years old or inside our gorgeous Event Center.

Traditionally, weddings were held in the morning.

After the wedding ceremony, there was a wedding breakfast or lunch with the guests.

Then the couple left for their honeymoon which often involved a long journey to get to their destination.

Queen Victoria married Prince Albert on the morning of February 10, 1840.

Other famous couples who married in the morning include:

  • Jack and Jackie Kennedy on September 12, 1953,
  • Prince Charles and Princess Diana on July 29, 1981, and
  • Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011.

If the wedding was early (9 AM or 10 AM), it was often followed by a wedding breakfast.

If the wedding was later in the morning at 11 AM, then it was followed by a wedding lunch.

Recently, one couple who held their morning wedding at Ainsworth House & Gardens offered their guests a choice of Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict for those preferring breakfast and a scrumptious chicken dish for those guests wanting lunch.  

Either breakfast or lunch as a catered meal is often more cost conscious than a catered wedding dinner. Check with your caterer.

Morning Weddings

After the pandemic, couples who had scheduled a 2020 wedding were scrambling to get a time to wed in 2021 or 2022.

Often, the only time open on our calendar was for a morning wedding since we were booked.For that reason, we saw more morning weddings.

Now that the rush is over, couples are choosing the morning wedding time for exceptionally good reasons.

To be considerate of older family members and friends: Couples often have grandparents and great grandparents who would love to attend but may have only a limited about of energy.. 

For those reasons, a morning wedding when these cherished folks are more active is a blessing.

Which leads to the next reason: Have a smaller gathering of family and friends at your morning wedding.

Make this a special, intimate ceremony for your “nearest and dearest.” (You can invite everyone–your friends, co-workers, sports team members–to your evening reception and PARTY!)

Some engaged couples feel that it’s easier to say their vows in front of a smaller crowd.

A morning wedding can be a more relaxed celebration. What we are seeing is:

A morning wedding for a small circle of family and friends followed by a wedding breakfast or wedding lunch.

Everyone takes a break in the afternoon to relax. Take time to change into your party clothes and then head on over to our Event Center for a 7 PM reception with a combination of appetizers, cake, dessert, and dancing.

A morning wedding may have a more casual dress code for you two getting married and for your guests. A more casual dress code often means that the wedding clothes for you two may cost less and be more comfortable. Boho, anyone?

(Please note: You can have a very formal morning wedding. It is your option!)

A morning wedding can be very cost effective. If you are on a tight budget or you want to spend more on your honeymoon, opt for a morning wedding.

Offer a morning coffee bar to wake up and maybe warm up your guests. Add hot chocolate and tea as alternatives.

Having breakfast pastries or granola bars is a kind gesture.

For breakfast, set stations at which your guests can order freshly made omelets, pancakes with decadent toppings, Eggs Benedict, or build their own parfaits. This takes the pressure off the buffet line.

Another option: breakfast or brunch BBQ!

Can you smell the tantalizing aromas of the smoked salmon, the delicious maple bacon warming up, or the steak sizzling next to freshly cooked eggs?

Vegan, Keto, low salt, and Kosher options are available!


You may offer  alcoholic drinks such as bright, fruity Sangrias, Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Bellinis.

Most of these can be made for your guests who opt not to drink alcohol.

If you serve lunch instead of breakfast, set up stations at which your guests can order

customized grilled cheese sandwiches,

upscale tacos (like these mango catfish tacos), or

create their own sliders.

Again, it takes the pressure off the buffet line and shortens the time it takes your guests to get their food.

mango catfish tacos

Add edible flowers, fresh herbs plush seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables to add color and flavor to the food.

Several of our couples started a wedding garden months before their wedding.

By providing their own edible flowers, herbs, and produce, they held down their food costs.

The earlier in the morning, the less you may want a traditional, heavy wedding cake.

Your options are a cupcake tree, personalized lemon cakes garnished with raspberries, or upscale coffee cakes.

Serve a variety of gourmet coffees to complete your desserts.

By inviting only the wedding guests to the meal, you hold down the costs.

By having appetizers in at your evening reception and party, you save money on catering.

By having an evening reception, you skip the costs of an afternoon cocktail hour.

Consider the time of year and the weather.

Morning weddings in the late spring and summer are much cooler than later in the day.

Your grandparents and great-grandparents may enjoy being part of the intimate group that celebrates your wedding while skipping the reception party in the evening. You give them the option!

A morning wedding is perfect when you have travel plans!

If your honeymoon travel includes a late afternoon flight, consider having your reception in the afternoon instead of the evening.

This way, you can party, go home,  pack your bags, and get to the airport without rushing.

Bon voyage!

If you have any more questions about a morning wedding, please contact me. I look forward to collaborating with you on planning the wedding of your dreams!

Your friend in the wedding business,

Christie Shyne


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