We get to see a lot of wedding weekends and multi-day weddings on the blog, so we love to see how couples handle their camping weddings, multi-day Indian weddings, safari weddings, and festival-style weekend-long epic parties. Here are 10 tips for a wedding weekend to make sure your guests (and you!) stay informed, entertained, happy, well-fed, and well-rested during your multi-day bash.
Send save-the-dates early — six to eight months beforehand
Try to give your guests as much time as possible to plan their travel and get good rates. Also, consider a holiday weekend for ease of getting days off of work and for any special rates that venues might have on holidays and holiday weekends.
Consider travel around the venue area
If you're planning multiple activities, try to keep them relatively close and provide transport options. Whether this information is included in a welcome bag, agenda, or provided by you, give guests an easy way to get to your soirees and fetes.
Set expectations for costs
Let guests know what they'll be expected to pay for and generally what prices might be. The best way to do this is through wording on your invitations or wedding website. Include website information for restaurants, bars, and other activities you're planning and include something like, “See menu and pricing at [website].” If you're planning to pay for an element of the fun, say something like, “This event will be hosted by the couple.”
Give guidelines for dress codes for each event on your wedding website
Give your guests lots of guidelines for packing. If it's a camping wedding, recommend hiking shoes and bug spray. If it's an opulent hotel wedding, advise on how fancy to step it up. If there will be a swimming pool, let them know so they don't miss out on the fun. Here are some additional resources for helping your guests figure out what to pack:
- Wedding dress code: 5 clever ways to tell guests what to wear
- Play dress-up to help guests with their wedding attire
- Flexibility & hand-holding: 5 tips for having a successful costume wedding
Send guests a weekend itinerary well in advance
This could be printed, but more likely it'll live on your wedding website. Consider sending out a mass email or a Facebook message letting everyone know that the agenda, dress code, and information is available there at least a few weeks before the wedding or as soon as you can.
Consider a welcome bag
Welcome bags are totally optional but super helpful for a wedding weekend/multi-day wedding. You can include your printed itinerary for anyone who forgot theirs (or likely never saw it to begin with), transportation information, fun, local gifts, and any helpful advice for having fun in the area.
Space out activities for maximum free time
Feel free to include quite a bit of downtime in your schedule so that nobody is overwhelmed, everyone gets time for a nap, and you don't have to be on the go the whole time. Allow for enough downtime so that guests can explore and relax… which includes you, too.
If it's an option and within budget, consider hiring some local daycare/babysitters for specific events which would make late-night activities a little more adult-friendly. Wedding weekends can get long when you're carting children around the entire time.
When in doubt, hire a wedding planner to help
Don't lean too much on your wedding party and volunteers to help set up and organize the wedding weekend. Multi-day events can be HARD to plan and execute logistically. Before committing to a wedding weekend, see if a wedding planner is within your budget.
Sample schedule for a wedding weekend (Friday-Sunday)
6:00pm Welcome drinks
7:00pm Rehearsal dinner
8:00pm Later-night low-key activity: board games, a bar crawl, karaoke, pajama party, etc.
8:00am–10:00am continental breakfast open house
10:30am-2:00pm Low-key pre-wedding activity and lunch: hiking, bus tours, a wine tasting, and box lunches.
2:00pm-3:30pm Downtime to get ready for the ceremony
4:00pm Ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception afterwards
9:00am–12:00pm Open house brunch
Are YOU having a multi-day wedding? What tips did we miss?