In recent years, planning a wedding weekend has become more and more popular. But what exactly does it entail and is it right for you? That’s what we’re going to talk about today!
What Is a Wedding Weekend?
A wedding weekend is where you plan festivities during the entire weekend of a wedding — not just the ceremony and reception. Typically, it includes a welcome party, rehearsal dinner, and a day-after brunch/event. Wedding weekends have become more popular in recent years, especially for weddings with a lot of out-of-town guests or destination weddings.
Pros of Hosting a Wedding Weekend
Here are some of the reasons why you should host a wedding weekend.
1. More quality time spent with guests
You will find that most brides’ only complaint about her wedding day is that it went by too fast. And it really is true!
A wedding weekend gives you the chance to extend your wedding day and give you so much more quality time with your guests. There is so much going on on the wedding day that you will probably find yourself wishing that you could have talked to guests a little bit more. The events of the wedding weekend will give you the chance to do that!
2. Gives guests things to do
Out-of-town guests, or guests at your destination wedding, will probably be thankful that you gave them things to do during their mini vacation! Hosting a wedding weekend takes away the stress from the guests in having to plan everything that they’re going to do throughout the weekend.
3. More ways to make the wedding unique
Having more events means that there will be more of a chance to put your personality as a couple into your wedding. For example, if you are huge sports fans, you could plan a welcome party at a sports bar… or even at a local game!
Cons of Hosting a Wedding Weekend
Here are some of the reasons that planning a wedding weekend might not be the best for you.
1. Is usually more expensive
Because a wedding weekend requires more events, it is likely going to be more expensive than if you were just planning the ceremony and reception.
2. Less time during the weekend to spend alone
As newlyweds, you might miss having the additional time outside of the ceremony and reception to spend alone. This is definitely something to consider!
3. More planning
And, of course, having more events throughout the weekend will require more time spent planning each one. However, your wedding planner can always help out with that!
Events to Include in a Wedding Weekend
Here are some ideas of what events to include in your wedding weekend!
A rehearsal dinner is standard for pretty much every wedding. This is a dinner immediately following the rehearsal for the ceremony. Typically, the bride and groom’s family, wedding party, and out-of-town guests are invited.
If you are having a destination wedding, or the majority of your guests are out-of-town, then you can consider only inviting your immediate family and wedding party to the rehearsal dinner and inviting everyone else to the next event.
A welcome party
Most wedding weekends involve some sort of welcome party. This is usually the night before the wedding and is more of a cocktail hour type of event. If your rehearsal dinner is the evening before the wedding, you can consider having the welcome party immediately following it.
Finally, most wedding weekends involve a brunch the morning after the wedding. You’ll typically want this to start between 10 and 12 to accommodate hotel check-out times. It is also most convenient for guests to make it a “come and go as you please” style of event, as many guests might want to get on the road or have flights to catch.
Who Should Host Everything?
There is really no set rule on who should pay for/host each event. If someone offers to host a particular event, then great! However, if your parents are already hosting or contributing to the wedding and rehearsal dinner, then you may want to chat with them early on if you are considering planning an entire wedding weekend.
Extra Tips for Planning a Wedding Weekend
As we mentioned above, a wedding weekend will typically cost you more than a traditional wedding day would. A solution to this could be to shorten your guest list or to have family members assist with hosting the weekend’s events if they offer.
Plan some down time
Finally, try your best not to completely fill the weekend with back-to-back events. Give your guests (and yourselves) some down time to just relax or for everyone to explore on their own. If it is a destination wedding, there may be things that guests would like to see or do while they are there. And even if not, I promise that you will want some extra time to just relax and soak everything in by yourselves!
If you are planning a wedding weekend and have no idea where to start, we are here to help! Click here to contact us and we will reach out to you.