In the wedding industry, we have seen the rise of the ‘wedding weekend’- an extended wedding celebration over more than one day. I am completely in love with this trend and here’s why…
My biggest wedding regret is that it all went way too quickly. I loved planning every single detail from the gospel choir, to the vintage double decker bus and the acoustic duo. However, I really wish we had extended our celebration. We had friends and family travel many miles to attend our wedding and we didn’t have enough time with them all. Before we knew it, we were jetting off to our honeymoon.
I speak to couples all the time who feel exactly the same. That’s why I love the idea of an extended wedding over an entire weekend. Why have one day when you can have three!
Planning a wedding can be tough and hosting an multi-day celebration can make it even tougher. But, it’s not impossible. Here are my five top tips to totally rock your wedding weekend.
If you decide to hold a wedding over more than one day, let your guests know nice and early by sending a Save The Date card. Be clear that it’s not just one day, that way guests can plan to be away for a few days (and get excited too). As a rule send these 8-10 months before the wedding, giving your guests lots of notice will mean more of them can come.
Pick a venue which can host the entire celebration including the Friday drinks, the wedding day and Sunday brunch plus accommodation (for most if not all your guests). There are so many great options of country houses, barns and even boutique hotels to rent. Make it as easy as possible for guests so they can stay on site, enjoy the festivities, not worry about getting home and totally kick back.
On arrival give each guest a welcome pack. It might include local produce or a wedding survival kit but most importantly it must have a schedule. Pop all the details in a handy booklet include timelines for the weekend, numbers for a local taxi company, venue map, and what to do in an emergency etc. Let them know where the Friday night BBQ is and what time it starts, where breakfast is served and any activities you might be planning. This way guests will be in the right place at the right time!
Image by @capturebylucy, styling by Helen
It’s obvious that you want your guests to have an amazing time, but don’t worry about filling the schedule with activities to the brim. Everyone needs time to relax and catch up so keep your plan full but with breaks too. Perhaps many of your guests will be from out of town, so why not show them the sights? If it’s a rural country home organise a treasure hunt of the estate, a round of golf or perhaps throw a pool party. Remember to let guests know what attire to bring in advance too!
We’ve all been at weddings where you are left hungry and thirsty. Make sure you avoid unhappy guests by having plenty of food and drink. Leave snacks in the rooms so if they miss breakfast or get there late they have something to keep them going. If you are using a private house, make sure that there is tea, coffee and any essential bits they might need for them to help themselves.Planning a wedding weekend is lots of fun and it means you can really enjoy time with guests. I specialise in planning these weddings as I know all how quickly the wedding day goes. Pop over to Pudding Bridge to find out how I can help you create the perfect weekend wedding.
Helen Hopkins owns Pudding Bridge a multi award winning wedding planning and décor company. A city slicker with a country soul, she specialises in creating timeless weekend weddings in country estates. She can host the entire weekend while the couple and guests can relax and enjoy the festivities.