Weddings are an ideal time to bring together family and friends. And while the wedding day is undoubtedly the main event, many couples opt for a wedding weekend – a celebration that extends over several days.
A wedding weekend allows couples to spend more time with their loved ones and create even more unforgettable memories. However, planning a multi-day event can be daunting, as it requires careful consideration of various factors, such as the timeline, activities, and the floral and decor for those additional events.
As planners who’ve helped hundreds of couples weave together their wedding-day dreams, we know exactly what it takes to create a weekend experience everyone will love.
And we’re here to share our tips and advice with you!
Unbox Your Timeline
First things first. Forget what you think should happen with your timeline. We explored this in our post about Curating Your Destination Weekend, and we’d like to bring it up again because it’s such a hidden-in-plain-sight situation.
The most important pieces of your celebration don’t have to fit into the typical timeline. You don’t have to have a Friday night dinner and a Saturday night reception. You can have a Saturday afternoon ceremony with a Sunday night celebration instead.
Or you could reframe the weekend to simply a multi-day event. Start your ceremony on a Thursday and extend the celebration to Sunday. Anything goes when you think outside the box.
Plan a Welcome Party or Brunch…or Both!
It’s no secret that a multi-day event gives you more time with your guests. And hosting a welcome party or brunch is a great way to extend the celebration and enjoy each other’s company a little longer.
Of course, planning for both is ideal! But which one do you go with if you have to choose between the two?
If you’re planning an intimate rehearsal dinner with your wedding party and immediate family, then it makes sense to have a welcome party. You’ll get to say hello to those who are traveling in and spend time with everyone before the main events.
However, a post-wedding brunch is a great way to say goodbye to everyone before they head home. Plus, you’ll get to relive the night before, hear everyone’s stories, and have a few laid-back moments with guests before it’s time to go.
In a nutshell, the welcome party kicks off the weekend and gets everyone excited. And the brunch allows you to relish in all the fun that was had.
So yes, there’s a benefit to both. And if you have the option, add all to your cart! But if not, consider your guests and how you want to spend time with them.
Remember the #1 Rule of Etiquette
The #1 rule of etiquette is to do your best to make everyone feel comfortable.
For example, when letting your guests know what to wear to your wedding, be as clear and concise as possible.
It’s okay to keep it simple on your invites and say something like “island chic.” But give more detail on your wedding website, so guests aren’t wondering what island chic actually means. Write, ladies in sundresses, men in linen pants and a button-up. This helps guests feel more confident that they’re doing the right thing.
We also recommend being intentional with the logistics from the beginning. At the start of the planning process, we ask local vendors about the weather during the proposed time, so we can prepare and mitigate any risks for guests as best we can.
If we’re in Colorado during the winter months, we’ll purchase pashminas and hand warmers to ensure guests stay nice and cozy. And if we’re at a location where we expect rain, we buy golf umbrellas and towels to wipe down the seats.
Hot weather locales require us to think about how we can alleviate the heat so guests don’t have to take long, sweaty walks to get to the main events.
Caring for the little logistical things can make the biggest difference in a guest’s comfort level.
Hire a Planner – And Take a Week Off
About three months out, we ask our couples to visualize the week before the wedding and think about who they might want to spend quality time with outside of the events.
When will you have another date night with your fiancé before the wedding?
Do you want to go to breakfast with your mom?
Maybe you’re close to your grandmother, but you know the wedding day will be overwhelming, and she can’t hear well. So you plan to have lunch with her the week before the wedding.
How do you want the last few days before the big day to unfold? Who do you want to spend them with? Think about the moments you want to have before you get to them because, at some point, you’ll be too busy to squeeze anything else into your schedule.
From a planner’s perspective, we hope that by the time that week comes, you aren’t doing anything for the wedding at that point. The meetings are done, the payments are complete, and nothing is left besides you getting your nails done and enjoying the week with friends and family.
That’s a huge benefit of having a planner because you know everything is already taken care of, and you can totally relax before wedding day comes.
There are many other benefits, too, of course! Like the fact that we can help you plan, create, design, and host the most amazing wedding weekend experience. Ready to get started? Send us a note, and we’ll be on our way.