What to Expect When Planning a Brunch or Morning WeddingExpert Wedding Tips

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What to Expect When Planning a Brunch or Morning Wedding?

Today we are going to be talking about everything you need to know about brunch weddings. I don’t have a love-hate relationship with brunch weddings but sort of a love / fear relationship with brunch weddings.

If you remember from a video that I did a while back about ceremony lighting, which I highly recommend that you watch because it’ll make more visual sense to you. Most of the brunch weddings have their ceremony happening close to noon, which is a really rough time for lighting, and as a wedding photographer; ceremony lighting is one thing we really cannot control outside.

It’s just what it is. It doesn’t matter which wedding photographer you are or really your skill level. Past a certain point if there is high noon lighting on the wedding ceremony, there’s nothing we can really do to make it look any different. We cannot control the sun unfortunately, so it’s just something that is not the best lighting situation I recommend.


I’m going to say this first thing you need to know about a brunch wedding. Try to set your ceremony before noon and I mean more like 10:00 a.m. at the latest. By having the ceremony early you’ll still have a little bit of direction in your lighting. You just do not want to be having your ceremony outdoors at like noon to 1 when the lighting is directly overhead.

It’s going to give you weird dark eyes socket shadows. Everything else is going to be super bright. It’s going to be very contrasting and harsh and not very flattering.

What to Expect When Planning a Brunch or Morning Wedding Tip #1 -If you have to set your outdoor ceremony for noon, you can combat the sun issue by putting draping above where you’ll stand during the wedding ceremony. If your ceremony is indoor, the sun will obviously not be an issue and you can set your ceremony time for whenever you want.

That’s the first thing I wanted to say before we jump into every other logistic about brunch weddings is just know that, and I’ll talk about what the consequences of that in just a bit.

So the next thing to think about with brunch weddings is do you want to have it on a Saturday or do you want to have it on a Sunday? I find that most brunch weddings I photographed tend to take place on Sundays. I think there’s just something more relaxed about a Sunday brunch wedding.


It’s really up to you  guys and I would also think that probably at most wedding venues a brunch wedding  is going to be less costly for you because they could still book out an evening wedding that day. Also a brunch is probably going to be cheaper anyway. People aren’t going to drink as much alcohol and depending on your crowd it’s just a different dynamic.

The food is typically a little bit less complex so I think that you might see a little bit more of your budget in your pocket. Still by having a brunch wedding I’m not guaranteeing that some wedding venues might not care at all what time of day, but that’s just kind of something that I would assume is that most brunch weddings are going to be less costly than an evening wedding. So that could be a nice perk as well.

Some people I know do it for that reason. Some people do it just because they love brunch food and they want to have that. I’ve also had some other couples have parents or family members who were sick and did better in the mornings than in the evening, so they chose to do a brunch wedding because of that.

I see all sorts of reasons for brunch weddings and I think it can be really fun because it just is a different vibe. If you really love portraits and all photos being natural light then a brunch wedding is definitely going to give that. As long as you’re not going inside for the reception part it’s a little bit darker. As long as it has a lot of natural light then you’d probably still be okay.


But it could just be something different and unique, especially if you wanted to party all afternoon and not be super tired. That’s a great way to do it but it is something that’s really exciting and I think it’s popping up a little bit more here and there. You can serve all kinds of adorable foods like mimosas. Just really cool stuff that might be a little bit out of place during an evening wedding. Like little chickens and waffles and little mini pancakes  just so many cute things that you can go crazy about.

When it does come to a brunch wedding, because you’re probably going to want to set your ceremony more like 10  a.m. you are going to have to have your hair and makeup start much earlier. And depending on how big your bridal party is and how early you do have to start. You might have to pay some sort of early morning fee to your hair and makeup team.

So if you’re having them start at like 4 or 5 a.m. then you might have to pay and  additional fee. Now not everybody does that but it is understandable because it is absolutely shifting the way that they run their lives. They have to get up earlier, maybe they have to secure childcare earlier, so it is something that I would not be surprised about.

If I were you if that is something that they say that they have to charge, so don’t be upset about it. It is just a fair thing I think having them have to get up before sunset, most people are not doing that. It’s definitely a disruption to their lives, so please just be supportive of that. And even though it’s annoying, it’s something that they should be charging extra fee.


Also for a brunch wedding you’re going to probably want to do a first look because again, if you are being awesome by setting your ceremony around 10:00 a.m, then by the time you finish your ceremony, your portraits are probably going to be taking place closer to noon, which is not the best time for lighting.

You can certainly find areas that will work but I would say that the wedding is going to be a lot easier to work with the earlier in the day. And then on the flip-side for more traditional weddings the later in the day that’s just the kind of lighting I prefer.

Some wedding photographers love that really harsh light and I don’t particularly like that. I like to backlight my subjects with the sun behind them and you can’t do that when the sun is above them.

So that’s just something to keep in mind. I do highly encourage first looks for brunch weddings. Yes you’re going to have to start even earlier because of it but it’ll be so worth it. After the ceremony you can just enjoy life and party.

So that’s something that is needed to be kept in mind because you’ll have to start your day a little bit earlier. After your ceremony everything’s probably going to run the same as a traditional wedding and then you might have your cocktail hour and then you’re going to have your reception, which is going to be all of your brunch food.

A lot of times my couples will also do a second set of wedding pictures at some point later in the reception – so it might be more like 2 p.m. maybe 3:00 p.m. at this point. The sun has gone back down and it’s a little softer and more directional with more pleasing highlights.


Yet again so that’s another thing you can do. I think it’s a really great fun time to be able to do two sets of  wedding photos during the day, even if they’re not sunset portraits, they’re still later in the day so you can just have different looks throughout your wedding pictures.

That is pretty much it for brunch weddings. They’re not much different than a traditional wedding. They just simply take place earlier in the day. You might have to pay early fees to your hair makeup team but you also might save a lot of money at your venue by having it in the morning. And then you guys can just party throughout the day.

You can even like take breaks in the afternoon and then meet up with certain people for dinner again so it’s a really cool way to keep the party going all day long. If that’s something you want or to just retire at 3:00 p.m. and go chill out with your significant other.

I’ve had couples who’ve done that and then they themselves go to a more private dinner alone which is great I think that. That’s really flexible that that gives you all this time to do whatever you want throughout the day, whether you want a party or you want to have some quiet time with just the two of you.

So I hope  you guys did enjoy our What to Expect When Planning a Brunch or Morning Wedding article/video on brunch weddings, again I know it was super short but there’s not a whole lot to say, but I did  want to make sure that I covered this topic for you. If you did enjoy it please be sure to leave comment. Till the next time.

What to Expect When Planning a Brunch Wedding