After all that time and effort invested in planning a beautiful and memorable wedding, don’t you feel sorry when it ends up only lasting a few hours? It is for this reason that an increasing number of couples opt for weddings that last the entire weekend, so that they can enjoy a longer and more wonderful celebration.
Weddings that last for several days are a great opportunity for your guests to interact more with each other, thanks to the different events that you’re able to plan. In addition to that, those who have had to travel over long distances for your wedding will appreciate it, as they have much more to enjoy when the stay is longer and their journey is made all the more worth it.
This sort of wedding usually begins on a Friday evening with the arrival of the guests, although some venues offer the option to register before. The wedding itself usually takes place on Saturday and the closing activities on Sunday morning. Therefore, it is best to tackle the organisation of these events as if it were a group holiday among friends; considering the things they would like to see, do or have at their disposal. This is made even better if it is a destination wedding! Click here for tips on how to best organise a destination wedding.
Although organising a wedding with this concept in mind may involve a little more planning, everything else is positive. Therefore, we present you with the best advice for you to organise yourselves a wedding your guests will never forget!
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Details of logistics and planning seem endless, and although you’re loving preparing for your wedding, it is clear that you are not professional and also have other things to do. During the weekend of your wedding you do not want to be bogged down with a thousand details, but that everything goes as smoothly and as seamlessly as you had hoped it would. Therefore, it is best to hire a wedding planner who knows how to deal with, accommodation and displacement of large numbers of people (among other things) and support the organisation and execution of your big day. It is a specialist in designing, planning and coordinating weddings that will not only make the day a success, but the organisation process a survivable journey.
This will give you the opportunity to enjoy the weekend without worrying that everything is going as planned. Don’t ask your parents for help, they have to be with you while you get ready! Or your family, for that matter. Let them enjoy themselves as well!
2. Everything in one place
A weekend wedding is more comfortable and much easier if the guests are staying in the same place where meals, the activities and the wedding itself are held. If your intention is not to take everyone to a paradise island, get in touch with hotels and search for possible discounts. Most establishments are willing to accommodate large groups for a lower price. If they can’t all be in the same place, look for places that are no more than 15 minutes away. But above all, let yourselves be advised by professionals because they know best how to manage the event.
3. Send Invitations Well in Advance
Since it won’t be just a wedding but basically a holiday, it is best to warn your guests as soon as possible to free up that weekend so they’re prepared for the occasion. In classic weddings it’s best to send the invitations about three months in advance, however, in these cases it is best to send them about six months in advance. You can confirm the details later on or just update your website. Click here for some great invitation ideas.
4. Create a Wedding Website
Although creating web pages for weddings is very common nowadays, we won’t lie to you; when it comes to weddings with this degree of movement, a wedding website is crucial! Your guests will really appreciate knowing in advance what to expect of that weekend: what to wear, what activities they want to get involved in, and so on.
And, of course, it goes without saying that Zankyou offers the best! You can share the itinerary, the schedule of weekend activities that you have planned, and even allow your guests create playlists or give their opinions. You can also suggest alternative trips for the more lively among your guests (riding, hiking …) or information on transport, for example.
5. Welcome Details
No matter whether your guests arrive by car, plane or train. What they want when they arrive at your destination is a refreshing drink (or hot chocolate, depending on the season) and a warm welcome. Ask the staff to prepare all this, and at the same time, leave handwritten notes in each room with a personal message to thank each guest for coming for you. Without a doubt they will be very touched!
Moreover, it is a wonderful detail to prepare personalised baskets or bags, including a drink, snacks and sweets for the guests. If the wedding is on the beach, you can add towels and slippers; if it is in a more adventurous environment, insect repellent, hats, sunglasses or sports goggles. Don’t forget to include a copy of the schedule for the weekend, as well as a folder with hotspots in the area such as hairdressers, restaurants or attractions.
6. Throw a Welcome Party
The best way to start the best weekend of your life is to hold a small welcome party or a casual dinner, in order to greet all your guests in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. You can organise a dinner in the hotel bar, a party under the stars, or something more festive such as a boat trip with dinner. Nothing too formal and serious, it is only a prelude to your big day that you can enjoy without getting wedding jitters.
Of course, don’t forget to retire early. Otherwise the next day you will have a stinking hangover and that is a definite no-no for your big day!
7. Group Activities
The priority for a wedding weekend is to offer plenty of activities so your guests don’t get bored or don’t know what to do in a place they’ve never been to before. Make the most of the location you’ve chosen. Since there will probably be people of different physical conditions, from elderly to children, the simplest activities are ultimately ideal because they can include everyone.
The goal is to get everyone involved in one way or another, even just watching. On the wedding day, don’t schedule more than light exercise, because you have to save energy for the wedding. Also be careful with what you do. Imagine that you try to do motocross with your friends and you break your leg. Do you really want to go to the altar on crutches for something as silly as that?
8. Free Time
It’s not necessary for you to worry about wedding planning every second of the day. Your guests also have the right to rest and have leisure time. Also, if someone does not want to participate in scheduled activities, of course they don’t have to. And even yourselves. No one expects you to be present at all times, since it is clear that you have many things to organise.
9. Respect the Budget
You have requested that your guests spend a whole weekend with you, so it is essential to cover all basic needs. But you also have to be smart and respect your budget, or the celebration you can get out of hand. For example, if you are going to offer an open bar at the wedding, on the other days offer only beer and wine.
It’s really important to make it crystal clear who will take care of each expense, so you must express this on your website so as not to allow for misunderstandings and that way no one can feel offended. Decide what is basic for you, be creative and look at where cuts can be made without sacrificing fun.
10. Have a Goodbye Brunch
Planning a Sunday brunch is a great way to relax and say goodbye to everyone before going on to your dream honeymoon. You can take this opportunity to thank your guests for having come together to make your wedding special and unforgettable. Please note the departure times of the hotel, in order to be able to properly organise things before checking out. In addition, divide transport between those who have to travel to the airport or station, so that, everyone is comfortable and taken care of until the last minute. A resounding “yes” to wedding brunch: Join the latest craze!
Lastly, we have developed a model schedule that you can follow to organise a dream weekend. Of course, it is not necessary to incorporate each of these phases, these are only ideas that can inspire you:
- 19:00: Welcome Cocktails
- 21:00: Dinner
- 12:00-14:00: Activity/Game
- 14:30: Lunch
- 16:00: Rest & Wedding Preparation
- 19:00: Wedding
- 12:00: Goodbye Brunch
Above all, do not lose sight of the goal this weekend, which is to show the most beloved people in your life how much you value their company at the most significant time of your life. If you do everything possible for everyone to be happy over the weekend, you will have fulfilled your mission!