9 Reasons Why Lunch Wedding Receptions Should be the next trend.

Are you considering a morning or afternoon wedding? If you’re in the midst of weighing the pros and cons, we’re so glad you found us! In our experience as photographers, an afternoon wedding ceremony & reception offers up countless benefits compared to the more traditional late afternoon ceremony + evening dinner reception (then dance-late-into-the-evening) combo. Here are the top reasons why Lemons & Ants thinks you’ll fall in love with an early daytime wedding, in no particular order:


You’ve likely heard this one before: the “golden hour” — typically the hour immediately following sunrise — is considered the best time of day for morning outdoor photography. Even though your “getting ready” photographs are most likely taking place indoors, the opportunity to use natural sunlight from large windows in the “getting ready” venue (whether a home, hotel, or salon) is going to result in breathtaking photographs.

If you’ve got a morning wedding planned, you’ll likely be up with the sun (6am for summer weddings) and we’ll be right there with you at the crack of dawn to capture the most beautiful golden hour “getting ready” shoot you’ve ever seen.

*Always ensure that your makeup artists and hair stylists are available at this early hour; prearrange this along with booking a photographer and choosing a ceremony start time*

Rounding up the fam-jam for a family portrait session will be a bit easier with an early wedding. Kids aren’t as cranky (#fingerscrossed), older folks aren’t exhausted, and everyone is generally in better spirits earlier in the day than later. This scenario makes for fantastic, genuinely content faces in your pictures.

Ditch the DJ for some live music instead. Typically, daytime wedding receptions include some form of music — spice things up with an acoustic guitarist, jazz ensemble or even Spanish guitarists or a mariachi band. Your choice of live music can entice guests onto an impromptu dance floor to capture memories you adore. You might even get some moves out of the folks that don’t typically engage with DJ tunes.

Oftentimes for a daytime wedding, the groom opts for more casual attire – a grey or blue suit instead of classic black. This makes for amazing colour in your photos, a variation on the usual black-and-white theme. It’s a fun way for your wedding photos to
stand out – whether you want to be playful, make a bold statement, or add some subtle flair to an otherwise timeless look.

Have you ever felt your face hurt from smiling or laughing too much? Yup. Poll any couple, and they’ll trace that feeling back to their wedding day. Morning or early afternoon celebrations ease that pain. When you have an earlier wedding, you haven’t spent the better part of the day already making small-talk, chit-chatting with your parents or the wedding party, organizing last-minute details, or engaging in back-and-forth messages with wedding planners. Let’s be honest: when you’ve already been smiling for a solid number of hours, your smile just gets weaker, faker, and forced. On the flip side, when the wedding occurs earlier in the day, you’re less tired, more cheerful, and much more likely to be engaged and eager to be photographed with a fresh smile.

Since the wedding ceremony and reception are often back-to-back for earlier daytime weddings, the cost of photography may be reduced based on the shorter length of the
event. Some venues are more affordable in the morning or afternoon compared to the evening, and brunch/lunch food options might be less expensive. You don’t have to celebrate all day and night if you don’t want to!

The benefit of earlier weddings is that makeup is fresher. Yup. Of course, you can always hire a makeup artist to follow you through the day and apply touch-ups as needed. But if you’re going for a budget-friendly wedding, this might not be an option. Instead, one application done within a few hours of saying your “I-dos” (rather than makeup faded from what feels like an eternity ago) can help elevate your photo-fresh factor!

Attending a morning-to-early afternoon wedding allows for guests to have an evening free to rest, continue with the celebration elsewhere, or get a head start on a long journey home, if they’ve traveled from out of town. Earlier weddings don’t eat up the entire day and are beneficial to offer guests a blank slate for what they’d like to do in the evening. Rather than have guests sit through a long-winded reception that drags late into the evening, planning an early wedding & lunch reception is a beautiful alternative. And it’s not just the guests who benefit! If you’ve got a honeymoon slated to start that evening, then your wedding-day obligations are done early, freeing you to jet away. If you’re early-birds and not night owls, this will allow you to celebrate on your own timeline that works best for you!

Earlier weddings present a fantastic moment for the “first look” before the ceremony takes place and the day begins to slip away. This is one of our absolute favourite moments to capture as it becomes a more popular item on wedding photographers’ wedding shot lists. It’s that intimate moment when partners see their other half for the first time. This “first look” element not only offers a bit of quiet time before the ceremony but also makes for some of the best wedding photoshoots. With an early
wedding, your mind hasn’t had a chance yet to worry about the rest of the day and how it will unfold. You’re upbeat, chipper, excited, and ready to get the ball rolling and walk down that aisle. Setting aside time to bask in each other’s presence while we snap those frame-worthy “first look” photographs fresh and early can make a huge difference.

Book a discovery call with us here to discuss your wedding photography wish list and to
chat about the best photo locations for weddings in Toronto.