Wedding weekends are a great way of maximising the amount of time you spend with your friends and family. Often, many friends and family members live away from either where the couple live or where they are having their wedding, so by extending the celebrations it makes their journey even more worthwhile! The most suitable venues for this sort of celebration are exclusive use event venues or large self-catering houses. Lots of these sorts of venues also only take bookings for accommodation for a minimum of two nights so it makes sense to arrange to spend time with your guests if you are all staying in the same area.
Top of the list is budget!! Inevitably a wedding weekend will cost more than just a wedding day but with careful planning you can certainly maximise your budget and make your money stretch. Firstly consider if, as the couple to get married, you are hosting the whole weekend. If you are then you will need to plan meals and activities that are clearly communicated to those guests participating. The alternative is to make it clear that there will be some planned activities and meals and give guests a rough estimate of the budget they will be expected to spend to join in. I would certainly advise contacting your most important guests as soon as you have an idea that you want to plan a wedding weekend to check their availability and ask that they will join you, no point organising a weekend long celebration without any guests! Perhaps use your Save the Dates, set up a Wedding website or a group on Facebook/What’s App to communicate plans and encourage your guests to correspond with each other. Keeping people up to date with plans and arrangements will ensure everyone comes prepared and the weekend runs smoothly.
Food is likely to be your biggest expense but you could split the burden for this by asking certain guests to organise a specific meal. Guests could bring their own booze (assuming corkage is not enforced) and each bring a dish to share/contribute to the meal. Also think about hiring a catering company local to where you are staying to provide at least one meal for you. This means you won’t have the worry about providing enough food and also the clearing up afterwards!
Think about planning some activities to keep your guests entertained. Outside activities are always great fun if the weather is good and can be as simple as a picnic or rounders match or as complex as a treasure hunt around the local area. You could look into hiring entertainment or a local specialist who could run a fun class for you all to enjoy like cupcake decorating or wine tasting. Although it is lovely to arrange the odd activity, most of your guests will enjoy just relaxing and spending time together so don’t plan a schedule which is too rigid and rushed. Allow guests time to explore the local area themselves as well as just kick back and relax, after all the wedding itself will be fairly stressful anyway without adding extra stresses to it!