Fresh Ideas for Your Wedding Weekend
The wedding night has now become the wedding weekend, with couples planning activities and celebrations that span a few days compared to a few hours. Here a few of the wedding industry’s best share their pro tips on how to make sure your wedding guests feel well taken care of and have a weekend they won’t forget!
Set the Tone with Your Welcome Bag
“Welcome guests to the destination with a basket of goodies! While the variety of available treats and libations are endless, we like the idea of keeping the products local and simplifying the selections with a sweet treat, a salty snack and a beverage that says 'Cheers!' Guests traveling from a distance also will appreciate you keeping in the loop so including an itinerary of the weekend which includes important dates, times and transportation details will leave them informed instead of needing to ask questions. Package everything up in a cute little bag complete with the appropriate wedding weekend branding and you guests are sure to feel taken care of from the start.”
—Tana Povolo, Associate Event Planner & Designer, A Day in May Event Planning & Design
Arrange the Transportation
“If your wedding weekend ancillary events and activities require transportation, provide this service for your guest as a nod to show your appreciation for celebrating with you and your fiancé. (And if your budget allows!) Get creative on the transportation! Instead of an ordinary shuttle bus, rent an old school trolley, vintage school bus or some other unique form on transportation (think boat or even horses!) to surprise your guests.”
—Erin Sprinkel, Co-Owner, Sterling Social
Offer Activities Outside the Standard Celebrations
“Plan a curated list of fun activities that will encourage them to explore the area and enjoy your wedding weekend as a mini-vacation. We often provide an activity concierge who can assist the guests throughout the weekend with sign up and information. When it comes time for the actual ceremony and reception, your guests will have new friends to celebrate with.”
—Lynn Easton, Owner, Easton Events
"Thank your guests at each event for taking the weekend (or longer) to be there to celebrate your nuptials."
—Virginia Edelson, Principal, Bluebird Productions
Leave Room for Leisure Time
“Schedule activities, but not too many. There is a fine balance between scheduling things to the brim for your guests to feel obligated to take part in. Instead of having a large rehearsal dinner, invite everyone to the hotel's lobby for a champagne tower cocktail hour. You'll get to visit and they'll feel welcomed without feeling obligated to spend the evening with an itinerary.”
—Nick & Aleah Valley, Owners & Planners/Designers, Valley & Company Events
Take Advantage of Holiday Weekends
“If your wedding weekend coincides with a holiday, don't be afraid to play it up throughout the weekend in ways big or small! We kicked off this Fourth of July wedding weekend in Paso Robles, California with an All-American welcome party that included corn hole, a fireworks stand, food trucks, and State Fair inspired bites and treats.”
—Mary-Frances Hurt, Founder & CEO, DFW Events
It’s All About the Little Things
“If you’re headed somewhere remote, think of all of the little things they could need in a pinch but might not be able to find. We like to include things like Advil, Band-Aids, safety pins, sunscreen and bug repellant.”
—Jenna Lam, Founder & Event Director, Jenna Lam Events
Incorporate the Local Culture
"Create experiences that highlight the local culture, from a bike tour to a cooking class. Your guests will love the opportunity to be entertained while they also get familiar with their surroundings."
—Stephanie Anen, International Wedding Consultant & CEO, Nomad Republic International
Surprise Your Guests
"Consider setting up a pop-up salon at the venue to help your guests get beautified for the big day; or spoil them with nightly amenities like warm cookies and milk, breakfast in bed or a split of wine from your favorite local vineyard. These surprises will carry them through the trip and make your guests feel special and included all weekend long."
—Allyson Levine Joseph, Executive Event Producer & Vice President of Sales, Bob Gail Special Events
Feed Everyone Before They Hit the Road
"If you have done your job, your guests will have bonded by the end of the wedding night and thus will want a final opportunity to hang with their new friends...never forego the opportunity to create a lasting bond and a memory with a post-wedding brunch. It will additionally give you a chance to hear the behind the scenes stories from your closest people."
—Kristin Banta, Owner & Creative Director, Kristin Banta Events